Oscar’s foreign race hasn’t found the fix

Posted by · 12:51 pm · February 25th, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Best Foreign Language Film? I’m not sure you can, but in the Academy’s case, it’s certainly not for lack of trying. The voting process in this eternally dissatisfying ghetto category is now such a Frankenstein’s monster of stages, rules, committees, sub-committees, longlists, shortlists and more committees that it’s […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A toast to the douchebags

Posted by · 5:34 pm · February 24th, 2011

(Not-quite-final predictions here.) 176 days from the unofficial opening of my Oscar season — a breakfast-hour press screening of “Black Swan” on the first day of the Venice Film Festival — it’s fair to say I’m ready for the endgame. Aren’t we all? Whether you’re delighted or disappointed by where the awards trail has led […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Actor

Posted by · 9:52 am · February 23rd, 2011

The 2010 Best Actor race looks to end up exactly where it started, making it the most predictable category of the evening. In fact, as of late (save for the two Oscars Sean Penn won), this has consistently been one of the easier categories to call. Generally it seems that there is a clear favorite […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 22nd, 2011

The race for Best Foreign Language Film has been covered diligently by Guy Lodge here at In Contention throughout the season. I confess that I failed to see most of the 65 submissions and, as usual, waited until the shortlist was unveiled before I really dug into the titles. This category has, of course, been […]

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CINEJABBER: The test of time

Posted by · 10:42 am · February 5th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here. I was talking with a friend this week about “the test of time,” as it were.  She posited, as have many, that “The King’s Speech” is not the film we’ll remember 10 years from now.  I don’t know that “The Social Network” is either, frankly, […]

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1/28 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Puig hearts Bardem, eclectic slate of tune nominees, Bettany’s ‘Speech’ regret

Posted by · 8:51 am · January 28th, 2011

• Claudia Puig writes a love letter to “Biutiful” star (and Best Actor nominee) Javier Bardem. [USA Today] • Geoff Boucher and Rebecca Keegan note the eclectic flair of this year’s Best Original Score nominees. (More on those later). [The Envelope] • The Coen brothers: the cartographers of cinema. [The Guardian]

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Greece makes foreign Oscar shortlist, France snubbed

Posted by · 9:42 am · January 19th, 2011

“Dogtooth.” That’s the title an every Oscar pundit’s lips right now, as Greece’s critically beloved but super-outré submission — which includes inter-sibling sex and feline homicide in its curious bag of tricks — stunned pretty much everyone by showing up on the nine-title shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. I can hardly believe […]

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Predicting the foreign-language Oscar shortlist

Posted by · 5:25 pm · January 18th, 2011

Tomorrow, we get the last of the Academy’s crucial pre-nomination shortlists, as the list of 65 entries for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is slashed to just nine titles, from which the eventual nominees will be announced in a week’s time. Predicting these nine is a vague and mostly thankless task, but I am […]

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Your winner predictions

Posted by · 4:58 am · January 12th, 2011

As I did last year when Kris posted his pre-nomination winner predictions, I tallied up your responses to see how our readers currently view the race. And either you’re blind disciples of Kris or, far more likely, we’re in for one surprise-free season, as your collective predictions match his in every category but two — […]

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1/6 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Roberts stumps for Bardem, ‘Valentine’ as class commentary, Affleck’s ‘Town’ inspirations

Posted by · 5:10 am · January 6th, 2011

• Julia Roberts’s Oscar plea for”Biutiful” star Javier Bardem. [Inside Movies] • Patrick Goldstein on “Blue Valentine” as a meditation on the class divide. [The Big Picture] • Ben Affleck on “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “Amores Perros,” “Breaking Away” and “Heat” as inspirations for “The Town.” [The Envelope]

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Inevitable list of WGA ineligibilities surfaces

Posted by · 7:42 pm · December 28th, 2010

Steve Pond is on the news today that a number of this year’s screenplays will be ineligible for WGA consideration (and therefore should be kept in mind when nominations are revealed next week). First and foremost, we all know Pixar films never fall under WGA signatory regulations, so Michael Arndt’s work on “Toy Story 3” […]

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12/27 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Pond on original songs, rigging the ‘Grit’ game, coal for the year’s worst

Posted by · 8:35 am · December 27th, 2010

• Steve Pond offers his perspective on the Best Original Song race. [The Odds] • Jack Giroux talks “Rabbit Hole” with star Sandra Oh. [Film School Rejects] • Michael Cieply reveals how a shrewd publicity executive rigged the game in the favor of “True Grit” the first time around. [New York Times]

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12/23 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Oscar’s age preferences, hear the King’s speech, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Winter’s Bone’ parallels

Posted by · 11:39 am · December 23rd, 2010

• Anne Thompson talks with “The Way Back” director Peter Weir. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Nathaniel Rogers charts Oscar’s age preferences. [The Film Experience] • Melinda Newman sits down with “True Grit” and “TRON Legacy” star Jeff Bridges. [Awards Campaign]

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12/21 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: 248 films up for Oscar, Franco’s reps cautioned against hosting, Gibney’s top 10

Posted by · 6:32 am · December 21st, 2010

• The Academy announces 248 feature films eligible for this year’s Best Picture Oscar. [Oscars.org] • James Franco’s reps advised him against hosting the Oscars (naturally). [Awards Campaign] • Mike Fleming, meanwhile, chats with Franco’s co-host (and “Love & Other Drugs” star) Anne Hathaway, [Deadline]

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12/17 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Plea for Bardem, Swank’s potential parlay, HFPA and SAG by the numbers

Posted by · 8:50 am · December 17th, 2010

• Scott Feinberg digs in to some exhaustive research on HFPA and SAG nominations history to help you navigate what it all means. [ScottFeinberg.com] • Steve Pond is begging someone to step up to the plate and recognize what an amazing performance Javier Bardem gives in “Biutiful,” and in so doing, NOMINATE HIM. [The Odds] […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 8:56 am · December 15th, 2010

The year is winding down.  Today, as part of the week’s on-going year-in-review specials, I’m offering up my annual “if I had a ballot” post. In years past I’ve tended to defer to studio campaigns for category placement, but this year I figured, “Screw it.”  After all, if I actually had a ballot I could […]

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Likability: the best films of 2010

Posted by · 11:51 am · December 13th, 2010

I don’t quite know how to peg 2010. On one hand it has felt like a weak year. On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed quite a few films. Maybe the story lies in that sentence: “enjoyed.” There were precious few films that really rocked me, but plenty that were a nice enough experience. If you […]

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11/11 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: R.I.P. Dino, screenwriters round table, Gonzalez Inarritu makes the press rounds

Posted by · 9:13 am · November 11th, 2010

• Legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis dies at 91. [Reuters] • Screenwriters round table with Aaron Sorkin, Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, John Wells, Todd Phillips and David Lindsay-Abaire. [Hollywood Reporter] • Todd Gilchrist talks to “Conviction” director Tony Goldwyn about capturing reality and avoiding the “Oscar Bait” curse. [Speakeasy]

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