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Thompson on Hollywood

2013 Gotham Nominations, Led by '12 Years a Slave,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' and 'Upstream Color,' Boost Spirit and Oscar Hopefuls

Steve McQueen's slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" is leading this year's Gotham Awards with three nominations, for Best Feature, Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Breakthrough Actor (Lupita Nyong'o).
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 24, 2013 1:01 PM
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'12 Years a Slave' Scores Big in Specialty and African-American Theaters, 'All Is Lost' and 'Kill Your Darlings' Start Soft

The fall awards season went to full blast this weekend with three major festival specialty successes launching their commercial releases. One, Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave," matched the current #1 smash "Gravity" in acclaim and--on a smaller scale at this point--better-than-expected grosses. Playing in six markets and a range of theaters with varied audiences, "12 Years a Slave" scored on all fronts and has begun its march to inevitable awards.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • October 20, 2013 4:28 PM
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'Gravity' Strength Hides Weak Friday Box Office Results; '12 Years a Slave' Starts Well, 'Carrie,' 'All Is Lost' and 'Fifth Estate' Don't

"Gravity" continued its impressive run with an easy $9 million #1 gross, down just under 30% from last Friday with a likely total yield of another $30 million for the weekend. But this significant number -- which would be a solid first weekend total for any October -- masks an overall continued weakness in the market, with three new openers ranging from disappointing to disastrous. The top 10 totaled only $29 million, markedly down from $42 million the same Friday last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • October 19, 2013 4:52 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt Talks '12 Years a Slave'

Sean Bobbitt discusses going for visual simplicity in Steve McQueen's Oscar frontrunner, "12 Years a Slave."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 18, 2013 12:33 PM
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This Weekend: See '12 Years a Slave' and 'All Is Lost'; Plus, 'Carrie' and Cumberbatch as Assange Hit Theaters

Oscar season is hitting theaters in waves this year. The must-see title of the weekend is Steve McQueen's highly praised Best Picture frontrunner "12 Years a Slave," starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as real-life historical figure Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped into slavery before the Civil War, and put under the cruel hand of slave master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 17, 2013 4:00 PM
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Watch: EXCLUSIVE Clip from Must-See '12 Years a Slave' with Oscar Contenders Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong'o

Since its debut at Telluride, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" has become the film to beat in the Best Picture Oscar race. Check out an exclusive clip, below, in which Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) admits to her master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) that she went to a neighboring plantation to get a small bar of soap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 17, 2013 3:10 PM
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Why Michael Fassbender Doesn't Have to Campaign for Oscar Frontrunner '12 Years a Slave' (CHARLIE ROSE VIDEO)

In the November issue of GQ, Michael Fassbender leads the writer on a wild motorcycle race, opens up about his work jag and lets loose on why he won't campaign for "12 Years a Slave." His memorable quote has gone viral: "It's just a grind. And I'm not a politician. I'm an actor." Instead of campaigning, this month Fassbender is heading to New Zealand to shoot his own indie feature, followed by "Macbeth" with Marion Cotillard. On the second viewing of the film, as floored as I was by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kenyan Yale grad Lupita Nyong'o, I appreciated the nuances of Fassbender's performance as Epps, a ruthless slave driver. As far as I'm concerned Fassbender doesn't have to campaign.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2013 2:23 PM
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Steve McQueen Explains Why He Can't Talk Enough About '12 Years a Slave,' Unlike Michael Fassbender (VIDEO)

Steve McQueen on "12 Years a Slave": "It's a case of making a picture about slavery. Either you make a picture about slavery, or you don't. It's one of the two. I am here, in evidence of those unfortunate events. My family survived those unfortunate events so I can't make a picture which would not tell the truth, otherwise there'd be no point."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2013 6:26 AM
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Oscar-Winner John Ridley Talks Writing '12 Years a Slave' and Directing Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side'

John Ridley has been honing his craft for years, apprenticing with John Wells on "Third Watch," through multiple movie scripts ("U-Turn," "Red Tails") and television series ("Barbershop," "Platinum") to his first feature "Cold Around the Heart." He wrote the script for Oscar frontrunner "12 Years a Slave" as well as his sophomore directing effort, Jimi Hendrix slice-of-life "All Is by My Side," which both played the Toronto Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 16, 2013 6:30 PM
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Oscar Watch Q & A: Chiwetel Ejiofor Embodies Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave'

“12 Years a Slave” broke out at the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, as audiences and critics immersed themselves in Steve McQueen and John Ridley's hard-hitting film adaptation of the memoir of musician Solomon Northup, a free Bostonian who was kidnapped and sold into slavery from 1841 to 1853. “12 Years a Slave” and its British star Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Kinky Boots") leaped to the top of the Oscar prediction charts, along with Alfonso Cuaron's critical and box office hit "Gravity." Fox Searchlight opens "12 Years a Slave: October 18.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2013 4:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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