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Anne Hathaway to present at Oscars

Joining previously-announced Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway will present at the Oscars March 2, the Academy announced today.

The previous year’s winners typically return to the Oscars as presenters; Hathaway won the Best Supporting Actress statue last year for her role in Les Misérables. Will she attempt to sing again during this year’s ceremony, perhaps rushing the stage while Idina Menzel performs from Frozen? Unlikely. What is likely is that the actress will be perfectly lovely as a presenter, but the next day everyone will still say Jennifer Lawrence did it better.

Susan Boyle to make movie debut in Christmas film

Susan Boyle, the eccentric British woman who became a worldwide sensation after singing “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, will make her movie debut in The Christmas Candle, a family film based on Max Lucardo’s book about the Christmas miracles that occur every 25 years in a small candle-lit English village since 1890. Boyle will appear in the ensemble movie, and of course, her voice is featured prominently. Her new single, “Miracle Hymn,” from her upcoming holiday album, Home for Christmas, serves as the film’s anthem. READ FULL STORY

Samantha Barks and Cameron Mackintosh talk 'Les Miserables' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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For fans who grew up singing “One Day More” into a hairbrush and were mighty nervous about a big-screen version that stayed closer to Victor Hugo’s original work, but lost a lot of the musical moments they’d fallen in love with, they may owe a thank-you card to director Tom Hooper and Mackintosh. “There was a lot more dialogue in the original screenplay,” Mackintosh explained. “And then Tom said, ‘What I want you to do is turn the dialogue and [put it] into the form the show is in.’ And I think by setting us to work, both to deconstruct the stage musical and take the material and remake it as a story that happens to be told through music for the movies, that was the key to shooting that laid the groundwork for the film to be successful….One of the other things [Hooper] said to me when we first met was that he felt we should record [the songs] live, which is something I felt passionately about for years. …[Singing live] was a risky step, but it was a risk that paid off.”

Watch below for an EW exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette about the live singing on location: READ FULL STORY

Oscar winners explain why editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and cinematography AREN'T technical categories

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Leading up to the Oscars, we looked at four categories moviegoers may mistakenly think of as “technical.” The truth is, there were no technical categories in last night’s telecast: Every winner was honored for his or her creative contribution to the film. In case you missed those earlier pieces — which explain what editors, sound editors, sound mixers, and cinematographers actually do — here are excerpts from winners in those categories that prove the point:

Argo editor William Goldenberg:

“It sounds funny, but a lot of people tend to think it’s a purely technical job where you literally go in and cut slates off, and the director says, ‘Do that, do that, do that,'” said Goldenberg, who won his first Oscar for Argo, but was also nominated this year for editing Zero Dark Thirty with Dylan Tichenor and previously for The Insider and Seabiscuit.

The editor begins work when cameras start rolling, and does the first cut of scenes — and of the film — on his or her own. Goldenberg, who’d previously cut Gone Baby Gone for Ben Affleck, went to the Argo director’s home editing room every Sunday, even during production, to show him his week’s worth of work. “Even though I wasn’t getting specific notes from him, I was getting a feel for what he wanted. It was almost like by osmosis: just having all his conversations in my head gave me a feeling of like, Oh, I know Ben would hate this or I know this isn’t what he’s looking for.” Affleck turned over nearly 1 million feet of film, including a noteworthy amount of footage of a parrot being enticed to squawk for the tense airport finale. “It was really hilarious, because you couldn’t see Ben, but you could hear him off-camera. He’s just squawking and squawking and squawking, and then the bird would finally do it, and he would squawk over the bird or be talking over it,” Goldenberg says. “It was a lot of bird.”  READ FULL STORY

Oscar-nominated sound mixers explain what you should (or shouldn't) notice if it's done well

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Leading up to Sunday’s Oscars, EW.com will take a closer look at four categories that moviegoers may mistakenly think of as “technical.” After tackling Film Editing and Sound Editing, we now turn to Sound Mixing, with insights from nominees from Les Misérables, Skyfall, and Argo. Lincoln and Life of Pi complete the category. (Update: Cinematography completes this series.)

“The biggest misconception about what we do is that most people think it’s technical in nature because there’s intimidating mixing consoles involved. In reality, we are extremely creative in the use of sound to help tell the story,” says Argo sound re-recording mixer Gregg Rudloff, a five-time Oscar nominee with wins for his work on Glory and The Matrix. “But it goes back to what do you want people to notice and not notice? We want them to be watching the film and experiencing it and enjoying it. We don’t want them to be sitting there going, ‘Oh wow, that was a really cool sound thing that guy just did there.’ We don’t want to put them back in their seats. We want them to be totally immersed in the film. So in a way, we’re our own worst enemies. If we do a bad job, people notice what we do, and that’s not what we want. If we do it really well, people don’t notice it so much, but then they don’t understand the depths we’re working at.”

