Oscar news: Benedict Cumberbatch on playing a genius, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ sneak peek

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Diane Tsai observes: Benedict Cumberbatch is no stranger to portraying individuals of remarkable intelligence, having taken on roles ranging from “Star Trek”‘s super-human Khan to Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” The actor says of portraying them, “It’s also, actually, the great gift I suppose — is to realize that they’re bound by the human condition. They’re blood and flesh like us. They live in the same worlds as us.” Time

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Jeff LaBrecque sits down with rising star Chadwick Boseman who talks about landing the starring role in “Get On Up“: We had three days of Aakoman Jones throwing me James Brown choreography vocabulary. They got together Robert L. Stevenson, who made the wigs for the film, and Sharen Davis to do the wardrobe for the test, and we shot the concert scene, with me dancing and singing and everything. It was an intense amount of work, just to see, “What would this look like, if we did it?” I had no idea how it would come out. No idea. EW

Writes Jenelle Riley: When actors truly ply their craft — and make no mistake, it is a craft — the results can be astounding. We have all come to know the three leading men of “Foxcatcher”: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum. Yet they all disappear so fluidly into their roles, we don’t see stars. We see a troubled billionaire, a family man and an athlete living in his brother’s shadow. While taking on the role of Martin Luther King Jr. would seem an impossible task, David Oyelowo’s star-making turn never veers into mere imitation. Eddie Redmayne literally risked his physical health to slip into the skin of Stephen Hawking. Variety

Sam Adams talks to Timothy Spall about his preparation to play a painter in Mike Leigh‘s “Mr. Turner“: For the role of J.M.W. Turner, Spall, who says that he could “always draw a bit,” spent two years studying painting with portraitist Tim Wright, which may seem excessive even by Method standards, but that level of commitment is integral to Leigh’s process, which Spall has been a part of for more than three decades. Rather than beginning with a script, Leigh builds from the characters outward, working intensively with his actors so that the story grows out of their interactions and is not superimposed upon them. Los Angeles Times

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Greg Ellwood profiles Laura Dern: Many would have thought that, coming off a career peak with her Golden Globe-winning turn in “Enlightened,” it would take a while for Dern to find her footing after HBO decided to end the series after two seasons. That hasn’t been the case. Dern has been superb in three straight movies (all playing moms of a different feather) and it looks like the show’s lasting impact has been a major boom for her film career. HitFix

Tim Hayne previews “Exodus: Gods and Kings: Biblical epics tout huge set pieces, special effects, and grand drama, but they’re also rife with intimate moments, as in this exclusive clip from the upcoming Ridley Scott-directed film starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, and John Turturro. Moviefone

John Anderson drills down into the Documentary Feature race: Solidly in the running is Chiemi Karasawa’s “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” which has the advantage of being highly entertaining, tart, spunky, life-affirming and as tough-minded as its subject, who died July 17. As it chronicles Elaine Stritch’s wrestling match with age, alcohol and the peculiarities of the performing life – offered up via Stritch’s warts-and-all honesty about her fears and struggles — it will inevitably appeal to a great number of Oscar voters who will see themselves mirrored in her fabulousness and her life in the arts. TOH

Jordan Zakarin reports: Just about the whole team behind this summer’s smash hit “The Fault in Our Stars” reunited on Thursday to celebrate the dedication of a green bench on the 20th Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, with a ribbon cutting and photo shoot and everything. Of course, this was no random bench. As any of the (many, many) obsessive fans of the John Green novel and its big screen adaptation will tell you, a similar looking bench is where Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) smooch during a magical (and then not-so-magical) trip to Amsterdam. Woodley and Elgort were on hand for the dedication Thursday, as were the movie’s director Josh Boone and Green. Yahoo! Movies

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