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Thompson on Hollywood

Peter Berg Fought to Keep Brutal War Survival Thriller 'Lone Survivor' Real UPDATE

I have long been a Peter Berg believer. He is a gifted director who can now be forgiven for "Battleship," a misbegotten Hasbro/Universal concoction that he agreed to direct so that he could make his passion project "Lone Survivor." The indie-financed Universal release is a tough, unremitting, authentic, and intimate Afghan war film starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch and Eric Bana.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2014 9:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Going Inside the Production Design Secrets of 'Walter Mitty'

Designing the "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was a new experience for Jeff Mann, known for working on such "blunt instruments" as "Tropic Thunder" with Ben Stiller and "Transformers" with Michael Bay. But Stiller definitely had a different mind set for the daydreaming Everyman, full of whimsy and wistfulness, and Mann visualized that world in a graphic and poetic way that's certainly worthy of Oscar consideration.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 8, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Loves Her Gun' Star Trieste Kelly Dunn Talks Improv, Road-Tripping and Directors

Geoff Marslet's "Loves Her Gun" was a talking point out of last year's SXSW, not only because it centers around violence and gun control, but because the improvised dialogue makes for a naturalistic portrait of a woman's progression from victim to aggressor. She's well-played by Trieste Kelly Dunn, who broke out in SXSW 2010's "Cold Weather" and went on to star in Cinemax's "Banshee." The story starts off with a random act of violence in NYC before a road-trek to Austin, Texas, where the majority of the drama unfolds, complete with hipster band, mustache and river tubing with beer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 8, 2014 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

'Grandmaster' Wong Kar-Wai Mourns 35 MM, Honors Fading Martial Arts (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Hong Kong filmmaker Wong kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love") is an engaging and articulate man. He's happy that after two years of research travel around Asia meeting the grandmasters of martial arts, his film "The Grandmaster" is not only his second to be submitted by Hong Kong for the best foreign Oscar, but made the shortlist of nine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2014 12:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

How Martin Scorsese Pushed 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Into Mattering: "I had to find a more furious energy"

Martin Scorsese talks about "The Wolf of Wall Street," a peculiarly polarizing film that has ignited passionate debate. The question is why. Something about the movie rubs some people the wrong way, makes them uncomfortable. As far as Scorsese is concerned, it's obvious what he was trying to accomplish.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2014 6:27 AM
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  • 23 Comments

Animation Oscar Race: Why 'The Croods' Is 'Frozen''s Only Real Challenger (FEATURETTE)

In the Oscar animation arena, competition is fierce. The conventional wisdom has $500-million global smash "Frozen," Disney's best princess musical since "Beauty and the Beast," leading the pack by a good distance. Its strongest competitor, caveman family comedy "The Croods," comes from Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation, which put together a formidable filmmaking partnership. Chris Sanders (Oscar-nominated "How to Train Your Dragon") and Kirk De Micco ("Space Chimps") explain how they built a global hit --with four strong female characters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2014 3:28 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Best of the Week: PGA and WGA Noms, Why Everyone Is Piling on 'Wolf of Wall Street' and More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • January 4, 2014 1:00 PM
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'Gravity' Set to Dominate Oscar Craft Nominations: Talking the Film's Sound, Music and Editing

As we approach Wednesday's Oscar voting deadline, at least one thing's for certain: "Gravity" is a lock for a majority of the craft nominations. We've already covered production design, cinematography, and VFX in depth, so now let's look at the corresponding design for sound and music, which were made for the immersive Dolby Atmos surround experience, along with the editing of what was essentially an animated movie.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 3, 2014 2:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Consolata Boyle Talks 'Philomena' Costume Design

For Dublin native Consolata Boyle, designing the costumes for the fact-based "Philomena" -- her seventh collaboration with director Stephen Frears -- took on special significance. Certainly it's a powerful story about a mother's search for her long-lost son, amid the appalling revelation of forced adoptions in Ireland. But its greatest artistic appeal came from the witty "Odd Couple" pairing of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 31, 2013 6:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Best of the Week: Ten Steps to a Best Picture Oscar, How to Stream the Year's Best Films, Talent Lost in 2013 & More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • December 28, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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