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Thompson on Hollywood

Anatomy of a Scene: Solomon Northup Chained in '12 Years a Slave'

One of the most important yet difficult decisions in Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" was how to depict Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) waking up in bondage. Fortunately, they hit on the idea in the cutting room to tell it out of sequence, the result of which was disconcerting for Northup and viewer alike, and which laid the groundwork for a more intimate narrative approach by staying with his POV. I discussed this crucial scene with the two Oscar nominees, production designer Adam Stockhausen and editor Joe Walker.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 19, 2014 4:26 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Writers Reveal Road to Movies at Santa Barbara 'It Starts with the Script' Panel (VIDEO)

The annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival "It Starts with the Script" panel where I grill many of the writing Oscar nominees is my favorite moderating duty. This year did not disappoint.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2014 4:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Crafts Roundup: Talking Production Design with the Five Oscar Nominees

The five Oscar nominees for production design ("American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," and "12 Years a Slave") certainly capture the zeitgeist of the season in a variety of creative ways. They're about survival, self-invention, reinvention, and rebirth, and we reflect on this with all the nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2014 2:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Alfonso Cuaron Wins Best Director at DGA Awards (FULL WINNERS LIST)

Historically speaking, whoever wins the 2014 Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director becomes the likely winner at the Academy Awards. This year, "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron won the feature film prize at the DGAs and should start getting ready to say hello to Oscar. A live-blog of the winners below, plus the full list after the jump.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • January 26, 2014 1:58 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Screen Actors Guild Awards Go to 'American Hustle,' McConaughey & Leto and More (FULL LIST OF WINNERS)

As Oscar watchers predict what will win on March 2, the Screen Actors Guild Award does have an impact on winning momentum, throwing clips and acceptance speeches in front of the voters. Lupita Nuong'o wins the first of the SAG awards for supporting actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2014 10:22 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Things I Learned on the Awards Party Circuit, from AFI, BAFTA and Spirits to Paramount, CBS and the Globes

If you've ever wondered why Hollywood invests so much time and money on the votes of 82 admittedly idiosyncratic members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the reason is that the Golden Globe awards show helps to sell their movies and TV series.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2014 4:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Golden Globes Offer the Expected and Unexpected: Who Gets a Boost Heading for Oscars?

The Golden Globes -- voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- do not reflect the direction of the Oscar race. But they can give valuable momentum for the winners who get nominated this Thursday. The full list of winners, and analysis, is here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2014 11:23 PM
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  • 5 Comments

USC Scripters Awards Go to '12 Years a Slave,' 'Philomena,' 'Captain Phillips' and Some Offbeat Surprises

Sssssshhhhhhhhh!!… the librarians are deliberating… and the winner will be the recipient of the 26th annual Scripters Award, bestowed by the USC Libraries, a group that seems to have its own Dewey Decimal System of prognostication. At a time of year when every half-baked assemblage of film nerds is declared to have its own crystal ball of Oscar glory, the Libraries has a fairly envious track record (especially if Oscars are your business): They’ve picked five of the last six Best Adapted Screenplay winners and when they’ve been of the Aacdemy track, frankly, some of their picks have been better.
  • By John Anderson
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  • January 9, 2014 1:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cinematographers Pick Seven Feature Nominees; Which Will Make Final Oscar Five?

For my money, the sequence that lands "Inside Llewyn Davis" a cinematography Oscar nomination is on the Number One train, shot from the POV of the cat as subway stops flash by. Bruno Delbonnel is one of seven directors of photography selected by the American Society of Cinematographers to compete for their top motion picture honor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2014 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

New York Film Critics Circle Apologizes to Steve McQueen and Fox Searchlight for Armond White Heckling, White Defends Himself (UPDATE)

For pure shock value, Adele Exarchopoulos’ legs were the main event at Monday’s New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner, barely contained as they were in a man’s shirt disguised as a dress. Armond White? There’s not a lot of shock value left: When we sat down to eat, someone at our table said, “Let’s have a pool: How long 'til Armond goes off?” We waited a while, but Old Faithful finally blew.
  • By John Anderson
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  • January 7, 2014 2:41 PM
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  • 23 Comments

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