Mark Harris joins the discussion with fringe lead actor picks

Posted by · 10:26 pm · September 12th, 2011

Two years ago author and journalist Mark Harris wrote what I think is one of the most salient Oscar season observances ever squeezed out of this unnecessary corner of the web. I always look to him for one of the most above-the-fray, but smart and informed, perspectives on a given season. And this piece over […]

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Hey Academy, why not Brendan Gleeson?

Posted by · 6:12 pm · August 17th, 2011

For a series of not-entirely-connected reasons, a little Irish indie called “The Guard” has been on my mind today. For starters, a reader named Stephen asked me on Twitter when it would reach US theaters — only for me to discover that it’s been in limited release there for several weeks already. (UK audiences can […]

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BERLIN: ‘Sleeping Sickness,’ ‘The Future,’ ‘The Guard’

Posted by · 5:11 pm · February 16th, 2011

Sorry there was no Berlinale dispatch yesterday. It was my birthday, and after “celebrating” it with a triple-bill of variously despairing Competition entries — finishing with “The Turin Horse,” Béla Tarr’s impressive 146-minute ode to blizzards, boiled potatoes and dying — more traditional festivities were in order, beginning with several stiff drinks. There’s nothing like […]

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The Great Performances: 1998

Posted by · 2:03 pm · October 30th, 2009

For all my bitching about Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor in 1998 for his incessant mugging in “Life is Beautiful,” I was also thrilled the Academy watched enough films and paid enough attention to realize that Edward Norton was deserving for his magnetic turn as a neo-Nazi who sees the light in “American History X.” […]

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The Academy opens the doors to 134 new members

Posted by · 10:56 am · June 30th, 2009

The headline says it all.  After bringing in 105 new members last year, the Academy has just announced a new list of 134 names to join their ranks. Actors include Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Jeffrey Wright (woo-hoo!), James McAvoy, Casey Affleck (who should have been brought in after his 2007 nomination), James Franco, Michael Cera […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ lead BAFTA pack with 11 nods each

Posted by · 12:20 am · January 15th, 2009

Each year, the BAFTAs never fail to find new and frustrating ways to surprise me. It wasn’t hard to guess that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire” would come out on top here — though even as a fan of the latter film, I do wonder whether nominations for Best Production Design […]

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Globe cheers, jeers and predictions

Posted by · 6:56 pm · December 11th, 2008

As ever, this morning’s Golden Globe announcement provided a mixed bag of talking points, with some pleasantly zany curveballs at one end of the scale, and a couple of yawnsome autopilot nominees at the other. Like most awards bodies, they’re never going to get it completely right: for every inspired inclusion or omission there’s an […]

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Golden Globes: ‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ steady…whither ‘Milk?’

Posted by · 6:20 am · December 11th, 2008

Well, I said yesterday one should always expect oddities with the Golden Globes … but even with that in mind, they never fail to pull out some genuine “WTF” moments. Tom Cruise’s goofy Best Supporting Actor nod for “Tropic Thunder” may have been the most eccentric revelation of the morning, but surely the most significant […]

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