On the origins of ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

Posted by · 8:38 am · August 2nd, 2011

Sean Durkin’s stunning debut feature “Martha Marcy May Marlene” has been running a steady marathon in terms of buzz-building ahead of its late-October release: first came breathless critical plaudits and the Best Director prize at Sundance in January, while a well-received appearance in the Un Certain Regard strand at Cannes kept things humming through the […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Posted by · 10:33 am · January 31st, 2011

The race for Best Original Screenplay is full of worthy competitors this year.  Four Best Picture nominees and the year’s best screenplay period make up the field, and even if there are a few that should have been in the mix, I find it difficult to argue with what squeaked through in the end. The […]

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Predict the WGA and Scripter nominees

Posted by · 11:25 am · January 3rd, 2011

Also speaking up tomorrow will be the WGA (Writers Guild of America).  The recently revealed list of ineligibilities makes picking this group’s choices much more fun, though it still kinda stinks because you know some of the best scripts of the year will be spectators. Last year the beneficiaries of the purge (which ultimately missed […]

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FIRST HALF FYC: Best Screenplay (Original and Adapted)

Posted by · 1:17 pm · December 14th, 2010

For the third episode in our new Oscar-season feature, we take a recess from the acting races and look instead to the screenplays that roped the actors in to begin with. If you’re new to the feature (or even if you aren’t), the game is simple: railing against awards voters’ usual bias towards late-year releases, […]

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Christopher Nolan’s interview with brother Jonathan in the ‘Inception’ shooting script

Posted by · 6:49 pm · December 7th, 2010

If you’ve been itching for more “Inception,” this week will likely be a good one for you.  The DVD/Blu-ray hits shelves today, packed with plenty of features that’ll keep you geek-gasming all the way into the holiday and through awards season. One item that’s been on the market for a few months now is “Inception: […]

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Leigh and Manville on their 30-year collaboration

Posted by · 6:35 pm · October 5th, 2010

As you probably know, I’m rooting hard for seasoned character actress Lesley Manville to get her first Oscar nod this year for Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” — and the quality of her piercing tragicomic performance isn’t the only reason. For a director renowned for his close relationship with a regular, rotating crew of actors, the […]

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Could Sorkin’s ‘Social Network’ be considered original?

Posted by · 6:10 pm · September 17th, 2010

I’ve been hearing for a while now that Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for “The Social Network,” credited in the film as an adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires” (covered by Guy in Page to Screen here), could conceivably be considered an original work by the Academy. The first clue was the fact that Sorkin and […]

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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 […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Posted by · 11:54 am · March 5th, 2010

Best Original Screenplay: 2009’s most difficult category to predict. Why? Certainly not because of each contender’s merits (when does that ever come into play with the Academy). No, this field is a hair-puller because you have a vibrant, likable personality up against the Best Picture frontrunner, always a recipe for a close race (and, sometimes, […]

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12/31 Oscarweb Round-up (NEW YEAR’S EVE EDITION)

Posted by · 8:02 am · December 31st, 2009

• Tom O’Neil serves some crow up to a few colleagues while failing to understand that his prize pony needed a few films to underwhelm in order to be in the position it’s in. [Gold Derby] • David Poland crunches the “Avatar” numbers yet again.  The film is still…almost…breaking records. [The Hot Blog] • Neill […]

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11/27 Osarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:35 am · November 27th, 2009

• The significance of “Nine” for Anthony Minghella’s legacy. [The Guardian] • Steven Zeitchik catches on to the year’s thin original screenplay race and bangs the drum for “Sugar.” [Risky Business] • Lauren Shucker talks “Up in the Air” with director Jason Reitman. [Wall Street Journal]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Doc shortlist, honorary Oscars and more

Posted by · 6:38 pm · November 20th, 2009

• The shortlist of contenders for the documentary Oscar was announced, surprising many — we dug into it a little. • The season’s first Oscars were handed out, as Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis, Roger Corman and John Calley were celebrated at the Governors’ Awards. • This week’s Off the Carpet column broke down the wide-open […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Original players

Posted by · 2:44 pm · November 16th, 2009

When I had the unmitigated gall last week to project a set of winners for this year’s Oscar race, I was a bit startled at how easy Mark Boal’s script for “The Hurt Locker” slid into the Best Original Screenplay slot.  Looking over the landscape of contenders in the category, it’s a little obvious why […]

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British critics fall hard for ‘The White Ribbon’

Posted by · 4:18 pm · November 13th, 2009

American audiences will have to wait until 30 December to see Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon,” but today marks the film’s UK release — and critically, at least, it’s off to a flying start. The film has received unanimously glowing notices in the four major British broadsheets, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw […]

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11/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:07 am · November 3rd, 2009

• Documentary filmmaker whose work inspired the book “The Men Who Stare at Goats” seeks brutal vengeance for being “airbrushed” out of the film. [The Independent] • Jeff Wells sings the praises of “A Single Man” actor Nicholas Hoult. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland talks to honorary Oscar recipient Roger Corman. [Movie City News]

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“Do or die, Bed-Stuy”

Posted by · 4:59 pm · July 7th, 2009

Like others, we’ve been paying mind on these pages to the 20th anniversary of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” a film that now finds itself in the odd position of being both a period piece and a still-resonant state-of-the-nation address. Certainly nothing in the two decades since its release has surpassed it as a […]

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Hammond, O’Neil debate the original screenplay race

Posted by · 12:37 pm · February 17th, 2009

Everyone’s wondering lately whether “WALL-E” can pull off an upset in the original screenplay category as of late, taking down the only Best Picture nominee of the bunch in the process: Dustin Lance Black’s “Milk.”  Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil cornered Pete Hammond recently to debate just that, as well as some discussion on the adapted […]

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Writing the silences

Posted by · 3:14 pm · February 14th, 2009

Hard as it may be to believe, it seems there are a lot of people in and around the industry who don’t fully understand what a screenplay is — who think that ‘writing’ equals ‘dialogue.’ This makes it all the more laudable that the Academy’s writing branch recognised “WALL-E,” a film that hinges, of course, […]

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