In Contention

Entries filed in: 'The Long Shot'

THE LONG SHOT: A toast to the douchebags

Posted by · 5:34 pm · February 24th, 2011

(Not-quite-final predictions here.) 176 days from the unofficial opening of my Oscar season — a breakfast-hour press screening of “Black Swan” on the first day of the Venice Film Festival — it’s fair to say I’m ready for the endgame. Aren’t we all? Whether you’re delighted or disappointed by where the awards trail has led […]

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THE LONG SHOT: It was always you

Posted by · 5:52 pm · February 3rd, 2011

“Let me get this straight. The one’s about a precocious computer geek who’s also a bit of an asshole.” “Yeah.” “And the other’s about King George VI.” “Yeah.” “And King George VI has a disability.” “Well, he has a stutter. I mean, it’s not crippling or anything — ” “But it’s an obstacle that needs […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t let ’em catch you caring

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 20th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here. They’ll likely be tweaked once more before Tuesday.) Following the Academy Award season is a little like watching a particularly low-rent TV soap: just as the mindlessness and predictability of the enterprise escalates to a point where quitting seems the only credible option, some or other narrative curveball will lure you […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Jawellnofine

Posted by · 10:10 am · January 13th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here.) It’s six years this month since I left Johannesburg for the sodden streets of London, so it could just be that I’m in a commemorative mood, but the endlessly useful South African idiom “jawellnofine” (mostly redundant translation: “yes… well… no… fine”) has been on my mind rather a lot this week. It’s […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A new year wishlist

Posted by · 6:55 pm · December 30th, 2010

[Guy’s updated predictions here.] Okay, I won’t lie to you: I initially conceived this column in my head last week as a Christmas Eve wishlist, but then got too busy mulling wine and Christmas shopping in Dublin snowdrifts to actually write it. So a New Year’s Eve wishlist it is, then. Under either name, with […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Follow the leader

Posted by · 3:56 pm · December 16th, 2010

[Updated Oscar predictions here.] Hey, have you heard of this movie called “The Social Network?” You should probably check it out. It’s about Facebook and stuff and it’s supposed to be really good. So good, in fact, that it’s managed to tame the single most argumentative species in the animal kigdom, The Lesser Spotted Film […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Critical mass

Posted by · 7:26 pm · December 9th, 2010

Guy’s updated Oscar predictions here. Just one week on from the first formal awards announcements of the season, the Oscar season may still be taking its first steps, but my personal interest in the precursor trail is nonetheless set to peak this very weekend. That, of course, is when the New York Film Critics Circle […]

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THE LONG SHOT: When you’re strange

Posted by · 8:05 pm · November 24th, 2010

(Updated predictions available here.) I shan’t often find room for Gaspar Noé’s name in a space ostensibly dedicated to the Oscar race, so bear with me if this seems an unlikely opening gambit, but inspiration for this week’s column began with a conversation about his fluorescent, drug-addled ghost story “Enter the Void.” A friend had […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Waiting for the miracle

Posted by · 7:50 pm · November 10th, 2010

(From here on out, my nomination predictions will be updated weekly to coincide with this column. Check them out here.) Tweed-coated and steam-breathed, winter formally arrived in my corner of the world this week, and with it the slightly grim realization that just over seven weeks remain of this year. I say “grim” not so […]

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THE LONG SHOT: British reserve

Posted by · 8:07 pm · October 28th, 2010

“The British are coming!” crowed screenwriter Colin Welland from the Oscar stage in 1982, hoisting aloft his just-awarded awarded statuette for “Chariots of Fire” – and anticipating one of the bigger upsets in the history of the Best Picture race, as the modest British sports drama upended Warren Beatty’s grand political epic “Reds.” His rallying […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Categorical denial

Posted by · 7:25 pm · October 20th, 2010

Wild-eyed, table-banging outbursts — sometimes of enthusiasm, more often of outrage — are an essential part of the floor show at any Oscar viewing party, but I’ve rarely seen one more unhinged than a friend’s reaction to Angelina Jolie’s (widely expected) Best Supporting Actress victory at the 1999 ceremony. “Who the hell was she supporting?” […]

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THE LONG SHOT: What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Posted by · 2:19 pm · October 14th, 2010

(A day later than usual — apologies.) After the London Film Festival raised its curtain last night with a typically flashy European premiere for Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” this morning’s papers and breakfast TV reports have been busy with chatter about what Britfilm’s two it-girls, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, were wearing; how […]

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THE LONG SHOT: When you wish upon a star

Posted by · 8:10 pm · October 6th, 2010

“Mila Kunis is so winning Best Supporting Actress this year,” remarked an independent filmmaker to me over drinks today, referring, of course, to the 27 year-old’s sly breakout turn in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” This was no idle fan statement. The man knew his Oscar onions – his theory was built upon established Academy affection […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Bait, switch

Posted by · 8:39 pm · September 29th, 2010

Whether you choose to believe them or not – and speaking for myself, I don’t quite – the media powers that be have currently reduced the 2010 Best Picture race to just two titles: “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech.” That’s entirely (and hopefully, lest things get too dull too soon) subject to change […]

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THE LONG SHOT: I’m just here for the movies

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 22nd, 2010

“You’re the Oscar guys, aren’t you?” asked the spike-heeled PR officer upon eyeing the press badge dangling from my neck, her voice exuding the steely sweetness they teach you on the first day of public relations boot camp. It was midway through the Venice Film Festival and I was too beat — or my mouth […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Happy Oscar (War Is Over)

Posted by · 8:01 am · March 4th, 2010

So this is Oscar. And what have you done? Speaking for myself, lately, not a hell of a lot. In the three weeks that this column has been on hiatus – apologies to the handful of you who missed it – it’s remarkable how little the O-word has been on my mind. Yes, I’ve been […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Now what?

Posted by · 4:59 pm · February 4th, 2010

A whole 31 days ahead of the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, the race already feels like it’s winding down. Of the precursors, only BAFTA and the lesser guilds (sorry, WGA, but you brought irrelevance upon yourself) lie in wait to distract us from a month of wafty speculation and idle editorializing. Trust me, you’re going […]

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THE LONG SHOT: The pre-nomination shuffle

Posted by · 6:53 pm · January 27th, 2010

This, ladies and gentlemen, will be the last Long Shot column I write before the 2009 Academy Award nominations are announced, and it’s not just because it’s the column’s 17th week that the well of subject matter is looking rather dry. I have followed longer awards seasons than this one (the awards used to take […]

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