On the ballots wasted under new Best Pic rules

Posted by · 7:19 am · June 23rd, 2011

Since the Academy announced its latest mathematical tweak to the Best Picture category last week, few have taken against the adjustment in principle — in a race notionally about “best,” it seems fair that films liked by many but loved by few should be left out, even if there’s no clear way of knowing which […]

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AMPAS shakes up the Best Picture scenario

Posted by · 1:29 am · June 15th, 2011

The Academy has added a new twist to the Best Picture category, which was shaken up two years ago with the expansion of the field from five to 10 nominees. According to a late-breaking press release Monday, the organization has elected the field to include anywhere from five to 10 nominees, depending upon what percentage […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Picture

Posted by · 8:11 am · February 26th, 2011

And so we come to the end of this year’s Oscar Guide, and the category that has been the cause of more conversation than ever this year: Best Picture. And that can’t be overstated. I can’t recall the last time the debate around a Best Picture winner was so heated, and I’m tempted to say […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Heading into the home stretch

Posted by · 11:48 am · February 21st, 2011

I’m watching CNN’s report of the on-going situation in Libya as I write these comparably pointless words. The “real world” seems so unique, so foreign after having our head in the awards season clouds since September. Now, six months in, victory lane is a mere six days away. And man, it’s been a marathon. So […]

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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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Filed in: The Long Shot

1/20 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Portman milestones, Best Director not equal to Best Picture, Sony goes iTunes, too

Posted by · 8:03 am · January 20th, 2011

• Eight milestones in the evolution of Natalie Portman. [Movieline] • Carolyn Giardana notes a rare Best Visual Effects nomination for an animated film at the BAFTAs. [Hollywood Reporter] • Nathaniel Rogers argues against the notion that Best Director must equal Best Picture. [The Film Experience]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Picture

Posted by · 7:07 pm · January 19th, 2011

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been spotlighting nomination-worthy names,  in all major Ocar categories, from the first half of the US release calendar. Today, we close out the series with an alternative January-to-June Best Picture 10, though it comes a week after ballots closed — timing was never my strong suit. A look at […]

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POLL: Predict the Best Picture 10

Posted by · 8:49 am · December 27th, 2010

Now that we’re deep into the precursor season and it seems there are 11 legitimate contenders for 10 Best Picture slots, it seemed a good time to revisit this poll. I’ve slotted those 11 in the left sidebar, with the obligatory “other” option for those of you who want to predict a curve ball (and […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Follow the leader

Posted by · 3:56 pm · December 16th, 2010

[Updated Oscar predictions here.] Hey, have you heard of this movie called “The Social Network?” You should probably check it out. It’s about Facebook and stuff and it’s supposed to be really good. So good, in fact, that it’s managed to tame the single most argumentative species in the animal kigdom, The Lesser Spotted Film […]

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Disney going for the gold with ‘Toy Story 3’

Posted by · 1:13 pm · November 17th, 2010

Pete Hammond got the expected quotes from Disney chairman Rich Ross (in the midst of revealing a very intriguing campaign strategy), but it’s all pretty much the rhetoric we would expect, and stems from the same philosophy on “Toy Story 3” potentially winning the Oscar for Best Picture that you’ve seen here and elsewhere. The […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Fighter’ bows, Jackman bows out, Best Picture questions

Posted by · 4:40 am · November 13th, 2010

• David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” unspooled at the AFI Fest. Kris was impressed and later reported from a Q&A with the film’s stars. • This week’s Off the Carpet column pondered the presence of money-spinners in this year’s Best Picture race. • The Long Shot, meanwhile, wondered if that very race is currently looking […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Waiting for the miracle

Posted by · 7:50 pm · November 10th, 2010

(From here on out, my nomination predictions will be updated weekly to coincide with this column. Check them out here.) Tweed-coated and steam-breathed, winter formally arrived in my corner of the world this week, and with it the slightly grim realization that just over seven weeks remain of this year. I say “grim” not so […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot

10/22 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Arndt, Unkrich on Fresh Air, no ‘Hangover’ for Gibson, ‘Paranormal’ sequel scares L.A.

Posted by · 8:39 am · October 22nd, 2010

• Lesley Manville talks “Another Year” across the pond. [The Guardian] • Terry Gross talks with “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unrich and writer Michael Arndt on Fresh Air. [NPR] • Watch in night vision as a Los Angeles audience reacts to a screening of “Paranormal Activity 2.” [HitFix]

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POLL: Predict the 2010 Best Picture nominees

Posted by · 3:13 pm · October 18th, 2010

Also by request, I’ve updated this week’s sidebar poll.  It’s October and I know a number of you haven’t been able to see most of the contenders, but it’s good to get an early gauge of what the readership thinks will be nominated come January.  And it dovetails nicely with our new Calling All Predictions […]

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Looking back on Oscar’s Old Left leanings

Posted by · 4:59 pm · October 11th, 2010

Its installments come all too infrequently these days, but Best Pictures From The Outside In — a collaborative project between The Film Experience’s Nathaniel Rogers and his learned pals — is one of the best sources of Oscar discussion and analysis on the web. That’s not only because it provides ample opportunity for kvetching over […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Carpe diem

Posted by · 10:57 am · October 4th, 2010

Two weeks ago in this space I discussed the precariousness of “frontrunner” status in an Oscar race. At the time, coming off of a big surge in Toronto, “The King’s Speech” was the big dog on the porch. But be warned, I said. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Now that “The Social Network” has […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Bait, switch

Posted by · 8:39 pm · September 29th, 2010

Whether you choose to believe them or not – and speaking for myself, I don’t quite – the media powers that be have currently reduced the 2010 Best Picture race to just two titles: “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech.” That’s entirely (and hopefully, lest things get too dull too soon) subject to change […]

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OFF THE CARPET: King…for the moment

Posted by · 10:02 am · September 20th, 2010

Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” is on top of the world right now.  Telluride buzz was hot and it carried all the way through the Toronto International Film Festival to a coveted People’s Choice award.  The race is already being boiled down in some quarters to this old school Academy play versus a Gen-Y instant […]

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Filed in: Off the Carpet