TELLURIDE: Herzog’s latest lands at Sundance Selects, ‘Rum Diary’ looks like a go for the SHOW (or does it?)

Posted by · 10:52 am · September 2nd, 2011

Still no screenings yet here at Telluride. Most are up at the Patron Brunch smooching George Clooney’s rear at the moment. I’ve been on the porch of my B&B enjoying the crisp mountain air and doing a little work. Alejandro González Iñárritu popped in here with his family. He was here last year with “Biutiful” […]

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12/27 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Pond on original songs, rigging the ‘Grit’ game, coal for the year’s worst

Posted by · 8:35 am · December 27th, 2010

• Steve Pond offers his perspective on the Best Original Song race. [The Odds] • Jack Giroux talks “Rabbit Hole” with star Sandra Oh. [Film School Rejects] • Michael Cieply reveals how a shrewd publicity executive rigged the game in the favor of “True Grit” the first time around. [New York Times]

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11/11 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: R.I.P. Dino, screenwriters round table, Gonzalez Inarritu makes the press rounds

Posted by · 9:13 am · November 11th, 2010

• Legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis dies at 91. [Reuters] • Screenwriters round table with Aaron Sorkin, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, John Wells, Todd Phillips and David Lindsay-Abaire. [Hollywood Reporter] • Todd Gilchrist talks to “Conviction” director Tony Goldwyn about capturing reality and avoiding the “Oscar Bait” curse. [Speakeasy]

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Bardem on his role in González Iñárritu’s “masterpiece”

Posted by · 3:10 pm · September 28th, 2010

Following Mexico’s submission of “Biutiful” to the Academy yesterday, I wrote that I’m sceptical about the film’s chances of nabbing a Best Foreign Language Film nod — but if Roadside Attractions really put some welly into their campaign, a Best Actor nomination for Javier Bardem is looking quite conceivable. As a contender, the performance comes […]

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‘Biutiful’ enters foreign Oscar race

Posted by · 5:52 pm · September 27th, 2010

The list of submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar has been fairly short on widely-known auteur names thus far, so expect a lot of awards-watchers to zero in on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful,” which has just been announced as Mexico’s official entry in the race. As with “Pan’s Labyrinth” four years ago, the […]

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TELLURIDE: ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Biutiful’

Posted by · 10:31 pm · September 5th, 2010

Today was a long one here at Telluride.  Three screenings (which has been my consistency throughout the fest), an interview, transcribing, etc., etc.  The night mercifully brought little that interested me, so I’ve finally found some time to work. This afternoon started with a screening of one of Guy’s favorite films of the year, “The […]

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CANNES: What will win… and what should

Posted by · 8:47 am · May 23rd, 2010

Okay, so that took longer than I expected. I had hoped to get this post up last night, but instead got quite easily talked into a night on the tiles with a band of merry Film Dweebs led by James Rocchi — not the wisest idea with a morning flight to catch, but by the […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Biutiful” (**1/2)

Posted by · 1:11 pm · May 17th, 2010

Cannes Film Festival “How much does life weigh?” asked Alejandro González Iñárritu’s sophomore feature “21 Grams” – and while the literal answer was there in the title, it’s been clear from the rich buffet of human suffering in his films thus far that he believes it weighs rather a lot indeed. Brace yourselves, then, for […]

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‘Biutiful’ reactions reflect a tale of two movies

Posted by · 11:04 am · May 17th, 2010

Guy hasn’t pulled his full review of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful” together yet, though he will shortly.  Directly after this morning’s Cannes screening, he Tweeted that the film was “critically unfocused and emotionally muted,” and that “Inarittu clearly needs to kiss and make up with Arriaga.”  And judging by some of the reactions coming out […]

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First images, teaser poster for ‘Biutiful’

Posted by · 12:47 pm · May 9th, 2010

As I mentioned in my Cannes preview, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful” is the director’s first Spanish-language effort since his 2000 debut “Amores Perros.” That, combined with the star power of Javier Bardem, means more eyes on this one than most of its Competition rivals. Thanks to D*Hollywood for the film’s Cannes poster. Two stills after […]

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CANNES PREVIEW: Sizing up the Competition, part one

Posted by · 6:09 pm · May 6th, 2010

(This is the first of three Cannes preview pieces we’re running before my festival coverage begins on Wednesday. The first two will break down the 18 films in the running for this year’s Palme d’Or; the third will comb through potential highlights that lie outside the Competition, as well as listing my own most anticipated […]

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Cannes official selection unveiled, includes Leigh, Iñárritu

Posted by · 2:17 am · April 15th, 2010

Okay, before you ask, “The Tree of Life” is reportedly not ready — though the Cannes selection has apparently seen a cut, so never say never. Four slots in the competition lineup have yet to be filled. That aside, many of the expected names are present and correct, including former Cannes champs Leigh, Kiarostami, Mikhalkov, […]

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9/17 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:12 am · September 17th, 2009

• Success.  The Tokyo International Film Festival bows to global pressure and allows screening of “The Cove.” [Variety] • Jeffrey Wells gets a comment from festival jury chief Alejandro González Iñárritu. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Anne Thompson spends some quality time with Michael Moore. [Thompson on Hollywood]

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Has the Tokyo Film Festival declined to screen ‘The Cove?’

Posted by · 9:42 am · August 18th, 2009

UPDATE: Okay, Wells is now pointing to a two-week-old scoop from The Toronto Star’s Pete Howell that confirmed the Tokyo snub from “Cove” director Louie Psihoyos himself, so perhaps it is a done deal.  Shameful.  But two weeks?  Where’s the outcry here?  Did people just not see Howell’s piece?  Again, tell a friend… EARLIER: Jeffrey […]

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‘Burning Plain’ is Arriaga at his best

Posted by · 7:57 am · August 6th, 2009

Last night I caught Guillermo Arriaga’s “The Burning Plain,” and like Guy, I’m having trouble settling my thoughts on the piece.  I suppose our combined ponderings will have to serve as the film’s review here at In Contention, but unlike Guy’s relatively reserved recommendation, I have to say I wholeheartedly endorse it as perhaps Arriaga’s […]

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Mendes hiccup

Posted by · 12:04 pm · May 23rd, 2009

I’ve been on board for most every Sam Mendes film since the director made his heralded debut in 1999.  Even “Jarhead,” which was a big disappointment, had a lot of interesting ideas concerning the alienation of war and its effects on soldiers. I still think  last year’s “Revolutionary Road” (DVD coverage from John here) was […]

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‘Plain’ brings buzz for Theron

Posted by · 2:41 am · August 30th, 2008

I’ve already said how high my hopes are for “The Burning Plain,” the directorial debut from one of the most interesting screenwriters in the business, Guillermo Arriaga. Now the reviews are trickling in, and they’re — predictably — mixed. Variety, as is often the case these days, provides the major buzzkill, dismissing it as “an […]

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