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Writing 'Life of Pi': David Magee Talks the Mother of Adaptations

After ten long years of painstaking development, "Life of Pi" finally made it to the screen. And there were many times that Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, who optioned it right after it was published, did not think that it would happen. Only when Ang Lee came along four years ago did it become possible. The device of using the older Pi (Irfann Khan) as the window into the story came from screenwriter David Magee, who was hired on the basis of his moving Oscar-nominated screenplay for the J. M. Barry biopic "Finding Neverland."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2013 2:49 PM
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Academy Extends Voting Period Amid Balloting Snafus

Even while it was officially closed for the holiday until January 2, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, recognizing the continuing problems many of its members have been having with the new online voting procedures, has extended the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations by one day to Friday, January 4, 2013, 5.p.m. PT. (The original date was Thursday, January 3, 5 p.m. PT).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2012 5:36 PM
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David O. Russell To Accept Indie Impact Award at Upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival

Variety will present director David O. Russell with the Indie Impact Award at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 3-14), celebrating the "Silver Linings Playbook" filmmaker for his contributions to the art and business of cinema.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 31, 2012 1:19 PM
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Academy Voters Try to File Ballots Online, Bedeviled by Passwords and Safari UPDATE

On Friday, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences member Don Murphy posted on Facebook that he had sent in his Oscar ballot, "signed sealed and delivered." Why not use the brand-new electronic voting system? "Too much work," was his reply.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2012 1:16 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Rome Film Festival and Ennio Morricone Honor Quentin Tarantino with Lifetime Achievement Award

The seventh Rome Film Festival will honor Quentin Tarantino with a Lifetime Achievement Award on January 4, at a gala screening of "Django Unchained." Legendary composer Ennio Morricone ("Once Upon a Time in the West," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"), who wrote an original song for "Django," will present Tarantino with the award. That's one way to get the filmmaker to show up!
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 28, 2012 12:30 PM
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'Les Miserables' Review Round-Up; Detractors Could Hurt Musical's Oscar Bid

Christmas Day saw two new openings of award-season contenders, "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained." (We will parse their box office on Thursday.) But judging from social media chatter as well as reviews, it is clear that Tom Hooper's approach to the musical may be too radical for many moviegoers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2012 4:08 PM
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Best Performances of 2012: A Good Year for the Broken, Disturbed and Driven

A great year in film means a great year in acting. We've celebrated our Top Ten Films of 2012, and now it's time to give thanks for some of the performances that moved us this year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 25, 2012 7:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Director Kormakur Literally Jumped Into Iceland's 'Deep' with Oscar Entry, Plans Viking Adventure

Iceland's shortlisted Oscar entry "The Deep" (spring 2013) is based on the true story of the sole survivor of a downed fishing boat. Baltasar Kormakur is a member of a growing band of truly international filmmakers who make films at home as well as Hollywood. Producer-star Mark Wahlberg starred in "Contraband," Kormakur's remake of his own "Reykjavik-Rotterdam," took a shine to the rugged Iceland actor-director, and went on to make another film with him, the upcoming $80-million actioner "Two Guns," co-starring Denzel Washington. Wahlberg is also producing an HBO pilot with him, "The Missionary."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 4:54 PM
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Oscar Foreign Language Shortlist Films All Open or Set for Release by Early 2013

Something funny happened on the way to the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar shortlist. Unusually, all nine contenders announced Friday morning have either already been released in the US or will be during the first quarter of 2013.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 21, 2012 4:27 PM
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Oscar Talk: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Wreck-It Ralph,' Animation Race, and Oscar Campaigning

On this week's Oscar talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I examine the "Zero Dark Thirty" smear campaign, and wonder if "Wreck-It Ralph" and "ParaNorman" have the right stuff to win the animation race. Here's the podcast, which is also on iTunes. We're also celebrating our 100th episode and four years.  We'll be back after the holidays!  
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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