THE LONG SHOT: What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Posted by · 2:19 pm · October 14th, 2010

(A day later than usual — apologies.) After the London Film Festival raised its curtain last night with a typically flashy European premiere for Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” this morning’s papers and breakfast TV reports have been busy with chatter about what Britfilm’s two it-girls, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, were wearing; how […]

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Picking the best new lensers

Posted by · 8:44 am · August 24th, 2010

As you know, we at InContention are dedicated to spotlighting below-the-line talent, so this excellent cinematography-themed piece at The Playlist caught my eye — in it, Oli Lyttelton singles out five individuals that he feels are spearheading an exciting new generation of DPs, breaking down their past achievements and future promise in some detail. The […]

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‘Tree of Life’ alone in Apparition stable

Posted by · 1:53 pm · June 30th, 2010

Things looked so upbeat for fledgling distribution outfit Apparition when they started out last year. Masterminded by former Picturehouse head Bob Berney, the company was christened with the acquisition of one of 2009’s best films, Jane Campion’s “Bright Star.” A classy roster of titles followed, including “The Young Victoria,” “Fair Game,” “The Runaways” and, most […]

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If YOU had a ballot

Posted by · 11:52 am · March 7th, 2010

Tonight’s the big night, and as we close in on the final hours of the 2009-2010 film awards season, I thought I’d offer up this list (another one!), which reflects how you, the readership, would like the night’s festivities to go.  These are the results of the daily polls that accompanied our Oscar Guide series […]

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Ranking the categories

Posted by · 5:51 am · March 7th, 2010

Ah, Oscar lists — the gift that keeps giving. I’m not going to ape Kris’s impressive ranking of all the nominated features: we’d have the same #1, for starters, and we’re agreeing on far too many things these days. So here’s something else to play with. I’ve had a number of emails asking me how […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Costume Design

Posted by · 9:34 am · March 2nd, 2010

For three straight years the Academy Award for Best Costume Design has gone to a film that received no other Oscars. In each case, the films could be considered “period porn,” as it were, lavish productions with massive thread ensembles. “Most Costume Design” would be a more applicable moniker for the award, given how the […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Festival coverage, celebrating The Dude and more

Posted by · 3:21 pm · February 14th, 2010

• This week’s installments of the Oscar Guide covered the animated feature, sound mixing, lead actor, live action short and film editing categories. • Kris toasted the career of Jeff bridges with his list of the actor’s top 10 performances (off-site). • We caught up with “Red Riding: 1974” director Julian Jarrold as well as […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The crafts of ‘Bright Star’

Posted by · 12:34 pm · February 11th, 2010

It’s not every year that my biggest cheer on Oscar nomination morning comes in the technical categories, but such was the case last week when Janet Patterson’s name showed up in the Best Costume Design lineup. Patterson’s inclusion (following a senseless Guild snub) is gratifying not merely as recognition for her tangibly textured, richly story-serving […]

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2/9 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:25 am · February 9th, 2010

• Owen Gleiberman nobly asserts that thick-headed attacks on “Precious” as beginning to “say more about the attackers.” [Entertainment Weekly] • Michelle Griffin sits down with quasi-surprise nominee Janet Patterson to discuss the threads of “Bright Star.” [The Age] • Anne Thompson goes back and forth with Moviefone’s Jack Matthews on the subject of Quentin […]

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2/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:39 am · February 3rd, 2010

• Is it really an honor just to be nominated? [CNN] • Nathaniel Rogers notes that, despite the 10, we still ended up with a typical Oscar mixture of “a mix of message movies, epics, dramas and war films.” [The Film Experience] • Of Apparition’s dueling period pieces, Anne Thompson wonders what went wrong for […]

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10 snubs that sting

Posted by · 5:40 pm · February 2nd, 2010

I’ve already highlighted my favorite aspects of this morning’s Oscar nominations. Still, before we move into Phase Two, I’d like to give one final respectful nod to the could-have-beens — the names that we sadly won’t be talking about anymore in the next five weeks of speculation. I listed my true favorites in my dream […]

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The bright side

Posted by · 7:36 am · February 2nd, 2010

Well, I’ll start the good news selfishly, by noting that I didn’t entirely embarrass myself with my predictions: not counting the short categories (which I was too cowardly and uninformed to predict) I nailed 78/106, just two points behind Kris’s round tally of 80. But while I was pleased to see at least one of […]

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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by · 3:21 pm · February 1st, 2010

Yesterday, I began my far-fetched wishlist of nominees for tomorrow’s announcement with a look at the technical categories. Today we move into the big races. And as much as I thought I had my favorites clearly mapped out in my head, a rundown of the eligible titles made for some very crowded races indeed. Once […]

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My dream ballot: part one

Posted by · 7:32 pm · January 31st, 2010

As I did last year, I’m preparing for Tuesday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations by running through my own favorites in each category — following on from the ideal ballots posted by Kris and Chad in the past few weeks. “Preparing” isn’t quite the word: it implies a link between the processes of predicting and […]

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‘Education,’ ‘Hurt,’ ‘Avatar’ lead BAFTA nominations

Posted by · 12:00 am · January 21st, 2010

For once, my predictions weren’t too shoddy … though the field-beating haul I anticipated for “An Education” didn’t quite pan out. Instead, Lone Scherfig’s film ties for the lead with Oscar frontrunners “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker,” all three films securing eight nominations. “An Education” still looks like the one to beat here, though it’s […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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Sketches of ‘Star’

Posted by · 5:21 am · January 19th, 2010

As the season has broken down some pundits to the point of pondering whether or not “The Hangover” has a shot at a Best Picture nomination, it really does seem an eternity ago that “Bright Star” was even in the conversation. With Jane Campion’s film ridiculously failing to secure even technical Guild recognition so far, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Hollywood fights back

Posted by · 5:45 pm · January 13th, 2010

I may be looking out at my snow-caked garden as I write this, but it was in the spirit of spring-cleaning that I revised my nomination predictions this morning, ridding myself of most of the clinging personal hopes and hunches that lingered when I last updated them a month ago. It wasn’t the most drastic […]

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