Entries filed in: 'Daily'

Cohen Media Group nabs Besson’s ‘The Lady’

Posted by · 5:22 pm · September 14th, 2011

Everyone’s just been waiting to see who would pick up Luc besson’s “The Lady” out of Toronto, just for an excuse to go ahead and shuffle Michelle Yeoh over to the pile of likely Best Actress contenders. Yeoh stars in the film as Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis has a […]

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Lurie’s ‘Straw Dogs’ finds its own way

Posted by · 4:48 pm · September 14th, 2011

I should really write something about Rod Lurie’s “Straw Dogs” remake, which, naturally, has been met with a lot of skepticism ever since it was announced. “How dare someone tinker with Peckinpah,” etc. As if Peckinpah is beyond reproach. He’s not, I’d argue, and Lurie’s version of the novel that Peckinpah’s film was based upon […]

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Summit hits the ground running with first screener of the season: Chris Weitz’s ‘A Better Life’

Posted by · 2:37 pm · September 14th, 2011

Deadline’s Pete Hammond already reported that this was imminent, but since it arrived on my doorstep this morning, it seemed worth conveying here. Summit Entertainment is first out of the gate this year with FYC screeners aimed at drawing attention back to Chris Weitz’s “A Better Life.” I was a big fan of Weitz’s film, […]

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‘We Bought a Zoo’ trailer

Posted by · 11:38 am · September 14th, 2011

Just in time to capitalize on Scarlett Johansson’s nude photo scandal (that was low, sorry), the trailer for Cameron Crowe’s latest, “We Bought a Zoo,” hits the web. The first half of this early glimpse really makes it look like a return to character study form for Crowe, while the second half lays on the […]

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Posted by · 10:07 am · September 14th, 2011

I’m elated to see that this morning’s news has been so warmly received, both by the readership here and behind the scenes in the industry. In Contention has been — as my quote mentions in the press release — a labor of love since I opened the doors (on an unassuming Blogspot domain) back in […]

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Moverman’s expressive ‘Rampart’ offers tour de force performance from Woody Harrelson

Posted by · 8:26 am · September 14th, 2011

Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” is absolutely fantastic. Top to bottom, it’s a considerable directorial achievement, and an exciting, brazen departure from his excellent 2009 debut, “The Messenger.” The film — from an original screenplay by James Ellroy, re-written by Moverman — uses the 1999 Los Angeles Police Department Rampart corruption scandal as a frame, a state […]

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‘Le Havre’ tapped to represent Finland in foreign film race

Posted by · 7:52 am · September 14th, 2011

I finally caught up with Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre” at Telluride two weeks ago. “I don’t count myself as the biggest Kaurismäki fan,” I wrote at the time, “but it’s very difficult to argue with the heart in this film. It should melt you a bit, if you have warm blood pumping through your veins.” […]

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Clooney on ‘Descendants’ at Telluride, with clips

Posted by · 7:40 am · September 14th, 2011

Via our new partners at HitFix, specifically Greg Ellwood’s Awards Campaign blog:

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9/14 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Plays storm the screen in Toronto, Liddell acquires ‘Killer Joe,’ Barker on Calley

Posted by · 7:30 am · September 14th, 2011

• Michelle Kung writes up Toronto from the perspective of plays taking to the screen en masse, like Tracy Letts’s “Killer Joe”… [Speakeasy] • …which Liddell Entertainment, by the way, picked up at the fest. [Variety] • Sasha Stone on life after the 2011 fall festival circuit. [Awards Daily]

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InContention.com partners with HitFix

Posted by · 4:03 am · September 14th, 2011

I’m happy to forward the following exciting news via press release. I’ll get into the details of all of this later today, but for now… INFLUENTIAL INCONTENTION.COM FILM BLOG NOW POWERED BY HITFIX.COM LOS ANGELES, September 14, 2011 – HitFix, a leader in entertainment news, today announced a strategic partnership with film and awards season […]

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The writing shines in dense and rewarding ‘Moneyball’

Posted by · 11:53 am · September 13th, 2011

Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” is a tightly constructed piece of work, thematically layered, rich in substance, hard work from two of the best writers in the business clearly evident. And the last thing it is is a sports movie. The film is about so much. It’s a David vs. Goliath story of changing the status quo. […]

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9/13 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Madonna in Toronto, SPC’s would-be ‘Shame’ plan, Clooney overexposed?

Posted by · 9:12 am · September 13th, 2011

• Michael Cieply reports from the “W.E.” press conference in Toronto, where Madonna is doing slightly better than she did over in Venice. [Arts Beat] • Speaking of Toronto, Tilda Swinton keeps hitting the press rounds at the fest. [Speakeasy] • Pete Hammond hears that Sony Classics wanted to lay the groundwork for a Michael […]

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Why there’s no Gosling “dilemma”

Posted by · 6:40 am · September 13th, 2011

Kris wrote a thorough piece yesterday on the vast number of hard-working actors this year who seem to have two or more dogs in the Oscar hunt — one to which many of you responded with even more names to add to the conversation. In many cases, talk drifted away from serious awards potential and […]

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Wenders on why ‘Pina’ needs 3D

Posted by · 5:22 am · September 13th, 2011

Since seeing the film in February, I’ve been something of a broken record saying that Wim Wenders’s marvellous performance film “Pina” — which has been drawing rave responses at Toronto, and was recently submitted as Germany’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar — single-handedly restates the case for 3D, a technology that any […]

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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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Tailoring ‘Tailor’

Posted by · 5:56 pm · September 12th, 2011

One craft aspect I didn’t get around to praising in last week’s review of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is the immaculate costuming by Jacqueline Durran — a designer with only 11 feature credits under her belt, yet one who already seems something of an institution. Durran is one of those rare designers capable of equal […]

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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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Iran’s ‘A Separation’ latest to enter Oscar race

Posted by · 8:15 am · September 12th, 2011

I’d say this was a no-brainer, but one should never underestimate the ability of countries to shoot themselves in the foot when selecting their submissions for the foreign-language Oscar. Happily, Iran has done no such thing, picking Asghar Farhadi’s critically beloved festival sensation “A Separation” as their pony this year. It’s a choice that I […]

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