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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Plan B Producer Dede Gardner Talks '12 Years a Slave,' 'World War Z,' and Partner Brad Pitt

The movie of movies on the fall film circuit was Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" (October 18). The film was nurtured along the way by Plan B producer Dede Gardner and her partner, Brad Pitt, who co-stars in the film with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. I interviewed Gardner for a TIFF Industry Q & A, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2013 4:20 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: 'Gravity' and '12 Years a Slave' Top the Fall Fests So Far

Kris Tapley of In Contention and I resume our Oscar Talk Podcast, discussing the current awards season frontrunners that emerged during TIFF and Telluride.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2013 11:59 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Telluride and Toronto Winners and Losers: Who Came Out Ahead?

The fall film festivals are a crucible that send winners out into the award fracas and losers to lick their wounds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2013 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

WATCH: TIFF Press Conferences for '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity,' 'Prisoners,' 'Labor Day,' 'Enough Said' and More

Check out TIFF press conferences for "12 Years a Slave," "Prisoners," "Labor Day," "Gravity," "The Fifth Estate," "Enough Said," "The F Word," "The Railway Man," "Blood Ties," "Mandela," "August: Osage County" and "The Invisible Woman."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • September 11, 2013 12:57 PM
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WATCH: '12 Years a Slave' Cast and Crew Talk the True Story Behind the Film in New Featurette

In a new featurette available on Yahoo! Movies, director Steve McQueen and the cast and crew of "12 Years a Slave" talk about the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man abducted and sold into slavery, played here by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Watch below.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • September 4, 2013 12:09 PM
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Telluride XL Day Three: Back to the Past

I eat and run, as just up the street Buck Henry, in his guise as Guest Director Emeritus, is presenting Mike Hodges' 1974 "The Terminal Man," a prescient, mesmerizing thriller in which George Segal, a computer programmer, permits electrodes and computers to be surgically implanted in him in order to stop his violent seizures. But the procedure instead increases their frequency and Segal's destructive behavior. In his catalogue blurb, Henry cites "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Clockwork Orange," and "Fahrenheit 451."
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 1, 2013 2:42 PM
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Telluride Roundups: Oscar Hopefuls '12 Years a Slave' and 'Prisoners' Score with Critics (TRAILERS)

Two unannounced big films made a big splash Saturday: Warner Bros. awards hopeful "Prisoners," which nabbed rave reviews for Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave," directed by Steve McQueen.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • August 31, 2013 3:51 PM
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Ranking the Top 15 Best Picture Oscar Contenders Before the Fall Festivals

I was happy to give MovieCityNews webmaster David Poland my top 15 picks for the Best Picture Field. I didn't have to rank them, and while I haven't seen most of them, I could certainly take a stab at where the For Your Consideration ads are likely to go. So now he's assembled a ranking of the Top 15 based on his 15 Gurus. I am in perfect sync on the top six films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 23, 2013 3:25 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Toronto Preview: Awards Hopefuls Bring Real Figures to Life, from Dickens and Assange to Ginsberg and Mandela

There's a reason Sony Pictures Classics is moving up the release date of "The Invisible Woman" to Christmas Day. They think they may have the goods to make a go at an awards season play. This Ralph Fiennes-directed movie is world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of many pictures with Oscar hopes that centers around bringing a real person to life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2013 4:02 PM
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