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Thompson on Hollywood

Best of the Week: Indie Spirit Noms Shake Up Awards Race, Things I Learned at First 'American Hustle' Screening, Oscar Contender Interviews and More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • November 30, 2013 2:39 PM
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Breaking Down How 'Catching Fire' Became A Record-Breaking Blockbuster

It wasn't easy to turn Suzanne Collins' first book in her "Hunger Games" trilogy into a global blockbuster, nor was it easy to navigate through the departure of director Gary Ross to find his replacement, Francis Lawrence, amid a change of management at the studio, Lionsgate. But producer Nina Jacobson steered the $140-million "Catching Fire" to its takeoff last weekend, when it broke records, and is soaring into the holiday stratosphere.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 29, 2013 4:23 PM
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Composer Nicholas Britell Talks the Powerful Spiritual-Field Songs in '12 Years a Slave'

Composer Nicholas Britell ("Gimme the Loot") provides a powerful musical accompaniment for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" with a series of spiritual-field songs and stringed waltzes (which are currently available on the Columbia Records soundtrack). These originals and recreations enable us to better understand and appreciate the rich musical heritage that sprung from such inhumanity.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 29, 2013 2:20 PM
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The Liberation of Harrison Ford, Character Actor: "It's risky every time you go out" (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

"It's risky every time you go out," says Harrison Ford. The iconic actor can still draw crowds in an Indiana Jones sequel, but at age 71, he is starting to enjoy his rights as a character actor in such roles as Branch Rickey in "42" and Colonel Graff in "Ender's Game."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2013 4:28 PM
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Oscar Winner Lubezki Talks the Virtual Cinematography of 'Gravity,' How a Peter Gabriel Concert Helped Him Visualize the Film and More

With three out of the last four Oscars for cinematography going to hybrid movies, is it any wonder that Emmanuel ("Chivo") Lubezki won Best Cinematography for "Gravity" at the 2014 Oscars? Especially after Lubezki and his collaborators devised a brilliant new lighting system for simulating the physics of space in the game-changing and emotionally-gripping blockbuster.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 27, 2013 2:15 PM
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Screenwriters on Writing: NY Times Asks Linklater, Polley, Holofcener, Delpy, Gerwig and More About the Art of the Film Script

The New York Times queried 14 talented screenwriters, asking simple questions like "What's the trick to writing realistic dialogue?," and many of the responses are fascinating. A highlight of responses below, from Richard Linklater, Greta Gerwig, Nicole Holofcener, Sarah Polley, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and more.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 27, 2013 12:12 PM
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After Years in Shadow, Oscar Winner '20 Feet From Stardom' Lets Backup Singers Take Center Stage (UPDATED)

It was a big task for a little documentary to go up against the likes of "Man of Steel," "Monsters University" and "World War Z." In a way, though, it's a fitting role for Morgan Neville's film. Those big popcorn flicks can hold up a mirror to our lives, but "20 Feet from Stardom" goes deeper. By asking questions about sex, race and the American dream, it challenges us to look critically at our collective, national soul. In doing so, it's one of the most important films of the year.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • November 26, 2013 4:01 PM
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Sandra Bullock Talks Banner Year, Love for 'Downton Abbey,' Her Dating Life and More as EW's Entertainer of 2013

In this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly (on newsstands November 27), the mag sits down with one of their Entertainers of the Year, Sandra Bullock, to talk her banner 2013 with Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" and Paul Feig's "The Heat." Interview highlights, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 26, 2013 2:33 PM
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Crafts Roundup: The Year of Cinematographers Capturing Turmoil On Screen

It's been a great year for cinematography, with such an emphasis on survival, turmoil and trying to find beauty or redemption within the suffering. The cinematographers of "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Nebraska," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Grandmaster," and "Rush" talk striking that cruel-beautiful visual balance, below.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 26, 2013 2:15 PM
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Watch: THR's Actress Round Table with Oprah, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Amy Adams and Lupita Nyong'o (VIDEO)

The Hollywood Reporter's round table series adds its next installment this morning, assembling actresses Oprah Winfrey ("Lee Daniels' The Butler"), Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County"), Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks"), Octavia Spencer ("Fruitvale Station"), Amy Adams ("American Hustle") and Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave") to talk everything from summoning tears for Steven Spielberg to, er, "muff shots." Quote highlights below, plus full video.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 25, 2013 4:22 PM
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