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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

Talking the 'Her' Score with Arcade Fire Oscar Nominee William Butler

Oscar-nominated William Butler's first-time experience composing the wistful score for Spike Jonze's "Her" with his Arcade Fire partner Owen Pallett was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. And yet the experience opened him up more intuitively to the collaborative process.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 18, 2014 2:58 PM
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'Broken Circle Breakdown' Director Sets Up Next Project with Schoenaerts

Felix van Groeningen will follow up the Oscar-nominated "Broken Circle Breakdown" with drama "Belgica" with Belgium's hottest star, Cesar-winner Matthias Schoenaerts ("Rust and Bone") opposite Stef Aerts ("Oxygen").
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2014 7:52 PM
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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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Ellen DeGeneres to Air Her Talk Show Live the Monday Morning After She Hosts the Oscars

Ellen DeGeneres is signing up for a long couple of days. The Oscar host announced that, following the Sunday, March 2 Academy Awards ceremony, she will air "The Ellen DeGeneres" show live the very next Monday morning. Airing her show live is something she's done, in her words, "maybe twice in 11 years."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 13, 2014 11:31 AM
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David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure dissipation or pure cynicism -- I've gotta have the thing that people live for," he insists. So in a recent roundtable discussion, we explored how this passion spilled over to his Oscar-nominated crew: production designer Judy Becker, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and editor Jay Cassidy.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 12, 2014 2:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Leonardo DiCaprio: Hollywood Indie, from 'This Boy's Life' to 'Wolf of Wall Street' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Leonardo DiCaprio explains why he's been an independent since he was 15, how 'Titanic' allowed him to be a producer and chart his own course, and how McConaughey and Hill exploded the process on Martin Scorsese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2014 2:12 PM
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How Alfonso Cuaron Found His 'Gravity' Mojo (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Alfonso Cuaron talks about the road to "Gravity" after the Academy Nominees luncheon.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2014 8:14 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Inside the Academy Nominees Luncheon, from Pharrell's Hat to the Applause Meter

Oscar nominees gathered together at the Academy's annual luncheon at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate their inclusion in an elite and rarified club--and to wish each other well. Who got the most applause as they were called up for the group picture?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2014 7:35 PM
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Oscar Nominees Luncheon Q&A: Blanchett, Bullock, McConaughey, DiCaprio, Cuaron and More UPDATED

TOH! was set up in the interview room at the Beverly Hilton for the 2014 Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lupita Nyong'o, Amy Adams, Jared Leto and Jonah Hill are just a few of the names who paid us a visit over the past hour.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 10, 2014 4:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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