Entries filed in: 'Featured'

INTERVIEW: Sally Hawkins

Posted by · 10:30 am · December 10th, 2008

“We didn’t necessarily set out to create someone as perpetually sunny as Poppy,” says Sally Hawkins of her radiant performance in Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” which is currently making waves in the awards race. “But Mike was very dismissive of doing anything maudlin or moody with this project. So the optimism came early on for her. […]

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‘Milk,’ ‘Happy’ win big with NYFCC

Posted by · 9:03 am · December 10th, 2008

The Best Picture victory for “Milk” is going to be the lede for most people as far as today’s New York Film Critics Circle awards is concerned, but the bigger story is “Happy-Go-Lucky,” which finds itself right back in the thick of the Oscar conversation. The group handed Mike Leigh and Sally Hawkins honors for […]

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LAFCA gives Best Picture to ‘WALL-E’

Posted by · 1:38 pm · December 9th, 2008

Shocking.  “WALL-E” is officially the most overrated film of the year, but that having been said, this is one hell of a ballsy move on the part of the L.A. film critics (whose vote came down a lot earlier than I expected). I correctly anticipated a Sally Hawkins victory in the lead actress category, which […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 ‘right actor, wrong film’ Oscars

Posted by · 12:35 pm · December 9th, 2008

As we head into the thick of awards season, one of the biggest “will-they-won’t-they” questions about this year’s Academy Awards concerns one of their most favored sons, Clint Eastwood. Specifically: despite wildly polarized responses to the film, and a widespread perception that he has already been amply rewarded in other categories, can Eastwood ride the […]

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Getting around to the BFCAs

Posted by · 10:26 am · December 9th, 2008

A late night premiere and after party kept me in bed most of the morning.  It happens.  So I’m just now coming around to today’s BFCA announcement.  First, some reactions (full disclosure, I am a member of the organization). First and foremost, the group subtracted one category (Best Family Film) and added another (Best Action […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Finding a happy place

Posted by · 12:52 pm · December 8th, 2008

I’m reaching that sweet spot of the Oscar season.  That moment right on the cusp of major precursor announcements when critics and audiences begin to join a conversation that’s been talked in circles by us pundits for a few months.  The vacuum is slipping away and the clarity of perspective shines through. Yeah, I can […]

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Will ‘The Wrestler’ bring The Boss a second Oscar?

Posted by · 6:36 am · December 7th, 2008

It’s been 13 years since Bruce Springsteen was nominated for an Oscar (1995 for the title track to Tim Robbins’s “Dead Man Walking”) and two more since he’s taken the award home (1993 for “Streets of Philadelphia”).  With little in the way of competition beyond songs like “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” from “Hamlet 2” and […]

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INTERVIEW: Kristin Scott Thomas

Posted by · 1:03 pm · December 6th, 2008

When interviewing Kristin Scott Thomas, the woman who for many audiences represents the living portrait of English upper-crust serenity, Led Zeppelin isn’t exactly the first name you expect to crop up in the conversation. And yet, halfway through our Transatlantic chat, that is exactly what happens. “Seeing the guys, well into their sixties, just getting […]

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Fox Searchlight double-bills two classics with ‘The Wrestler’

Posted by · 12:21 pm · December 5th, 2008

Fox Searchlight Pictures will be screening its awards season favorite “The Wrestler” in tandem with two classics of American cinema next week: Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” and Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull.”  The event, to be held at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, has been dubbed: “Contenders: A Look at Film Heavyweights.” Each film, […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Torino’ win big at NBR

Posted by · 11:19 am · December 4th, 2008

The National Board of Review has announced its list of winners for the 2008 awards season and Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” is the big champ, taking down three awards including Best Film and a tie for Best Adapted Screenplay with Eric Roth’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”  Dev Patel also won the award for […]

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An evening with the cast and crew of ‘The Dark Knight’

Posted by · 8:35 am · December 4th, 2008

A boatload of people turned out last night for the Beverly Hills reception in honor of “The Dark Knight.”  I hesitate to say “star-studded,” since the principle cast and crew were the most recognizable parties.  But suffice it to say the premises was packed with little breathing room and plenty of adoring press. Producer Charles […]

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‘Ballast,’ ‘River,’ ‘Rachel’ lead the Indie Spirit nods

Posted by · 11:26 am · December 2nd, 2008

I’m late to the table on today’s Independent Spirit Award nominations because I’ve been toiling away on the latest Oscar column (which should be up shortly).  Obviously, Sony Pictures Classics dominated the scene but I’m glad to see that this year’s crop is more “independent” than in years past. One nomination that stuck out to […]

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‘Kung Fu Panda’ leads the way at the Annies with 17 noms

Posted by · 11:00 am · December 1st, 2008

DreamWorks Animation has to be happy this morning.  The studio pulled in 27 total nominations with the International Animated Film Society’s annual Annie Awards, including 17 for “Kung Fu Panda,” which led with the most nominations and nearly double the next film on the list.  Walt Disney’s “Bolt” took down 9 nods while Pixar’s “WALL-E” […]

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INTERVIEW: Elsa Zylberstein

Posted by · 10:15 am · December 1st, 2008

Though still in her 30s, Elsa Zylberstein’s career has been so rich and multi-stranded — in addition to two decades of screen performances, she has also worn the hats of a classical dancer and a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in the past — that it’s odd to think she is only now achieving Stateside recognition […]

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First set of winner predictions

Posted by · 3:04 am · November 27th, 2008

Before the holiday I thought I’d make my first calls on the year’s Oscar winners.  Bear in mind we don’t even have a list of nominees yet and anything can happen.  I think around this time last year I was predicting “Into the Wild” for across-the-board wins and it only managed two nominations at the […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Insert witty Oscar column headline here

Posted by · 1:59 pm · November 25th, 2008

This year’s Oscar season is sapping the creativity from my bones.  Perhaps it’s foolish to come to this space every week and offer a full-blown column.  Sometimes there isn’t much to talk about.  This year, however, the things we do have to talk about don’t seem worth talking about. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Changeling’ screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski

Posted by · 12:31 pm · November 25th, 2008

“In the feature film world, we television writers barely exist,” explains J. Michael Straczynski screenwriter of Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling,” starring Angelina Jolie.  “So for this to all happen so fast is really a fairy tale year for me. I am elated with how this has all gone down and changed the course of my life.” […]

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‘Button’ drops (UPDATED with audio)

Posted by · 3:04 pm · November 22nd, 2008

UPDATED (5:30 p.m.): Alright, now that I’m home and away from the shuffle, I can unfold some further thoughts on this.  Judging by the mood of the room — mostly guild members and industry types, a lot of press folks have decided on the 6:00 screening — the verdict is a big thumbs up.  Lots […]

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