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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Filed in: The Long Shot

OFF THE CARPET: A spade is a spade

Posted by · 11:10 am · December 28th, 2009

Oscar ballots are being mailed to AMPAS members today.  So now is the time to pay attention to the buzz, as most ballots are returned within the first couple of weeks (which says everything you need to know about how much time and care is put into the process by voters). However, it’s somewhat amazing […]

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Filed in: Off the Carpet

Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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The Great Performances: 2004

Posted by · 6:35 pm · December 11th, 2009

In Alexander Payne’s “Sideways,” Paul Giamatti gave the best performance by an actor in 2004, so said the New York Film Critics Circle, and how right they were.  So why, why, why was the actor denied an Oscar nomination?  Granted, it was a strong year, but his work was at the top of that heap […]

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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting gentlemen

Posted by · 9:10 am · November 9th, 2009

In recent weeks we’ve been covering the performance categories in this space.  With little else of tangible interest, what else can we possibly discuss?  It’s as good a time as any to take note of what we have on our hands.  Be sure to check out our looks at Best Actor, Best Actress and Best […]

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‘An Education’: more than Mulligan

Posted by · 9:31 am · October 20th, 2009

At this morning’s press screening for “An Education,” which has its UK premiere at the London Film Festival tonight, I was impressed afresh by what a layered, deceptively gentle and generally terrific little picture it is. Some have complained that it’s a little too soft, a little too easy — though only its overly pat […]

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‘Education’ on the march

Posted by · 9:30 am · October 6th, 2009

I didn’t really talk too much about Lone Sherfig’s “An Education” when I saw it a few months ago beyond starting the drum circle on Alfred Molina’s wonderfully warm, authentic performance.  But I find the film on my mind more and more with an October 9 limited release right around the corner. The film is […]

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Supporting actors, step forward

Posted by · 9:19 am · October 1st, 2009

A while back, certain folks were (rather unfairly) dredging up the routine annual complaint about the supposed scarcity of viable Best Actress contenders. Dave Karger, however, has located the real weak spot of this year’s awards race, and it concerns the opposite sex for a change: where, he asks, are the Best Supporting Actor standouts? […]

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TELLURIDE: ‘An Education,’ ‘Bright Star,’ ‘London River’

Posted by · 10:24 am · September 4th, 2009

This year’s Telluride fest is slowly gearing up.  There are a handful of press screenings this afternoon and the opener, Marco Bellochio’s “Vincere,” is set to play at 5:00pm.  I’ll probably miss that in order to take in “The Last Station,” which if it picks up a buyer, could make good on awards potential for […]

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Plumping for Pike in ‘An Education’

Posted by · 5:30 am · July 12th, 2009

It seems that Lone Scherfig’s British period drama “An Education” continues to steal the heart of pretty much everyone who sees it — this has been near the top of my “most anticipated” list for some time now. You may remember a recent piece where Kris, while echoing the resounding praise for the film and […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Academy expands, Malden passes

Posted by · 5:05 pm · July 3rd, 2009

• This week’s Off the Carpet column took a long, hard look at the ramifications of a 10-nominee Best Picture race. • As the popular game of expanding past fields to ten continued, we joined in the speculation. • Meanwhile, AMPAS added 134 members to its voting body, from Seth Rogen to Danny Boyle to […]

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Stumping for Molina in ‘An Education’

Posted by · 10:04 am · June 30th, 2009

I’m late to the table in some sense given that Lone Sherfig’s “An Education” dazzled audiences five months ago at the Sundance Film Festival.  But after catching the film last night, I was left with one mission: spread the word on Alfred Molina. Most of the end-of-year awards talk will surely surround Carey Mulligan’s absolutely […]

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Filed in: Daily