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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Oren Moverman, Kurt Cobain and the biopic

Posted by · 12:42 pm · July 19th, 2010

One of my favorite current film writers, Ryan Gilbey, has an excellent piece in today’s Guardian on the subject of biopics — in particular, on the rise of the postmodern biopic in the face of Hollywood’s increasingly tepid stabs at the form. It’s a good read, but far better is the unabridged version of the […]

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‘Transformers,’ ‘Lost’ lead Razzie nods

Posted by · 7:04 am · February 1st, 2010

I don’t really have much time for the Razzie Awards, since I think they’re a pretty lazy execution of a great idea. By all means single out the year’s artistic underachievers for censure, but why pick such easy targets as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers? If I ran the Razzies, I’d use them to […]

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Neither here nor there, BUT…

Posted by · 10:24 am · January 2nd, 2010

…I just realized that only two films have held the pic slot above the Best Picture predictions in the right sidebar all year long. Those two films? “Amelia” and “Nine.”

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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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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 7:12 pm · November 19th, 2009

Some categories haven’t had that much renewal since I last reviewed them. Best Original Score is an exception. Principally, this is because the category is very difficult to judge before hearing the scores, not to mention last minute personnel changes (as composers always seem to be the most disposable members of film crews). As I […]

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Desperate measures

Posted by · 9:36 am · November 19th, 2009

After “Amelia” took in just £49,000 (just over $82,000) in 133 theatres — less than “The White Ribbon” managed on 18 screens — last weekend, the film’s UK distributors are trying a new strategy: Oh dear.

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Studio FYC sites on the march

Posted by · 9:32 am · November 11th, 2009

It’s that time of year, when studios roll out their awards-centric websites for films in play.  You get screening info, news and notes, reminders of how AMAZING their films are (with critical quotes to back it up), goodies like screenplays and such, etc.  It’s a good way to see how wide the net is cast […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Art Direction — Volume II

Posted by · 11:01 am · November 5th, 2009

When I first addressed the race for Best Art Direction in August, I spoke of how the branch tends to favor period pieces and fantasy films. Considering the research involved in the former and the often showy creativity on display in the latter, this is hardly surprising. That said, I often feel badly for exceptional […]

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11/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:07 am · November 5th, 2009

• Anthony Breznican on the opening of “A Christmas Carol” and the early holiday grab. [USA Today] • Dissecting “Amelia”‘s troubled road to the screen. [Hollywood Reporter] • Hugh Jackman gives newly tapped Oscar hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin his blessing. [Vulture]

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THE LONG SHOT: Critical condition

Posted by · 1:25 pm · November 4th, 2009

Ahead of its U.S. release this week, there is a wave of mild surprise in the blogosphere over the fact that “Precious,” the film deemed by some (yours truly included) to be the present Best Picture frontrunner, is currently sitting on a lowly Metacritic score of 57. Fitting neatly with the largely media-fabricated talk of […]

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Fox Searchlight looks to salvage season with potential 2009 release for ‘Crazy Heart’

Posted by · 10:23 am · November 4th, 2009

Just when you thought last year’s Best Picture victor was down for the count, Fox Searchlight goes and shakes things up in November. First, some background… When we kicked off our coverage of the 2009-2010 Oscar season a year in advance, one of the more anticipated titles was Scott Cooper’s “Crazy Heart,” based on the […]

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10/27 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:40 am · October 27th, 2009

• Patrick Goldstein thinks tapping Ricky Gervais as emcee suddenly classes up the Golden Globes. [The Big Picture] • In case you’ve missed it, a thorough and, I’d say, fair profile of James Cameron in 11,000 words. [New Yorker] • Mel Gibson admits the subject of his Oscar-winning biopic “Braveheart” was a “monster.” [The Times]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Jigsaw scared off by ‘Paranormal Activity’

Posted by · 12:03 pm · October 25th, 2009

Four weeks after opening on 12 screens with only midnight shows, “Paranormal Activity” has topped the box office and made mincemeat out of the “Saw” series. Paramount’s no-budget thriller earned $22 million this weekend on 1,945 screens and saw its total stretch past $60 million. This type of ascent to the summit hasn’t been seen […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Oscar prods, Gotham nods, ‘Amelia’ clods

Posted by · 9:08 am · October 24th, 2009

• The Academy finally named the producers for next year’s Oscar telecast, first-timers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic. • All of which added weight to the speculation that Hugh Jackman might return as host. • The Gotham Awards provided the season with its first set of nominees, though it inspired more talk for its omissions. […]

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Tell us what you thought of ‘Amelia’

Posted by · 10:50 am · October 23rd, 2009

I’ve already added my thoughts on today’s big release, both off the cuff and then in detail in this morning’s installment of Oscar Talk. Enough about me, what about you? If you happen to see the film over the weekend (though a rough critical assessment might have driven those numbers down), come on back here […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 7 — ‘Amelia,’ Hollywood film fest, Gothams, supposed ‘Precious’ backlash and more

Posted by · 10:17 am · October 23rd, 2009

Welcome to the seventh installment of Oscar Talk, a weekly kudocast between yours truly and Anne Thompson of indieWIRE’s Thompson on Hollywood.  Anne is calling from London today, where she’s gearing up for a weekend of London film fest screenings and events. Topics on today’s agenda: • Today’s big release, “Amelia,” finally crossed the bow […]

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10/23 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 7:52 am · October 23rd, 2009

• Pete Hammond follows up on the Academy’s foreign screenings, plus more. [Notes on a Season] • Like me, Steven Zeitchik senses a little “Slumdog” in “Precious.” [Risky Business] • David Poland catches some intriguing similarities between the recently released “Invictus” and a number of other posters from Eastwood flicks. [The Hot Blog]

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