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Thompson on Hollywood

LISTEN to Joaquin Phoenix Tell All on Terry Gross's Fresh Air

Joaquin Phoenix has enjoyed a strained relationship with his public. He's one of our great actors, from "Gladiator," which earned him one of three Oscar nominations (along with "Walk the Line" and "The Master") to Spike Jonze's "Her." Getting him to talk to Fresh Air's ace interlocutor Terry Gross was a favor to all of us. What did he reveal?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2014 3:10 PM
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Talking the Oscar-Nominated Sound Editing and Mixing of 'Lone Survivor'

Peter Berg's underrated "Lone Survivor" received its lone Oscar nominations in the sound editing and mixing categories, but it's well-deserved. The fact-based adventure about a failed Navy SEALS mission in Afghanistan grabs us by the throat and never lets up. And the sound is among the most intense and immersive experiences for a modern war film.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 24, 2014 2:47 PM
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Talking the Oscar-Nominated Costume Design of 'The Invisible Woman'

Oscar-winning costume designer Michael O' Connor ("The Duchess") may be an expert at period pieces, but he was a Charles Dickens novice along with actor-director Ralph Fiennes before making "The Invisible Woman." And in this year's battle of the period pieces ("American Hustle," "The Great Gatsby," "The Grandmaster," "12 Years a Slave"), O'Connor is somewhat of a surprise nominee.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 22, 2014 2:05 PM
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Meet the Man Behind the Sundance Film Festival's Valued Partner, the Sloan Foundation

This is the 12th year that the Sloan Foundation has partnered with Sundance, and will again be giving out its coveted Sloan Award (and the $20,000 that goes with it) to the film that best represents science, or makes technological concepts accessible to mainstream audiences. The man behind it all is Doron Weber, who started the Sloan film program.
  • By John Anderson
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  • January 20, 2014 2:57 PM
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Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater Talk 'Before Midnight,' 'Boyhood' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Well, you've been reading about "Before Midnight," the third film in Richard Linklater's trilogy about Celine and Jesse's ongoing romance, since Sundance, and now you finally get to see one of the most delightful and insightful movies of the year. The movie opens Friday. The trio, who could earn a second Oscar nomination for original screenplay, describe their unusual process in our interview below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2014 11:30 AM
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College Satire 'Dear White People' Challenges Audiences at Sundance

"Dear White People" is one of those first features we often see at Sundance Film Festival that charges out of the gate exploding with all the things the young filmmaker wants to say. In this case, Chapman College graduate and L.A.-based one-time publicist Justin Simien, 30, is exploring millennial race identity at a predominantly white private university. "Dear White People" debuted Saturday in competition at Sundance, where it is hoping to find a distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2014 6:52 PM
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From Music Editor to Oscar Winning Composer: The Surprising Story Behind the Music of 'Gravity'

When Steven Price came on to "Gravity," it was for a short two-week music editing gig; when he left, he'd spent a year on the project as the film's composer. At first, Price was brought on to help with an internal studio screening for Alfonso Cuarón's technologically-stunning space epic and the two got to talking about how music could work in the film. Two weeks became six weeks, and then Cuarón asked Price to write the score.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 19, 2014 11:44 AM
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Miles Teller Talks Getting Bloody in Sundance Hit 'Whiplash,' Turning Nasty in 'Divergent' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

I thought Miles Teller had a future when I saw his 2010 drama "Rabbit Hole." I figured he had a career when I saw him opposite Shailene Woodley in Sundance romance "The Spectacular Now." I knew he was star when I saw him hold his own opposite the mighty J.K. Simmons in Sundance opening night hit "Whiplash," which will be released by Sony worldwide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2014 8:25 PM
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Mads Mikkelsen Talks 'The Hunt' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Oscar-nominated "The Hunt" star Mads Mikkelsen combines a rare set of skills: the athleticism of a trained dancer, acrobat and gymnast and the sensitivity of a theater actor. See exclusive video below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2014 1:06 PM
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Oscar-Nominated Papamichael Talks Making 'Nebraska' in Black-and-White (VIDEO)

There was never any doubt about making Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" in black-and-white. It always lived in his imagination as the best way to convey the film's sense of isolation and loneliness. For Oscar nominee, Phedon Papamichael, it was like returning to his old still photography days when he would carry around both color and black-and-white Nikons.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 17, 2014 2:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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