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Thompson on Hollywood

Color Version of 'Nebraska' to Show on Epix that Alexander Payne Hoped Would Never Be Seen

Epix, the multi-platform (premium cable, satellite and streaming) movie company, is showing carefully-crafted promo spots for its initial showings of Alexander Payne's acclaimed "Nebraska" premiering this Sunday night.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 5, 2014 4:33 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Review and Roundup: Why Melissa McCarthy Vehicle 'Tammy' Never Takes Off

Melissa McCarthy's 'Tammy' may look like a comedy from its trailers, but it turns out it's actually a whole different ball game.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2014 1:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment

WATCH: Director Alexander Payne's Bizarre 1985 Silent Short 'Carmen'

From "Citizen Ruth" and "Election" to "About Schmidt," "The Descendents" and "Nebraska," two-time Oscar winner and auteur Alexander Payne has gone from indie to mainstream and back again. Get a sense of his indie roots by watching his 1985 student short "Carmen," a silent film he made at the UCLA Film School.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 21, 2014 12:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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

Crafts Roundup: The Year of Cinematographers Capturing Turmoil On Screen

It's been a great year for cinematography, with such an emphasis on survival, turmoil and trying to find beauty or redemption within the suffering. The cinematographers of "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Nebraska," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Grandmaster," and "Rush" talk striking that cruel-beautiful visual balance, below.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 26, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Philomena' Off to Strong Start, 'Nebraska' Second Weekend Lags

Weinstein heart-tugger "Philomena," this week's awards-friendly limited opening, scored an initial number comparable to two recent Oscar contenders ("Nebraska" and "Dallas Buyers Club"), just ahead of its rapid expansion this Wednesday. Per usual, the specialty market is getting crowded, with not just new limited films but plenty of wider-releases, including "Catching Fire," grabbing the attention of older audiences. It's a time of high-risk opportunity, as not all releases will achieve their hoped-for maximum attention.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 24, 2013 4:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Why Bruce Dern Will Land an Oscar Nomination for 'Nebraska': The Method Actor Tapped His Own History

Bruce MacLeish Dern, age 77, has been having a blast on the speaking circuit. He's eating up the attention like a thirsty plant. Finally, after all these years, he landed an Oscar-worthy leading role, in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," which played well for the Academy last weekend. And Dern is loving it, even if he's losing his voice. He came to Sneak Previews and shared stories with us, including a heartbreaking explanation for the most emotionally moving scene in "Nebraska." Like the method actor that he is, Dern brought his own history to the performance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2013 8:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Nebraska' Has Best Limited Opening Since '12 Years,' 'Great Beauty' Biggest Italian Opening in Years, 'Dallas,' 'Book Thief' Strong in Expansion

´╗┐Going in, "Nebraska," from Alexander Payne, one of the most consistently lauded American directors over the last decade, looked to have limited appeal due to its older rural characters, black and white presentation, and non-marquee names. But its better-than-expected opening, with strong marketing from big-studio Paramount, proved a promising start as the family dramedy heads into the competitive awards season.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 17, 2013 4:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

This Weekend: See 'Nebraska' and 'The Great Beauty,' While 'Best Man Holiday,' LaBeouf's 'Charlie Countryman' Also Hit Theaters

A few treats to choose from this weekend as two Oscar -- Payne's "Nebraska" and Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty" -- hopefuls hit theaters. Critics advise you to skip LaBeouf vehicle "Charlie Countryman." Check out our weekend roundup here.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • November 14, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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