Oscar news: Christopher Nolan on sound of ‘Interstellar,’ Steve Carell feted by Santa Barbara fest

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Carolyn Giardina recounts the reasoning of Christopher Nolan on the sound of “Interstellar.” As the director explains, “I’ve always loved films that approach sound in an impressionistic way and that is an unusual approach for a mainstream blockbuster, but I feel it’s the right approach for this experiential film.” And, he adds, ““Many of the filmmakers I’ve admired over the years have used sound in bold and adventurous ways. I don’t agree with the idea that you can only achieve clarity through dialogue. Clarity of story, clarity of emotions — I  try to achieve that in a very layered way using all the different things at my disposal — picture and sound.” THR

C. Molly Smith makes merry with Ben Affleck‘s brief nude scene in “Gone Girl” by chatting with author Gillian Flynn, who adapted her bestseller: “It is so quick. Maybe you see it, maybe you don’t. I laughed because there were all these things being said about his full frontal and I was like, ‘That is not the definition of full frontal, my friends.’ That was a man getting into a shower. I expect to see a lot more when people call it full frontal. I was like, ‘I wrote this book and this film and I saw the dailies and I don’t remember a full frontal.’ Maybe they went off script there. But I appreciate [Ben’s] commitment to the authenticity of a man getting into a shower. Man, you committed.” EW

Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”) is to be feted by the Santa Barbara film festival with the Performer of the Year prize. He is to sit down with fest director Roger Durling for an hourlong conversation on Feb. 6; that is the day after final voting kicks off for the Oscars. A number of academy members live in this community situated 100 miles up the coast from Hollywood. The last two honorees — Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) — both went on to win Oscars. SBIFF

Oscar experts: ‘Boyhood’ will win 5, ‘Interstellar’ 4, ‘Birdman’ 2

Sasha Stone counts down 10 things we know about the race to date. Leading off her list: We have our Best Actress frontrunner in Julianne Moore. She was already way, way overdue – is well liked and proved with her appearance at the Hollywood Film Awards that she plans to show up. She has, at this time, no major competition. Rosamund Pike and Reese Witherspoon could be the only competitors but Moore needed the chance to allow voters to award her and this is it.” Awards Daily

Oliver Gettell reports: At a recent presentation of “Whiplash” for the Envelope Screening Series, J.K. Simmons and writer-director Damien Chazelle discussed the film’s fraught student-teacher dynamic, in particular a key scene in which Fletcher treats Andrew with uncommon warmth. Los Angeles Times

Oscars flashback: How smart or stupid were Experts at this point last year? 

Greg Ellwood chats with Bennett Miller about his committment to “Foxcatcher: “I was just drawn in to these characters. Just a very odd situation that intrigued me,” he says.  “One of the wealthiest men in America who brings a wrestling team on his property, his huge estate, to train for the Olympics and it ends in tragedy. I couldn’t tell you what that is that when a story seizes you, but when you feel you can’t look away from something. It’s how I felt from the first time I learned about it.” HitFix

Scott Feinberg admits: “It’s not often that one gets to spend 75 minutes talking about the good, bad and ugly sides of indie filmmaking with eight distinguished filmmakers, but that’s precisely what I had the pleasure of doing last Sunday when I moderated the AFI Fest’s Indie Contenders Roundtable.” Among those on the panel: Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler“) and Kristen Stewart (“Still Alice“). THR

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