To fix that problem, we asked some of this year’s sound mixing nominees to walk us through key scenes to explain their roles and show us the kind of decisions their making. But first, the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, a separate Oscar category.

Essentially, the sound editorial team is responsible for assembling every sound you hear in the movie except the music and the dialogue that was recorded on set.

It’s the job of the production sound mixer to capture that dialogue as cleanly as possible to preserve the actor’s original performances, so sound editorial doesn’t have to have them do ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement). Post-production, the sound mixing team takes all the material that has been prepared by sound editorial — dialogue, atmospheric sounds like the wind and ocean; hard effects, which are synched sounds for things like cars, gunshots, explosions, and helicopters; and Foley, or nuance sounds such as footsteps and people touching things with their hands — plus the score, and affixes them to the screen and positions them in the theater while also setting their volume levels relative to each other. “We get tens of thousands of pieces of sound in a film. It’s like a big chemistry set: How much of this do you put in to that? And how much of this do you put in to that, and how will that affect this?” says Skyfall re-recording mixer Scott Millan, whose nine Oscar nominations include four wins for his work on Apollo 13, Gladiator, Ray, and The Bourne Ultimatum. “All of us who do this work have a sensitivity and a touch that’s pretty unique. If you gave the same content to 10 individuals and said go ahead and mix this movie, you’d get 10 different perspectives. They wouldn’t be the same. And that’s what’s so much fun about it. It’s almost like handing sheet music to a bunch of musicians: How they touch it, and how they touch it collectively together as an ensemble, is unique. If you change any of those players, it would be different yet again. “

Since it all starts with the dialogue captured on set, let’s begin there.

NEXT: The art of production sound mixing

Oscars: 'Les Miserables' cast performing for first time together onstage

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prize_fighter1_bannerFrom stage to screen — and now back again.

Les Miserables fans who’ve longed for the stars of the Oscar-nominated film to join forces in a live performance will see their wish come true this Sunday at the Academy Awards.

At rehearsals for the show Friday, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter took part in a massive production number made up of a medley from the film, including the Oscar-nominated original song “Suddenly.”

They weren’t alone. It was a Les Mis reunion in more ways than just the movie …

READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and 'Les Mis' cast to sing at Oscars

In addition to musical performances by Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones, and Barbra Streisand — and a closing musical number from Seth MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth — Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced the names of the actors involved in the show’s live Broadway tribute, which will spotlight Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Misérables.

The actors involved have all starred in big-screen adaptations of the three featured musicals, including Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls; Catherine Zeta-Jones from Chicago; and Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham Carter from this year’s Les Misérables.

Read more:
Melissa McCarthy among latest names added as presenters at Oscars
Oscars: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, and more presenters announced
‘Les Mis’ returning to Broadway in 2014 as re-imagined adaptation
‘Behind the Ballot': Film editors weigh in on their craft
‘Behind the Ballot': Production design
‘Behind the Ballot’: Oscar makeup and hairstyles
‘Behind the Ballot’: Video series launches

'Les Miserables' sets Blu-ray release date -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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What exactly is it about Les Misérables? Has any musical ever been so beloved? Based on Victor Hugo’s 19th-century novel, the stage musical about the redemption of prisoner Jean Valjean ran on Broadway for 16 years beginning in 1987 and was a worldwide sensation. Director Tom Hooper’s ambitious film adaptation has been a spectacular popular and critical success, grossing more than $144 million at the box office and earning eight Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Supporting Actress frontrunner, Anne Hathaway. Fans of the musical flocked to theaters to watch Hugh Jackman’s heroic Valjean joust with Russell Crowe’s devious Javert, to see Hathaway sing the heartbreaking “I Dreamed a Dream,” and to vicariously stand atop the barricades on the eve of France’s 1832 revolution. On March 22, the experience comes home when Les Misérables arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand.

Click below for an exclusive trailer for the new Blu-ray. READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2013: See the Academy's special edition posters for the nine Best Picture nominees

The Best Picture nominees have gotten a pop art facelift. Not that the nine Oscar contenders needed a facelift of any kind, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – along with Gallery1988 – still found a way to produce a fresh, eye-popping take on now-iconic images from these films.

The Academy recently released nine posters, one for each nominee, created by an international group of artists, many of whom have worked with Gallery1988 before.

Called “For Your Consideration,” the project is the first collaborative exhibition for Gallery1988 and the Academy. The Los Angeles gallery’s past entertainment-related poster collections include “Fringe Benefits,” which featured art inspired by fan-favorite episodes of Fringe, and The LOST Underground Art Show. READ FULL STORY

BAFTA winners announced, 'Argo' picks up Best Film and Director awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out their awards Sunday in London. Argo walked away the big winner with Best Film and Best Director for Ben Affleck.

Lead acting prizes went to Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour, with supporting awards going to Christolph Waltz for Django Unchained, and Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables. Click past the jump to take a look at the full list of winners.

READ FULL STORY

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