An open letter to James Franco

Posted by · 4:32 pm · February 28th, 2011

Dear James, So you don’t think much of the Academy. That’s okay. A lot of us don’t. And after the outcome of last night’s awards — in which capping an inevitable Best Picture Oscar for the safe, stolid stylings of “The King’s Speech” with that extraneous Best Director win for a worried-looking Tom Hooper was […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The In Contention Readership Ballot

Posted by · 10:20 am · February 27th, 2011

Today’s the big day. No more Oscar Guide, no more polls, just a few choice hours left in the season and then, the 83rd annual. (And not a moment too soon.) I appreciate everyone participating in the daily polls this month and last, which accompanied each of our Oscar Guide entries. It offers us a […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Picture

Posted by · 8:11 am · February 26th, 2011

And so we come to the end of this year’s Oscar Guide, and the category that has been the cause of more conversation than ever this year: Best Picture. And that can’t be overstated. I can’t recall the last time the debate around a Best Picture winner was so heated, and I’m tempted to say […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

The five categories giving me hell

Posted by · 3:48 pm · February 25th, 2011

With a little over 48 hours until the big night, I find myself in an uncommon state of disarray — my crammed Oscar weekend “To Do” list includes viewing all 15 short nominees in order to make an informed dart-throw of a prediction (stickler that I am, I held out for a theatrical screening), preparing […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 8:40 am · February 25th, 2011

Yesterday we began our final look at the 10 crafts categories.  Check out part one here.  Today, the conclusion.  Meanwhile, you can find my final predictions in all categories here. Best Music (Original Score) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite their atypical approach to film music composition, are very much contenders in this race. Having […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Actor

Posted by · 9:52 am · February 23rd, 2011

The 2010 Best Actor race looks to end up exactly where it started, making it the most predictable category of the evening. In fact, as of late (save for the two Oscars Sean Penn won), this has consistently been one of the easier categories to call. Generally it seems that there is a clear favorite […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Film Editing

Posted by · 9:38 am · February 21st, 2011

I’m afraid you’ll find that I’m having trouble getting all that excited about this year’s race for Best Film Editing. How can I when the absolute best editing job of the year (from a true master, no less) was shunned altogether, while a cruel joke was played in the form of “Inception” editor Lee Smith […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

‘If I Rise’ music video

Posted by · 2:50 pm · February 17th, 2011

One of the earliest installments of this season’s Oscar Guide covered the Best Original Song category. It could be a tight race, though most are betting on Randy Newman (who we spoke to earlier today) taking his second Oscar, for “We Belong Together.” Another strong possibility, especially given its Best Picture nomination, is “127 Hours” […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Score)

Posted by · 10:39 am · February 16th, 2011

Recently the International Film Music Critics Association were the last critics group to offer their (specialized) thoughts on the 2010 film year. The announcement made for an interesting counter to the year in score awardage. And the eventual nominees for Best Original Score reflected, if nothing else, a continued break with tradition. The music branch […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

2/14 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Remembering 1939, Finke talks to Pascal, Marion Cotillard in ‘The Dark Knight Rises?’

Posted by · 9:28 am · February 14th, 2011

• Patrick Goldstein remembers 1939: “When 10 great Oscar nominees really meant 10 great nominees.” [The Big Picture] • Nikki Finke talks to Sony honcho Amy Pascal in the wake of “The Social Network”‘s post-season stall. [Deadline] • Marnie Hanel chats with “127 Hours” production designer Suttirat Larlarb, with sketches to boot. [Little Gold Men]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Desplat leads International Film Music Critics nods

Posted by · 10:18 am · February 11th, 2011

Alexandre Desplat has enjoyed a brilliant career in U.S. features as of late (on the back of immense talent, naturally).  2010 was a grand year for the composer as he, once again, balanced scoring duties on a number of notable films. Today, the final announcement from the critics awards circuit has landed in the form […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Posted by · 10:05 am · February 7th, 2011

This year’s race for Best Adapted Screenplay has seemingly been the most predictable of the year. One script has dominated the precursor circuit and the name behind that script is as worthy as ever given his contributions to the medium over the years. I’m not particularly a fan of this slate. One script is an […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

Best Original Song performances are back

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 4th, 2011

The Academy’s Twitter feed just noted the following: You heard it 1st: Best Song performances are back for 83rd #Oscars! Gwyneth Paltrow set to sing…more on the way. To which I say: Great.  It was grossly disrespectful, I thought, to suddenly jerk them from the telecast last year (and if you heard some of the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SANTA BARBARA: Ladies love cool James

Posted by · 3:04 pm · January 30th, 2011

Last night saw the presentation of the Outstanding Performance of the Year honor to “127 Hours” star James Franco at Santa Barbara fest, and it’s one of the best tributes I’ve seen here.  But it didn’t start out that way. Franco was late getting out of Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for next month’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

TECH SUPPORT: Analyzing the nominees

Posted by · 11:53 am · January 28th, 2011

So the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced this week, and I did fairly well in handicapping the nominees. Outside of Best Sound Mixing, I never missed more than one nominee in a category. Unfortunately, there were no categories where I scored 100% (apart from Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Oh well. […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Song)

Posted by · 9:09 am · January 28th, 2011

The music branch’s process of nominating in the Best Original Song category changed a few years ago.  Members now screen clips and view contenders as used within the context of their films.  It generally means music used organically has a better shot than the usual closing credits fluff of yore. That rule change has also, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

Young stars speak out on ‘The Social Network’

Posted by · 11:51 am · January 27th, 2011

Newly minted Oscar nominee James Franco caused a bit of a ripple in the blogosphere the other day by casually slighting “The Social Network” — claiming the film fails to deal with the communication revolution that (to his mind) it’s supposed to be about, and further suggesting that its approach is too “classical” (read: conservative) […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

My dream Oscar ballot, part one

Posted by · 1:22 pm · January 22nd, 2011

For the past two years running, I’ve celebrated Oscar Nomination Eve by assembling my own ideal (and, usually, incredibly far-fetched) ballot, so here we go again. As well as a kind of last-ditch prayer to the Oscar gods, I also look on it as a salute to the worthy contenders who haven’t a hope in […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily