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SXSW Interview: Olivia Wilde Finds Her Inner Slapstick Comedian in 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'

SXSW opener “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” -- which even Steve Carrell admits “won’t be changing any lives” -- did give Olivia Wilde a chance to get in touch with her “inner Lucy.” What? She pulls a football out from under Jim Carrey? No, she has to act awkward and ungainly and do “my tiny homage to Lucille Ball, who I grew up watching obsessively.”
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 6, 2013 12:46 PM
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Interview: Canadian Director Kim Nguyen Talks Foreign Oscar Nominee 'War Witch'

French-Canadian director Kim Nguyen's coming-of-age drama "War Witch" was one of the five nominees for the 2013 Foreign-Language Oscar. The film tells the harrowing yet poignant story of a young African girl abducted into a rebel army, and her brave journey to free herself from the army's clutches. (Here's the iTunes trailer.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 28, 2013 1:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments

The Unsung Hero Behind 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' Has Two Chances to Win Oscar Night

When William Goldenberg came to talk to Sneak Previews about editing Ben Affleck's "Argo" back in October, he was still in the throes of finishing Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," on a tight deadline to deliver a final cut in November. Sunday night Goldenberg is up for not just one but two Oscars, for two very different Middle East movies, and is favored to win for best picture frontrunner "Argo."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2013 6:06 PM
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Rooney Mara Talks with Steven Soderbergh in Interview Magazine -- the "Finch," Loving the Oscar, Nudity and More

Rooney Mara submitted to an email chat with her "Side Effects" director Steven Soderbergh for this month's Interview Magazine. The two smartypants engage in sarcastic banter about David Fincher, the Oscars and, er, the "reverse cowgirl."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 22, 2013 2:22 PM
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Film Independent Chiefs McManus and Welsh Preview Indie Spirits, Take Stock of LACMA and LAFF

Just a year ago, long-time Film Independent staffers Sean McManus and Josh Welsh took on new roles as co-presidents of Film Independent, which runs many vital programs for the West Coast independent film community, as well as the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. They replaced Dawn Hudson, who left FIND to become the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I talked to the two men on the phone about where they are and where they're going--and the upcoming Indie Spirits, my favorite awards event.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 20, 2013 5:46 PM
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Why 'Life of Pi' Will Win Multiple Oscars Next Weekend

Going into the final Oscar stretch, Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" has turned out to be a stronger contender--and box office juggernaut, at close to $600 million worldwide--than many had expected. Nominated for eleven Oscars, among the categories the movie is favored to win are best director, cinematography, visual effects and editing. Some weeks back I moderated a lively DGA panel with cinematographer Claudio Miranda (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), producer David Womark, VFX animator and supervisor Erik Jan De Boer, visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer (of beleaguered Rhythm & Hues) and Lee's long-time editor Tim Squyres.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2013 1:32 PM
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Oscar Q & A: Meet Tom Van Avermaet, Director of Darkly Glimmering Short 'Death of a Shadow' (TRAILER)

Of all the Oscar-nominated shorts, Tom Van Avermaet's gorgeous "Death of a Shadow" occupies the most complex and entrancing alternative reality. Matthias Schoenaerts ("Rust and Bone") plays Nathan Rijckx, a deceased WWI soldier stuck in a limbo where an intricate steam-punk machine selects each person's moment of death. He has a second chance at life if he agrees to work for a Grim Reaper figure who collects shadow images of the moment that people die. Rijckx agrees to shoot 10,000 shadows in order to return to life and find the woman he fell in love with at the moment he died.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • February 18, 2013 2:56 PM
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Oscar Watch: Emmanuelle Riva Talks Her Surprise Late-Life Role in 'Amour'; French Veteran Could Beat Lawrence

A seamstress, poet and photographer, Emmanuelle Riva lives alone in Paris. She has enjoyed a long and happy career as a film actress, most notably starring at age 30 in Alain Resnais's 1959 drama "Hiroshima Mon Amour," and working in theater until 2001. "I liked the roles I had both on the stage and in cinema," she wrote me in an email. "My preference is for both. Going from one role to the other is a healthy exercise; no time for them to leave any mark on us. It is others who leave a mark on us. And I don't want to be a prisoner of any part, or to specialize in any genre. I don't want to cultivate my image (how boring!). I would rather always feel the freshness of something newly born."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2013 7:26 PM
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Meet Shawn Christensen, Writer-Director-Star of Oscar-Nominated Short 'Curfew'

Leading the pack in the race for the best live-action short Oscar is Hollywood screenwriter Shawn Christensen's gritty 19-minute "Curfew," which stars the multi-hyphenate as suicidal New Yorker Richie who babysits for his nine-year-old neice Sophia. Safe to say we will be hearing from this actor-writer-filmmaker again: he's currently expanding "Curfew" into a full-length feature. (See the short on iTunes.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • February 15, 2013 3:11 PM
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'Amour' Auteur Michael Haneke Talks Riva and Trintignant, Death of 35 mm UPDATED

Michael Haneke's "Amour" has been nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Directing, Actress, Foreign Language Film and Screenplay. This comes after scooping up awards from such year-end critics groups as the New York Film Critics Circle, and tops off a stellar year that began with the film winning the Palme d'Or in Cannes last May.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 15, 2013 1:06 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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