Pixar on growing up, and playing for the big Oscar

Posted by · 12:08 pm · February 10th, 2011

As Kris noted in our Oscar Guide for Best Animated Feature (and whatever the Annie Awards would have you believe), the category doesn’t promise much of a race this year — as has been the case for the last three years running, Pixar faces an obstacle-free path to the award, despite quality competition. And with […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Nomination week

Posted by · 6:16 am · January 29th, 2011

• In case you’ve just emerged from a coma, “The King’s Speech” led the Oscar nominations on Tuesday with 12 bids. • “The King’s Speech” was also the surprise winner at the Producers’ Guild Awards, drastically shaking up the Best Picture race. • In the wake of these developments, Kris adjusted his winner predictions accordingly. […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Not one pundit?

Posted by · 5:28 am · January 28th, 2011

Thanks to reader Graysmith for pointing out this Hollywood Reporter piece, in which Tim Appelo poses the semi-annual small-beats-big argument about the Oscar nominees. To this end, he points to the Best Animated Feature category, where bijou art film “The Illusionist” beat out major money-spinners “Tangled” and “Despicable Me,” and gets this quote from understandably […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Animated Feature Film

Posted by · 9:36 am · January 27th, 2011

The animated feature field unfortunately fell one film short of the required 16 eligible contenders to expand the category to five nominees this year. As a result of this bewildering and arbitrary “rule,” some great work was left off the list in this, a pretty decent year for animation in general. Nevertheless, the animators proved […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Guide

THE LONG SHOT: A new year wishlist

Posted by · 6:55 pm · December 30th, 2010

[Guy’s updated predictions here.] Okay, I won’t lie to you: I initially conceived this column in my head last week as a Christmas Eve wishlist, but then got too busy mulling wine and Christmas shopping in Dublin snowdrifts to actually write it. So a New Year’s Eve wishlist it is, then. Under either name, with […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: The Long Shot

INTERVIEW: ‘The Illusionist’ producer Bob Last

Posted by · 6:44 pm · December 24th, 2010

It’s been over 10 months since I first reviewed Sylvain Chomet’s dazzling new animated feature “The Illusionist” at the Berlinale, and yet it only finds its way to US theaters tomorrow. A more appropriate film to unwrap on Christmas morning, however, you could not ask for.  Both a loving tribute to the creative legacy of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews

‘The Illusionist’ poster, featuring yours truly

Posted by · 4:01 am · November 3rd, 2010

Hey, have you heard that I kinda like a little animated picture called “The Illusionist?” I may have mentioned it once or twice here. Well, Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled a new one-sheet for the film, and while I normally get quite critical about the design aspects of posters, this one has my full approval […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Supporting ladies gather, London opens, Hardy goes to Gotham

Posted by · 8:28 pm · October 15th, 2010

• Off the Carpet picked out the likeliest runners in a highly malleable Best Supporting Actress race. • We checked in on the Best Animated Feature race, where it seems we may be looking at a three-nominee field after all. • Away from the awards beat, the week’s big news was the casting of Tom […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Brit critics flip for ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 7:25 am · August 23rd, 2010

Yeah, yeah, everybody loves “Toy Story 3.” Enchanting, amusing, heartbreaking… all those swell things. We hear it every year: Pixar shames every other Hollywood studio, transcends the limits of animation, etc, etc. Pencil in a second consecutive Best Picture nomination, and stick a fork in the Best Animated Feature race — for the fourth year […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

A glimpse of ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 7:43 am · February 23rd, 2010

The highlight of my Berlin trip last week, and handily my favorite film of this still-young year, Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” merits all the excruciating magic-based puns that critics will inevitably coin for it in 2010. To give you an idea of what I’m so excited about, the following Arte.tv video gives a taste of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The making of a surprise

Posted by · 7:43 am · February 16th, 2010

I think it’s fairly inarguable that this year’s most unexpected Oscar nomination was the deserved Best Animated Feature nod for “The Secret of Kells,” the Irish festival creeper that some journos even admitted to not having heard of. If you had your money on that one, you have my respect in addition to your fortune. […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: BFCA awards, Guilds triple, Rohmer passes

Posted by · 5:47 am · January 16th, 2010

• As you’ve just heard, “The Hurt Locker” emerged triumphant at the BFCA Critics’ Choice Awards. • Earlier this week, Éric Rohmer, sly giant of New Wave intellectualism, passed away at the age of 89. • That same day, “Avatar,” “The Hangover” and “Star Trek” were among the films nominated by the WGA. • The […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Fox’ vs. ‘Up’

Posted by · 1:09 pm · January 12th, 2010

I can’t help but wonder if there are some hard-working publicists out there getting in the ear of a few people, since we’ve had two pieces in as many days calling the race for Best Animated Feature a potential upset waiting to happen. Anyway, first, at The New York Times, Brooks Barnes uses LAFCA and […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Copycat alert: Globes switch to five animated nominees

Posted by · 4:59 pm · November 17th, 2009

As with the PGA’s switch to 10 Best Picture nominees, the ‘Simon Says’ power of the Academy continues to prove irresistible. Shortly after definite confirmation that the Oscars will be expanding the Best Animated Feature category from three nominees to five, comes news that the Golden Globes are following suit: Members of the Hollywood Foreign […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Reflections, early predix, animated contenders

Posted by · 4:32 am · November 14th, 2009

• Kris boldly offered some early winner predictions … I (and you) followed. • AMPAS unveiled the official list of 20 animated feature contenders, guaranteeing five eventual nominees. • This week’s Off the Carpet column picked through the leading Best Supporting Actor contenders. • In The Long Shot, we reflected on a handful of the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Strike that, make it 20 — AMPAS announces list of animated feature contenders

Posted by · 10:07 am · November 11th, 2009

Just moments after I posted about the animated feature Oscar race pushing 18 entrants, the Academy goes and corrects me by releasing the full slate, including Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” (I have to think way too hard about how to spell that damn title) and “The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer,” bringing […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily