1/21 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:25 am · January 21st, 2010

• Cathy Yan chats with “Up in the Air” star Anna Kendrick. [Speakeasy] • James Schamus sets to work on “tragic, suicidally depressing” script for Ang Lee.  Terrific. [Hollywood Reporter] • Peter Bradshaw saddles back up to “Toy Story 2,” with a father’s eye. [The Guardian]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t look back in anger

Posted by · 2:20 pm · November 11th, 2009

For all the movement in the awards game this week – Jeff Bridges leap-frogging into contention, the animation race swelling to five nominees, “Precious” continuing to gather momentum – my head hasn’t really been in it this week. That’s partly because we’re all still making blind prognoses until four unseen juggernauts – “Nine,” “Avatar,” “The […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Minority report

Posted by · 5:49 pm · October 15th, 2009

When the Academy Awards roll around in March, it will have been precisely two decades since the unlikely figure of Kim Basinger blasted Academy voters’ conservatism on air at the 1989 ceremony, with specific regard to their sidelining of “Do the Right Thing,” Spike Lee’s groundbreaking study of urban interracial tension. “We’ve got five great […]

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Man down in Venice

Posted by · 9:52 am · September 9th, 2009

Whether due to general festival raggedness or some iffy shrimp, I’ve been decidedly under the weather today, and a day spent in a darkened movie theater was not the obvious solution. So I’m writing to you from a quiet cafe on a canalside terrace near the Biennale site, where a combination of sunshine and pistachio […]

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8/31 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:36 am · August 31st, 2009

• With “Luke and Brie are on a First Date” finding its way to an Amazon release, our own Chad Hartigan gets his film re-reviewed. [Spout Blog] • Stephen Zeitchik wants to know why Ang Lee can’t catch a break. [Risky Biz Blog] • Gregory Ellwood sees (er, hears) awards prospects in Alexandre Desplat’s “Coco […]

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8/18 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:46 am · August 18th, 2009

• “District 9” and the legacy of high-brow sci-fi. [Film School Rejects] • Roger Ebert talks “Inglourious Basterds” with Quentin Tarantino. [Chicago Sun-Times] • Patrick Goldstein weighs in on the Redbox brouhaha. [The Big Picture]

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Ang Lee re-cutting ‘Ride with the Devil’

Posted by · 10:59 am · August 10th, 2009

Guy briefly mentioned this in Friday’s round-up, but I thought I’d address it more fully here. I kind of feel like I owe it to myself and to Ang Lee to give his forthcoming re-edit of “Ride with the Devil” a look.  This is, of course, despite a severe personal disinterest that settled in when […]

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8/7 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:54 am · August 7th, 2009

• Patrick Goldstein revisits a collection of filmmakers’ tributes to John Hughes, “the Tolstoy of American teenagers.” [The Big Picture] • The irrepressible Pedro Almodovar talks aging, Cruz and “Broken Embraces.”  On a side note, how sweet is the photo to the right? [Daily Telegraph] • Meryl Streep has a problem with male bloggers. Love you […]

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Venice finalizes jury, readies lineup

Posted by · 12:48 am · July 30th, 2009

The competition lineup for the 66th Venice Film Festival is due later today, but ahead of that major announcement, other bits and bobs relating to to yesterday’s fest have been trickling through recently. Yesterday organisers announced the complete (and pleasantly eccentric) jury lineup. It’s been known for some time that it will be headed by Ang […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Taking the temperature

Posted by · 2:10 pm · May 25th, 2009

It’s somewhat surprising that our year-in-advance Oscar coverage is only three months old.  That now ancient list of predictions seems so long ago, and yet, even with Cannes behind us and this or that indication of a few of the contenders, I have no idea how to offer an educated update beyond general housekeeping.  The […]

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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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‘Taking Woodstock’ fizzles at Cannes

Posted by · 3:20 am · May 16th, 2009

Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” appears to have provided Cannes with its first high-profile disappointment. While it doesn’t appear to be a disaster by any means, the general consensus appears to be that it doesn’t meet the very high standard Lee set for himself with his last two features. Allan Hunter at Screen Daily finds much […]

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Cannes: sizing up the Competition, part one

Posted by · 7:45 am · May 11th, 2009

With the Cannes Film Festival only two days away, it’s time to take a long hard look (or just a look, if you prefer) at the 20 films in contention for the Palme d’Or, a typically eclectic bunch married by only one factor: all but one are from directors who have been in the race […]

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Ang Lee’s ‘Taking Woodstock’ gets a trailer

Posted by · 12:54 am · March 26th, 2009

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Ang Lee takes on ‘Pi’

Posted by · 4:02 pm · February 18th, 2009

Few film projects in recent years have come with as formidable a chain of prospective directors attached than Fox 2000’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling 2002 Booker Prize winner “Life of Pi.” First M. Night Shyamalan was on board — which, admittedly, might have been a more appealing prospect five years ago. The next name […]

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SANTA BARBARA: ‘Truth,’ Winslet light up the town

Posted by · 12:20 am · January 24th, 2009

I’ll dig into individual film reviews in due time.  It’s been a slow start up here in Santa Barbara but the first two nights have been charming enough. Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But the Truth” gets better and better each time I see it, particularly where Lurie’s work as a writer is concerned.  Some beats are […]

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Why does the Academy fear controversy?

Posted by · 10:52 am · November 12th, 2008

In 1969, the Academy saw fit to give “Midnight Cowboy” the award for Best Picture — a first ever for an X-rated film.  Some saw the moment as a bellwether signaling a new dawn for the group, that they were developing a growing acceptance for the films that would start coming at them around this […]

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Ang Lee takes Woodstock

Posted by · 4:20 am · August 6th, 2008

Here’s what I love about Ang Lee: there is simply no way of anticipating what his next project is going to be. So far, the decade has seen him bounce from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to “Hulk” to “Brokeback Mountain” to “Lust, Caution” – a group arguably linked by thematic concerns of outsider identity, but […]

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