Tailoring ‘Tailor’

Posted by · 5:56 pm · September 12th, 2011

One craft aspect I didn’t get around to praising in last week’s review of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is the immaculate costuming by Jacqueline Durran — a designer with only 11 feature credits under her belt, yet one who already seems something of an institution. Durran is one of those rare designers capable of equal […]

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Previewing BAFTA

Posted by · 2:15 am · February 12th, 2011

In the 10 years since they moved up in the calendar to pre-Oscar status, the BAFTAs have hovered uncertainly between complying with awards trends across the pond, thereby establishing themselves as a viable precursor, and stubbornly standing by their own – as in 2007, when they opted out of the Coen Brothers-P.T. Anderson faceoff by […]

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THE LONG SHOT: It was always you

Posted by · 5:52 pm · February 3rd, 2011

“Let me get this straight. The one’s about a precocious computer geek who’s also a bit of an asshole.” “Yeah.” “And the other’s about King George VI.” “Yeah.” “And King George VI has a disability.” “Well, he has a stutter. I mean, it’s not crippling or anything — ” “But it’s an obstacle that needs […]

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‘King’s Speech’ told to mind its language

Posted by · 6:33 pm · October 19th, 2010

Admittedly, this isn’t much of a story, but following last week’s furore over the NC-17 certificate handed to the starkly adult marital drama “Blue Valentine,” it’s amusing to see a rather more milquetoast Oscar hopeful having its own trouble with the ratings board. London’s Evening Standard paper reports that “The King’s Speech,” already rated R […]

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THE LONG SHOT: I’m just here for the movies

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 22nd, 2010

“You’re the Oscar guys, aren’t you?” asked the spike-heeled PR officer upon eyeing the press badge dangling from my neck, her voice exuding the steely sweetness they teach you on the first day of public relations boot camp. It was midway through the Venice Film Festival and I was too beat — or my mouth […]

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Telegraph predicts “global hit” for ‘Dagenham’

Posted by · 8:29 am · August 12th, 2010

Two weeks ago, when I made my first Oscar predictions of the 2010 season, I went out on a bit of a limb for “Made in Dagenham,” the upcoming true-life Britcom that will have its world premiere at Toronto next month. I have yet to see the film, but the story material, the talent involved […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Oscar nominee fields

Posted by · 12:47 pm · January 26th, 2010

In exactly one week’s time, we’ll have a brand new list of Oscar nominations to pore over, pick apart and eventually file away in our subconscious with the other 81 editions of this annual collective. For Oscar geeks, nomination day is in many ways more exciting than the ceremony itself, celebrating a broader spectrum of […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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THE LONG SHOT: What is an “Oscar movie” these days?

Posted by · 5:14 pm · October 21st, 2009

“God, that thing’s just going to shit Academy Awards out of its ass next year, isn’t it?,” I overheard a journo behind me remark to his companion, as I made my way out of the “Up in the Air” press screening on Sunday. “It’s such an Oscar movie.” Two things struck me as interesting about […]

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Wright returns to Britain

Posted by · 8:01 am · March 12th, 2009

We have yet to see how Joe Wright’s first foray into contemporary American cinema turned out, though the demotion of “The Soloist” from prime 2008 awards-bait to quiet 2009 spring release has had the sceptics whispering for some time now. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, Wright’s next project will find the “Atonement” helmer in the more familiar […]

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Andy Trudeau reviews the Oscar nominated scores for NPR

Posted by · 9:54 am · February 22nd, 2009

One of my favorite pre-Oscar specials is music critic Andy Trudeau’s analysis of the Oscar nominated original scores on NPR’s weekend edition.  He used to stretch the piece over two weekends and discuss the pieces with the show’s host, but this year he both waited until the last minute and did the piece as a […]

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Guessing the Globes

Posted by · 12:01 pm · January 11th, 2009

UPDATE: That pesky Best Actor (Comedy/Musical) category has been running through my head all day, and I’m still not happy with my conclusion. So I’m making a last minute switch to Colin Farrell. I’ll probably be proved wrong in a few hours, but hey — there’s gotta be a surprise somewhere. Right? EARLIER: Well, hello there. […]

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Will BAFTA stick by their own?

Posted by · 7:15 am · November 16th, 2008

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the BAFTA Awards. On the one hand, they can be far more daring and playful in their choices than the American Academy — this is an organisation, after all, that has handed their Best Film award to such enduring works as “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” […]

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Italy leads the charge at European Film Awards

Posted by · 6:12 pm · November 8th, 2008

Proof positive that 2008 is a banner year for Italian cinema: Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo,” both masterpieces of a very different stylistic ilk, lead all nominees for the European Film Awards, with five nominations apiece. Joing them in the hunt for Best European Film are “The Class” and “Happy-Go-Lucky,” which makes […]

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Hollywood Awards get the craft races rolling

Posted by · 4:38 am · September 3rd, 2008

I’ve never quite got a handle on what purpose the Hollywood Awards serve, since they frequently seem to honour achievements in still-unseen films. Their picks can be quite prescient (last year’s honorees included Marion Cotillard and Dante Ferretti), but they can frequently baffle too. (Based on “Charlie Wilson’s War,” did anyone really think that Stephen […]

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Can ‘Revolutionary Road’ be too good for film?

Posted by · 3:45 am · August 17th, 2008

It’s a slow month for news, so I understand that film bloggers’ minds can wander. I sympathize with that. But even taking that into account, Jeff Wells’ recent post outlining his doubts over the upcoming ‘Revolutionary Road’ struck me as pretty tenuous. Wells’ essential argument is that the film’s stumbling block looks to be the […]

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As Cannes winds down, TIFF looms…

Posted by · 9:35 am · May 23rd, 2008

With Cannes on the downswing, it becomes time to to start making preparations for the annual Toronto International Film Festival, for which screening announcements begin next month. I have been covering Toronto for more than 15 years and can safely say it is Christmas to a film critic. Each September I move into the Delta […]

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Could Robert Downey Jr. own this year?

Posted by · 6:36 am · April 30th, 2008

I remember when Robert Downey Jr. was cast in the role of Tony Stark for Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man,” my colleague David Poland made the shrewd observation that the former drug-addled wash-up was once again insurable. Not that I like putting such language to an actor I love so much, but the truth is, he […]

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