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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 0 Comments

'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

Craft Talking '12 Years a Slave': The Contrast of Horror and Beauty

The visual power of "12 Years a Slave" derives from a juxtaposition of horror and beauty that director Steve McQueen calls "Goya-esque." It immerses us in the totality of Solomon Northup's experience, a brutal inhumanity that nonetheless took place on gorgeous plantations. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, costume designer Patricia Norris, and editor Joe Walker collaborated on this rich tapestry, which has helped make "12 Years a Slave" the best picture Oscar frontrunner.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 27, 2013 2:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Geoffrey Rush Escapes from Scene-Chewing Roles with 'Book Thief': "How do I Avoid Cliches?"

The best thing in Fox 2000's World War II drama "The Book Thief" ($16 million domestic to date) is Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. Ever since he broke out in his Oscar-winning "Shine" in 1996, he's been a go-to actor for big-screen character roles, from the Marquis de Sade in "Quills" and the whacked out "Pirates" series to going toe-to-toe with George VI (Colin Firth) in "The King's Speech," one of Rush's four Oscar nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2013 1:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

TOH!'s Top Longreads of the Year (Exclusive Interviews, Rankings, Top Tens and More)

For your holiday vacation perusal, here are TOH!'s top 20 longreads of the year. We culled from our most-read -- and most favorite -- interviews, exclusives, rankings, columns, reviews and more.
  • By TOH!
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  • December 24, 2013 2:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Her' Designers Barrett and Storm Talk Creating Warm, Retro Look

Turns out that red is not only the warmest color in Spike Jonze's Oscar-contending "Her," but that there was no room for blue in this cozy LA of the near future. That's because the world building was retro rather than futuristic in exploring the conflict between emotion and environment, according to K.K. Barrett and Casey Storm, the director's longtime production designer and costume designer.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2013 2:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Ben Stiller Talks 'Walter Mitty,' Gets Vulnerable, Puts Audiences First, Critics Last (Six-Minute Trailer)

Ben Stiller is one of the few remaining movie stars--audiences actually turn up to see him. While he does the occasional Noah Baumbach movie, Stiller's a studio animal. He's operating in that narrow band that remains for high-budget mainstream commercial movies aimed at a wide swath of audiences. And he's able to function with relative freedom because of his track record as a comedian (the "Meet the Parents" and "Night at the Museum" series) and producer-writer-director ("Tropic Thunder"). That's a sweet spot indeed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 24, 2013 2:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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