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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Roundup: Vanity Fair Panel, Pundits Votes, A Grumpy Voter's Ballot, Best Actress, Northup Family and VFX Galleries, Ellen's Bets on the Oscars and More (VIDEO)

At long last, the Oscars are upon us. Thank God. This awards season was stretched due to the Olympics. It'll be shorter next year. Below, a roundup of what last-minute Oscar-related odds and ends are out there in the cybersphere.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 27, 2014 4:53 PM
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Why the Oscar Box Office Slump? It's Not What You Think

When the Academy decided to extend the list of Best Picture contender to up to 10 (the last three years have had nine), one of the goals was to open up the competition to more widely-seen films. The studios have fallen in line, and one result has been more studio films in the mix, particularly some released at year's end.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 25, 2014 5:12 PM
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Talking the 'Bad Grandpa' Makeup with Oscar-Nominated Stephen Prouty

So will the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling go to Stephen Prouty for his impressive transformation of Johnny Knoxville's hysterical and horny 86-year-old Irving Zisman in "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"? It's a triumph of old school craft, which required a complete re-imagining to believably pull it off and provide Knoxville with better flexibility for his comedic turn.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 25, 2014 2:57 PM
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Oscar Roundup: Anthony Lane and Breznican Weigh In, A.O. Scott on DiCaprio, Gurus o' Gold Predictions and More

With the Academy Awards only a week away, Oscar-related stories, predictions and picks are reaching a fever pitch. Below, a roundup of all 11th hour Oscar buzz.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 24, 2014 4:26 PM
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Talking 'Grandmaster' Costume Design with Oscar-Nominated William Chang

William Chang is certainly "The Grandmaster" of production/costume design and editing in terms of his long-time collaboration with director Wong Kar-wai. And even though he's received his first Oscar nomination for costume designing the lyrical Ip Man martial arts extravaganza, you can't separate his contribution to the overall look and editorial style of the movie.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 24, 2014 2:04 PM
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Holocaust Survivor and Subject of Oscar Nominated Short Doc Alice Herz-Sommer Has Died at 110

Sadly, 110-year-old Alice Herz-Sommer, subject of the Oscar nominated short documentary "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life" died on the morning of February 23, just a week before the film about her extraordinary life heads to the Academy Awards. Herz-Sommer was the oldest living Holocaust survivor.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 24, 2014 1:27 PM
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Complete List of Oscar Presenters Unveiled, Includes Sidney Poitier, Bill Murray and More UPDATED

UPDATE: The full list of Oscar presenters has been unveiled for this Sunday's Academy Awards. Check out the list, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 24, 2014 11:30 AM
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Anatomy of a Scene: Revisiting 'Hang Me' from 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

The opening of "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a remarkable achievement: It not only sets the melancholy mood of Greenwich Village in '61 with the eponymous singer (Oscar Isaac) performing "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me" at the iconic Gaslight, but it also sets us up for a confusing circular odyssey. I got the lowdown on the Coen brothers' bizarre tale about folk music with the Oscar nominated cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel and sound mixer Skip Lievsay (also nominated for "Gravity").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 21, 2014 2:03 PM
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Pink Will Make Special Appearance on the Oscars UPDATED

UPDATE: Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced that Pink will make a "special appearance" at this year's Academy Awards. A performance? Given the showrunners' musical leanings, it seems more than likely.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 21, 2014 1:06 PM
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Talking Editing with the Oscar Nominees

Editorially, all five films take us out of our comfort zones in this strange season of survival and rebirth: from the chameleon-like con of "American Hustle" to the abduction at sea in "Captain Phillips" to the weightless terror of "Gravity" to the ticking clock death sentence of "Dallas Buyers Club" to the horror of having your life and liberty snatched away in "12 Years a Slave." I got an insider's view from Jay Cassidy ("American Hustle"), Christopher Rouse ("Captain Phillips"), John Mac McMurphy ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Mark Sanger ("Gravity"), and Joe Walker ("12 Years a Slave").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 20, 2014 4:28 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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