Mark Harris joins the discussion with fringe lead actor picks

Posted by · 10:26 pm · September 12th, 2011

Two years ago author and journalist Mark Harris wrote what I think is one of the most salient Oscar season observances ever squeezed out of this unnecessary corner of the web. I always look to him for one of the most above-the-fray, but smart and informed, perspectives on a given season. And this piece over […]

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‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ US trailer

Posted by · 11:49 am · September 12th, 2011

I’m hoping to see Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” soon-ish. It has a solid track out of Venice for a spot as the thinking man’s Best Picture play (especially considering the British vote). The US trailer sets up the intrigue nicely for those on these shores, nevertheless opting to go back to the international […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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9/12 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Clooney on self-competition, Woodley ready for her close-up, genre movies at the Oscars

Posted by · 8:03 am · September 12th, 2011

• Bill Desowitz calls “The Lion King 3D,” which hits theaters Friday, “a noteworthy achievement for post-converting hand-drawn animation.” Agreed. He also talks to those responsible for it. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Clooney: Clooney vs. Cooney just hype. [Variety] • Shailene Woodley, meanwhile, is ready for her close-up in Toronto. [The Guardian]

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Mixed reaction to Moverman’s ‘Rampart’ in Toronto, some measured praise for Woody Harrelson

Posted by · 6:04 pm · September 11th, 2011

One of the more anticipated Toronto bows, for me, is Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger” follow-up, “Rampart.” I was a big fan of his last effort and have been intrigued by the possibility of Woody Harrelson bubbling up in the Best Actor race (assuming a studio bites on the film). But things aren’t looking stellar for […]

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(UPDATED) Coppola’s ‘Twixt’ under serious fire in Toronto

Posted by · 5:30 pm · September 11th, 2011

I stand by my (out of context) excitement for Francis Ford Coppola probing the outer reaches of what we expect of cinema, but it appears “Twixt” nevertheless came and underwhelmed (to say the least) in Toronto, failing to fully reach its aspirations. Tweets Motion/Captured’s Drew McWeeney: It is appropriate that they screened Coppola’s “Twixt” today, […]

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Day of rest

Posted by · 9:50 am · September 11th, 2011

Now, if you’ll excuse me…

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Contagion’ finally stops ‘The Help,’ ‘Warrior’ stumbles in the first round

Posted by · 9:15 am · September 11th, 2011

I don’t pretend to be a box office expert, but I have to think five million for “Warrior” on opening weekend is a disaster for that film. What’s the ceiling when you start out there? It has to be low. Money was always going to be the difference for its Oscar chances. If it hit, […]

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10 years

Posted by · 8:45 am · September 11th, 2011

I don’t want to really dig in here or anything. It’s just a mark of time. There was an open sore in lower Manhattan tied up by bureaucracy, partisan nonsense and greed that became embarrassing, a symbol for a country so gridlocked by internal machinations that perhaps the truly poignant thing would have been to […]

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‘Take Shelter’ and Jessica Chastain win in Deauville

Posted by · 12:42 am · September 11th, 2011

In the midst of early-season festival madness (and sometimes lost in the clutter) is the Deauville Film Festival, which concluded this weekend. Top honors went to Jeff Nichols’s “Take Shelter,” a film of which I’m a big proponent. To start the festival, though, one of the film’s stars, Jessica Chastain, shared the “New Hollywood” award […]

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R.I.P. Cliff Robertson

Posted by · 11:04 pm · September 10th, 2011

Actor Cliff Robertson passed away this evening. Most younger audiences will instantly recognize him from Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” franchise. A Columbia Pictures scandal in the late-1970s saw him blacklisted for sheer honesty. He won an Oscar over 40 years ago for his work in “Charly.” I’ll always remember him as one of the many faces […]

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Plummer threatening to break into lead actor race

Posted by · 5:07 pm · September 10th, 2011

I’ve been hearing for a little while about “Barrymore,” Erik Canuel’s adaptation of a one-man show featuring Christopher Plummer as the great actor John Barrymore. Assuming a distributor gambles on the film in Toronto (it’s tough to sell a one-man show, no doubt), it’s entirely likely Plummer will be thrust into the Best Actor field […]

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‘Anonymous’ draws mixed reaction in Toronto

Posted by · 11:52 am · September 10th, 2011

I’ve had a sharp eye on thoughts on and reviews of Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous” out of the Toronto film fest. I had expected to be alone in my appreciation for the film (having heard of quite a few detractors), but I must say I was relieved to see that some are reacting in the positive. […]

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VENICE: ‘Faust’ wins Golden Lion, Fassbender takes Volpi Cup for Best Actor

Posted by · 10:53 am · September 10th, 2011

Guy is currently in transit from Venice (where, once again, he offered some bang-up coverage throughout — much appreciated). I’ll let him address the bulk of this when he touches down, but for now, a big win out of the festival for “Shame” in Michael Fassbender’s Volpi Cup victory. In accepting the award, Fassbender tipped […]

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Fox Searchlight picks up McQueen’s ‘Shame’

Posted by · 4:35 pm · September 9th, 2011

I would say “Toldja!,” but I think that’s trademarked elsewhere. Nevertheless, as indicated here a few times, Fox Searchlight Pictures was pretty serious about “Shame” after the film bowed at Venice and Telluride on the same day over the weekend. It’s set to screen Sunday in Toronto, but ahead of that, the dependent has bravely […]

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Emmerich surprises with ‘Anonymous’

Posted by · 11:15 am · September 9th, 2011

I have to say, quite unexpectedly, I really liked Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous.” I think it’s his best work yet. Having busied himself with matters of the apocalypse for the better part of two decades in films like “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012,” it’s fair to say few would expect him to have […]

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Tell us what you thought of ‘Warrior’

Posted by · 10:08 am · September 9th, 2011

Also opening today is Gavin O’Connor’s “Warrior.” I’ve already given my thoughts in print and in the podcast, with high marks for Nick Nolte and particularly Tom Hardy. But I’ll be really interested to see if others feel similarly that the film is a bit of a wash, or if you all side with the […]

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Can’t really argue…

Posted by · 9:45 am · September 9th, 2011

…even if it is the unfortunate, ultimately necessary nature of the beast. But it’s not like the festivals aren’t courting this by getting top tier, highly anticipated films and muscling for their exclusivity. It breeds on-site competition. Ouroboros, etc. Anyway, from Roger Ebert’s Toronto dispatch: More than in previous years, I’m noticing the laptops in […]

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