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Thompson on Hollywood

Geoffrey Rush Escapes from Scene-Chewing Roles with 'Book Thief': "How do I Avoid Cliches?"

The best thing in Fox 2000's World War II drama "The Book Thief" ($16 million domestic to date) is Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. Ever since he broke out in his Oscar-winning "Shine" in 1996, he's been a go-to actor for big-screen character roles, from the Marquis de Sade in "Quills" and the whacked out "Pirates" series to going toe-to-toe with George VI (Colin Firth) in "The King's Speech," one of Rush's four Oscar nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2013 1:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Critics vs. Academy: Do 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,' 'Saving Mr. Banks,' and 'The Book Thief' Need Great Reviews?

A look at the gap between critics and Academy voters. Will "The Book Thief," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "Saving Mr. Banks" scoot past reviewers?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2013 5:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Ballhaus Talks 'The Book Thief'

The Book Thief" might be flying under the Oscar radar, but it's a unique Holocaust story told from a child's point of view as well as Death's (adapted from the best-seller by Markus Zusak). And that's what attracted DP Florian Ballhaus, best known for comedy ("The Devil Wears Prada").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 15, 2013 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Book Thief' Survives Critics, Oscar-Contender 'Wind Rises' Sells Out Two Theaters

This week's newbies are a mixed bag. "The Book Thief," a rare major studio platform release, overcame less than great reviews for a respectable showing, while Disney's release of Hayao Miyazaki's subtitled animated feature "The Wind Rises" sold out most shows at two one-week-only theaters. The rest of the newcomers fell far short of these two, with Alex Gibney's documentary "The Armstrong Lie" the best of the mediocre bunch.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 10, 2013 4:33 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Thor' Strong, Not Mighty, 'Last Vegas' Lures Boomers, '12 Years' Passes $12 Million

Adding to its stellar first-week overseas haul of more than $150 million, "Thor: The Dark World" is grabbing more than half of Friday's Top 10 box office take. With $31,633,000 (including Thursday night shows) already in the till the Marvel/Disney sequel will score an easy #1 for the weekend. However, the film is unlikely to cross $100 million for the weekend. Indeed the number won't even be a record for the Veteran's Day holiday.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 9, 2013 1:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: 'The Book Thief,' Starring Geoffrey Rush, a Well-Meaning but Oddly Muted Holocaust Tale

"The Book Thief," adapted from Markus Zusak's best-selling novel, is a well-meaning re-telling of the oft-told tale: the Holocaust was a time of unimaginable horror, but even during the worst moments of man's inhumanity to man, there were good people around who adopted the children of Communists and sheltered Jews in their basements.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • November 8, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

This Weekend: See Gibney's 'The Armstrong Lie,' Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises,' and Marvel's Fun 'Thor: The Dark World' (TRAILERS)

This weekend movie-goers can take their pick from a shrewd documentary about Lance Armstrong's fall from grace ("The Armstrong Lie"), an enjoyable turn-your-brain-off Marvel entry about a hot guy with a hammer ("Thor: The Dark World"), or an animated drama from one of the greats of the medium, Hayao Miyazaki ("The Wind Rises").
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 7, 2013 4:03 PM
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How YA Bestseller 'The Book Thief' Got Made Into a Studio Film: With Difficulty, and John Williams (TRAILER)

You know things have come to a pretty pass when a movie like "The Book Thief" looks wrong coming from a major studio. How did it get made? Well, it took a while. And the success of "Life of Pi," another gamble from Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler, who willed that movie into existence, helped to push this one forward. She and the film's producers tell us how the film got made.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2013 3:54 PM
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WATCH: Director Brian Percival Talks 'The Book Thief' for NY Times Anatomy of a Scene

This week's New York Times Anatomy of a Scene video feature talks with director Brian Percival ("Downton Abbey") as he explains a scene from "The Book Thief" (November 8). In the scene, young Liesl (played by Sophie Nelisse) has just witnessed a book burning, and must come to terms with the true intent of the Nazis who have taken over her German village. Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 7, 2013 11:57 AM
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'The Book Thief' Promo in New York Times Asks Us to Imagine a World Without Words

Fox's "The Book Thief" (November 15) grabbed some attention in Wednesday's New York Times via a savvy promotion. For the first time in the history of the newspaper, two consecutive pages were blank, with just a listing for a website at the bottom of the second page. Check out images of the blank NYT pages, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 23, 2013 2:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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