Entries filed in: 'Featured'

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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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume One

Posted by · 12:24 pm · November 20th, 2008

Music is one of few of the “tech” awards cited by the Academy that tends to result in passionate discussions among moviegoers, including non-cinephiles. Awarded in the Best Original Score category, the film music composer has one of the most difficult and lonely jobs in filmmaking. Almost always arriving at the end of the editing […]

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REVIEW: “Australia” (**1/2)

Posted by · 10:22 pm · November 19th, 2008

God bless Baz Luhrmann.  There are few directorial talents with the energetic potential he brings to his projects.  Danny Boyle comes to mind.  On good days, Fernando Meirelles does as well.  But one thing each of these filmmakers capitalizes on through their complicated sense of visual storytelling is the power of intimacy in the scripts […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 films of the 1970s

Posted by · 11:42 am · November 18th, 2008

When critics and historians of the cinema sit down to discuss uh, cinema, the conversation almost always turns to the great decades in movie history. And n nearly conversation I’ve been a part of, the 1970s reigns supreme as the single decade of brilliance. It was a time of enormous artistic growth for film, as […]

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INTERVIEW: Rosemarie DeWitt

Posted by · 10:01 am · November 18th, 2008

Rosemarie DeWitt is excited. It can be difficult to gauge emotion in the formal, slightly removed context of a phone interview, but DeWitt’s warm, clear voice betrays an eagerness right from the get-go, articulating thoughts at a pace that occasionally exceeds my shorthand. Only when addressing the heady buzz of awards season does she finally […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Gomorrah’ author Roberto Saviano

Posted by · 10:35 am · November 17th, 2008

I’m pretty sure that only in Hollywood can you find publicity mobilized behind a targeted man for the purposes of securing an Oscar nomination (and, of course, prepping a film release).  But there Roberto Saviano was yesterday at the…wait, I probably shouldn’t even mention the hotel should I? Saviano has been pegged for assassination (let’s […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Getting to know you

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 17th, 2008

This is the first season I can think of, at least since I’ve been covering this crazy beat on the west coast, that studios have become so terrified by the media that guild screenings are preempting press screenings with such consistency. Some have whined about “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” screening for SAG 10 […]

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My stance: ‘The Dark Knight’ will be nominated for Best Picture

Posted by · 11:28 am · November 15th, 2008

So much speculation has surrounded the possible inclusion of this tremendous film in the year’s final five.  And though there are those who believe it has no chance of happening, the majority has gradually seen otherwise. Where is written that entertaining films cannot be art? Where does it say that a box office smash cannot […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume One

Posted by · 11:48 am · November 13th, 2008

“Norbit.” “Click.” “The Time Machine.” “Life.” What do all of these dreadful films have in common? They are Oscar nominees because of the category of Best Makeup! I will give this branch kudos for often willing to think outside the box but they still manage to be quite bizarre in their choice of nominees more […]

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‘Dark Knight’ score officially DQ’d by Academy

Posted by · 8:01 pm · November 12th, 2008

UPDATE (8:14 p.m.): Now comes this story from Jon Burlingame at Variety (always well-informed on this stuff), spelling out the particulars: Sources inside the committee said that the big issue was the fact that five names were listed as composers on the music cue sheet, the official studio document that specifies every piece of music […]

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Is ‘Gomorrah’ this year’s ‘City of God’?

Posted by · 6:02 pm · November 12th, 2008

Since May, based on nothing but a gut feeling following the film’s Cannes reception, I’ve been predicting that Matteo Garrone’s astonishing “Gomorrah” would score nominations for Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing — in addition to a Best Foreign Language Film nod. (Garrone has recently slipped from my Best Director predictions, but he’s still […]

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Why does the Academy fear controversy?

Posted by · 10:52 am · November 12th, 2008

In 1969, the Academy saw fit to give “Midnight Cowboy” the award for Best Picture — a first ever for an X-rated film.  Some saw the moment as a bellwether signaling a new dawn for the group, that they were developing a growing acceptance for the films that would start coming at them around this […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 biopics

Posted by · 4:20 pm · November 11th, 2008

It’s no real secret that the Academy is partial to the biopic. Big or small, intimate or epic, celebratory or critical, they never seem to tire of the allure of actors channelling real-life figures, past and present. Lately, in the performance categories in particular, biopics have been the surest route to voters’ hearts, with seven […]

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Anthony Dod Mantle — it is time

Posted by · 11:47 am · November 9th, 2008

I don’t generally throw myself full force behind a contender with the kind of FYC spirit I’m about to project.  We all have our favorites and we all hope this person or that will finally get the recognition deserved, but it’s a different thing to full on advocate.  But today, I just can’t help myself. […]

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INTERVIEW: Mickey Rourke

Posted by · 10:02 am · November 9th, 2008

Mickey Rourke fucked up his career.  Who am I to say that though?  I don’t get to chastise the guy, pass judgment, even comment really.  It’s a cliche to say it, so why not be specific otherwise: Mickey Rourke had some shit to work out.  Who doesn’t? He looks at you with stone eyes that […]

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