In Contention

OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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VENICE: What will win… and what should

Posted by · 2:13 pm · September 9th, 2011

This year’s Competition strand of the Venice Film comprised 23 films — a large-ish number by major festival standards, and yet it still feels remarkably thin. Admittedly, I’m viewing the field with a slight eyepatch on, having only seen 17 of the 23 films. Yet compared to last year’s lineup — where the successes ranged […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 60 — A sprint Telluride recap, ‘Descendants,’ ‘Albert Nobbs,’ disagreeing on ‘Dangerous Method,’ thoughts on Eddie Murphy, Toronto preview (ish)

Posted by · 9:07 am · September 9th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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Oscar hopes for Venice flicks

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 6th, 2011

I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far. I was going to use it for today’s Off the Carpet column, but I published before he got around to it. Nevertheless, it’s worth boiling things down (from his perspective), so here’s what he’s thinking […]

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OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set […]

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TELLURIDE: Michael Fassbender and a tale of two movies

Posted by · 11:54 pm · September 4th, 2011

Today’s screening of “Shame” was the big note of anticipation for me at this year’s Telluride fest. After bowing in Venice earlier this morning to generally positive praise, my hopes were still high that Steve McQueen made good on the promise of “Hunger” three years ago. And did he ever. I’m tired, at the end […]

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TELLURIDE: Sony Classics, IFC and Searchlight party into the night

Posted by · 12:47 am · September 4th, 2011

I opted out of tonight’s screening of “Butter” largely because — sorry to say — the Galaxy theater is just too cramped and uncomfortable and hot to fully enjoy a film experience. For me, anyway. I tend to be a furnace regardless, but they need to pump some AC into that joint. By some accounts, […]

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REVIEW: “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:50 am · September 2nd, 2011

Venice Film Festival “Do you think they know we’re on our way, bringing them the plague?” So asks Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud of his younger colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as the two approach New York City to gift the untreated denizens of America with their equally grueling brands of psychoanalysis, in the closing stretch […]

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9/2 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Diary’ a TFF surprise?, Cronenberg talks ‘Method,’ Cody’s most anticipated

Posted by · 7:55 am · September 2nd, 2011

• Word is one of the big Telluride surprises is the Johnny Depp starrer “The Rum Diary.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • At Venice, is “Contagion” following “The Town”‘s awards playbook? (Uh…yeah.) [24 Frames] • Sticking with the Lido, Nick Vivarelli talks to “A Dangerous Method” director David Cronenberg. [Variety]

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TELLURIDE: Settling in for the 38th annual

Posted by · 2:42 pm · September 1st, 2011

So here I sit in Telluride, a nice view of the mountainside gondolas out the window, a swift flight and gorgeous shuttle ride later. As always, we were greeted with the festival program upon boarding the charter this morning, which also carried filmmakers Werner Herzog and Alexander Payne, actress Tilda Swinton, etc., their presence at […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 most anticipated films of the 2011-2012 Oscar season

Posted by · 8:11 am · August 30th, 2011

If you haven’t noticed, this week has pretty much launched our 2011-2012 Oscar season coverage in earnest. Since it has been ages since we dusted of our lists feature here at In Contention, it seemed a good way to peek into the season was offering up a personal list of anticipations. I’ve seen a few […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Fall fests look to boost early Oscar hopes

Posted by · 9:00 am · August 29th, 2011

On a warm Saturday afternoon in Telluride last year, I sat in the crowded Chuck Jones Cinema and felt the warmth in the room as Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” screened for its first audience of the year. Six months later, at the end of a road with plenty of twists and turns, the film’s […]

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8/29 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Help’ detractors racist?, Stoll on Hemingway, ‘Dangerous Method’ buzz

Posted by · 8:20 am · August 29th, 2011

Welcome to the new season… • “‘The Help’ isn’t racist. It’s critics are.” [The New Republic] • Pete Hammond takes note of indies looking to make Oscar plays this year. [Deadline] • Steve Pond talks to “Midnight in Paris” star Corey Stoll. [The Odds]

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Telluride guessing game

Posted by · 10:34 am · July 28th, 2011

(UPDATED: 8/29) Now that the Toronto and Venice line-ups have been unveiled (though we have a few more Toronto announcements to come), I figured I’d take a few stabs at sussing out the Telluride crop this year. I haven’t been a good journalist and called around or anything. Just spinning my wheels. One studio that […]

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Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

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‘A Dangerous Method’ UK trailer

Posted by · 11:04 am · June 21st, 2011

Yesterday, news dropped of the Venice Film Festival’s opening film; now, with the first look at David Cronenberg’s Lido-bound latest (courtesy of Empire), the autumn festival season is starting to feel alarmingly close. Given the hot cast and the highbrow material, many have been pegging this as a likely Oscar player, despite the fact that […]

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Sony Classics picks up Cronenberg’s ‘Dangerous Method’

Posted by · 1:09 pm · June 16th, 2011

Anyone else ready for Michael Fassbender to have a big fat coming out party this year? The press release, in part: Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the US Rights to David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD from UK based Hanway Films. The film, produced by Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR, SEXY BEAST), […]

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