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Thompson on Hollywood

David O. Russell Talks 'American Hustle' in Dubai, Redemption, Scorsese and Embracing "Muscular" Cinema

Is there a filmmaker of recent times who's enjoyed a more impressive career rebound than David O. Russell? Before "The Fighter" in 2010, Russell's career was in tatters, and in danger of flatlining for good. But that shrewd blend of "Rocky"-style boxing saga and family psychodrama marked a magnificent return to form, and was duly recognized with seven Oscar nominations. "Silver Linings Playbook" won Jennifer Lawrence her Oscar. Now "American Hustle" is in the mix. Russell talks about his career redemption.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • December 18, 2013 6:24 PM
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Bradley Cooper Is New Model Smart Star

As "Silver Linings Playbook" comes out on DVD, which earned Bradley Cooper his first best actor Oscar nomination, well-reviewed "Place Beyond the Pines" is playing around the country, "The Hangover Part III" hits theaters on May 24, and Steven Spielberg has picked as his next movie "American Sniper," which was developed by Cooper's Warner Bros. production company, about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, an ace sniper who was tragically killed. This actor is clearly doing something right.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2013 6:17 AM
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Awards Watch: Christoph Waltz Kills on SNL, Jacki Weaver on NPR, Ang Lee on Nightline

In the final phase of the Oscar campaign, Christoph Waltz twinkled on SNL last night, in one of the best episodes of the season. Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "Django Unchained," Waltz's best sketch of the evening was a send up of Tarantino's "revenge fantasy" with "Djesus Uncrossed." With a million dollar grin on his face, the Austrian actor teased his country a bit in the opening monologue - posted below along with "Djesus."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • February 17, 2013 3:49 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Editing Oscar Race, from 'Argo' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Last night's BAFTA win for "Argo" editor William Goldenberg certainly bolsters his Oscar chances, especially given the way the movie is steamrolling its way through the awards season. Then again, Goldenberg, who's also nominated for the controversial best picture contender, "Zero Dark Thirty"...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 11, 2013 4:05 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Outpaces Weak Pack

The good news: Universal's Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" scored the best Friday gross of any film so far this year. Battling both a Northeastern blizzard-- which closed theaters across the most populated stretch of the country-- and inferior reviews, it easily surpassed the first-day gross for "Bridesmaids" (just under $8 million in May 2011), which, propelled by great word of mouth, stuck around for months to gross a total $169 million. The bad news: the rest of the box office.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2013 2:48 PM
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Harvey Weinstein Opens Up at Producers Guild Sundance Breakfast, Mistakes and All: 'I Was Worst CEO'

Before Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob accepted their Milestone Award at the January 26 Producers Guild Awards, Harvey sat down at Sundance with PGA chief Mark Gordon for a remarkably candid chat. This year--in the midst of Oscar campaigns for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django Unchained," following back-to-back best-picture wins for "The Artist" and "The King's Speech"-- Weinstein came to Sundance with ten staffers to scout movies, and acquire them they did.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 5, 2013 4:24 PM
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De Niro Oscar Campaign Goes Into Overdrive; Star Wants Total 10-15 Scorsese Flicks (CLIPS)

To kick off its three day retrospective of the films of Robert De Niro, the American Cinematheque screened David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" and hosted a post-screening conversation with the iconic actor. Harvey Weinstein introduced De Niro after a reel of some of his career highlights -- including scenes from "Casino," "Raging Bull," "Kings of Comedy" and "Taxi Driver." (See clips below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 5, 2013 2:24 PM
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Santa Barbara Fest Lauds 'Supernova' Jennifer Lawrence, Outstanding Performer of the Year

On Saturday night, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented Jennifer Lawrence, 22, with the fest’s Outstanding Performer of the Year award. But first she had to submit to a grilling by SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, who described Lawrence’s performances, from Lori Petty’s “The Poker House” to Oscar-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook,” as “filled with electric energy and vitality.”
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 4, 2013 6:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: Weak Openers Led by 'Hansel and Gretel'

Things picked up on Saturday after poor box office performance Friday due to Eastern weather. But it was still a weak result overall, with the Top Ten down about 25% from last weekend (even without major football competition) and about $6 million under last year (which saw a slight bump for two new Oscar nominees).
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 27, 2013 1:26 PM
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Weekend Box Office Preview: Weak Openers, 'Silver Linings' Holds Strong

Did you look at the movie ads this weekend and decide maybe it was a good time to stay home? Apparently you weren't alone. Three new openings failed to spark much interest, and combined with other post-Christmas releases that got whatever attention they deserved on their first few days, business collapsed last night. Recent weekends bolstered by the lingering strength of late 2012 releases masked real concerns that box office might be going south again after a decent holiday period. Is this just the dog days of January, or do these results suggest a troubling year ahead?
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 26, 2013 2:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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