indieWIRE lists the decade’s worst Oscar snubs

Posted by · 2:59 pm · November 12th, 2009

The end-of-decade reflective mood is obviously catching. In yesterday’s Long Shot column, I looked back on the last ten years of the Academy Awards, singling out some of their most inspired choices and positive developments. You responded in great numbers, rare goodwill towards the Academy dominating the comments thread for a change. Of course, however, […]

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Did I miss this?

Posted by · 4:49 pm · October 31st, 2009

A Baz Luhrmann travel commercial for Australia called “Come Walkabout” starring Brandon Walters.  The spots aired last year but I never saw one until I did on a plane this afternoon.  My first reaction (when I realized it was  a commercial), was that it was a shame to see the single best part of Luhrmann’s […]

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Jeunet and Tautou reunite for Chanel ad

Posted by · 4:40 pm · May 7th, 2009

In a neat (and surely not entirely coincidental) turn of events, Audrey Tautou succeeds Nicole Kidman as the face of Chanel No. 5, in the same season that she’s attracting positive notices for playing Chanel herself. Her tenure begins with this typically lush commercial, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet with the same burnished color palette and […]

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12/22 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:02 am · December 22nd, 2008

• The “Seven Pounds” dogpile continues. [/Film] • Ditto Baz Luhrmann and “Australia.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Regarding Luhrmann, Peter Bart warns the director away from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gasby.” [Peter Bart] • David Gritten talks to Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy about critics’ favorite “Slumdog Millionaire.” [Daily Telegraph] • Donna Freydkin spends some […]

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12/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 4:07 am · December 19th, 2008

(This is your “don’t fly Continental — EVER” edition of the In Contention Oscarweb Round-up, brought to you live from Houston’s George Bush International Airport, a.k.a. Satan’s womb.) • Jeff Wells actually thinks there were “stunners” in yesterday’s SAG announcement. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland talks with a chin-up Baz Luhrmann. [The Hot Blog] • […]

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12/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 10:20 am · December 2nd, 2008

• Kim Voynar wants to know where the love is for foreign contender “Tony Manero.” [Film Essent] • Peter Knegt and Eugene Hernandez go back and forth on the upcoming Gotham awards, among other things. [indieWIRE] • Jeff Wells keeps banging the drum for Richard Jenkins in a cone of silence. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Oh […]

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11/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:34 am · November 26th, 2008

• Jeff Wells is beside himself because Oscar prognosticators understand “Che” has a snowball’s chance in hell at a best Picture nomination. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Noah Forrest podcasts “Changeling” screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. [Movie City News] • Anne Thompson gets the “Australia” goods from Hugh Jackman. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Tom O’Neil, meanwhile, wonders if […]

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REVIEW: “Australia” (**1/2)

Posted by · 10:22 pm · November 19th, 2008

God bless Baz Luhrmann.  There are few directorial talents with the energetic potential he brings to his projects.  Danny Boyle comes to mind.  On good days, Fernando Meirelles does as well.  But one thing each of these filmmakers capitalizes on through their complicated sense of visual storytelling is the power of intimacy in the scripts […]

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It’s not just Oprah

Posted by · 7:40 am · November 19th, 2008

Looking across the early reviews, I think it’s fair to say that “Australia” has cleared the first hurdle. They’re mixed, for sure — hardly new territory for Baz Luhrmann — but there’s a lot of admiration out there, even within the kvetching. There were a number of voices out there anticipating an outright disaster, but […]

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11/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:43 am · November 19th, 2008

• David Poland misses the stylistic point of “Revolutionary Road.” [The Hot Blog] • Anne Thompson is on the right track, though. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Dave Karger digs into the Oscar prospects of the elusive “Seven Pounds.” [Entertainment Weekly] • Pete Hammond covers the week in screenings, much of which you’ve already read here.  […]

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Is ‘Australia’ really in the Academy’s wheelhouse?

Posted by · 5:55 pm · November 10th, 2008

I haven’t hidden the fact that I’m in the tank for Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia,” or at least I hope to be — when we’re eventually allowed to see it. It is, bar none, my personal most-anticipated title of the next two months, sink or swim. I am, however, beginning to get nervous about its Oscar […]

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Luhrmann: “It’s not naturalism”

Posted by · 4:07 pm · November 3rd, 2008

Baz Luhrmann’s massive “Australia” keeps hurtling nearer, with the director apparently in an editing-room frenzy to have it ready in time. A new trailer and poster emerged last week, together with word that the film is hovering around the 170-minute mark. Fine by me — if that’s the scale of the project, then so be […]

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Make a movie, win a trip to Oz

Posted by · 7:11 am · October 25th, 2008

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume One

Posted by · 11:29 am · October 9th, 2008

The Academy Award for Best Costume Design recognizes, shock of shocks, the clothes and accessories worn by actors in a film.  Clothing can add to the story and express the nature and situation of the characters who wear them. If a single word could be used to describe this category, it would be “period.”  31 of […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume One

Posted by · 11:56 am · October 2nd, 2008

“Wait a minute, wait a minute.  You ain’t heard nothing yet!” Those words from Al Jolson forever changed filmmaking in 1927, ushering in “talkies” and bringing about the beginning of the end of the silent film era. The Academy Award for sound mixing recognizes the artists who fashion a film’s audio side.  It must be […]

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New ‘Australia’ trailer

Posted by · 11:38 am · September 29th, 2008

I decided to wait on posting this until it landed on YouTube or some other embeddable format. I’ve been hearing some good things about Hugh Jackman’s performance all along, but for some reason, he’s never cracked my Best Actor chart.  It’s a crowded field, but anyway, this is a great trailer.  I’m a Baz supporter […]

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Baz Luhrmann on his “crushing ambition”

Posted by · 6:57 am · September 14th, 2008

I’ve already expressed my eagerness for Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia,” probably my single most anticipated film of the year. I was thoroughly enraptured by the trailer that had many others passing snide pre-judgments on the film. (Bizarrely, words like “corny” and “artificial” were frequently thrown up as pejoratives, indicating that the self-irony of Luhrmann’s previous work […]

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‘Australia’ steps aside for Bond

Posted by · 5:42 am · August 28th, 2008

Jeff Wells reports that the release date for Baz Luhrmann’s vast period romance “Australia” has been pushed back from November 14 to November 26. Fair enough – I wouldn’t want to go up against “Quantum of Solace” either. Given that it seems to have become fashionable to beat up on “Australia,” sight unseen, there will […]

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