In praise of the modern movie soundtrack

Posted by · 7:41 am · August 5th, 2011

I generally try to ignore film opinion pieces I think are fundamentally misguided — à chacun son goût and all that, plus the fact that fighting one mind is generally more trouble than it’s worth — but Ben Walsh’s idle article in The Independent today on the supposed demise of the movie soundtrack does such […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t let ’em catch you caring

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 20th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here. They’ll likely be tweaked once more before Tuesday.) Following the Academy Award season is a little like watching a particularly low-rent TV soap: just as the mindlessness and predictability of the enterprise escalates to a point where quitting seems the only credible option, some or other narrative curveball will lure you […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot

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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Schnabel holds ‘Miral’ for Venice

Posted by · 6:12 am · April 15th, 2010

One of the more eyebrow-raising omissions from the Cannes official selection announced this morning was Julian Schnabel’s “Miral.” The New York artist’s biopic of Hind Husseini, with a cast including Hiam Abbass, Willem Dafoe and Freida Pinto, had been widely deemed a good bet for the competition lineup, given its lofty arthouse profile and the […]

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LAFCA picks the top 10 films of the decade

Posted by · 11:20 am · January 12th, 2010

You can never have too many of these, right?  Right? Right? 1. “Mulholland Drive” 2. “There Will Be Blood” 3. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” 4. “Brokeback Mountain” 5. (tie) “No Country for Old Men” and “Zodiac” 6. “Yi Yi” 7. (tie) “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” and “The Lord of the […]

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Guy’s top 50 of the decade: #21-30

Posted by · 7:01 pm · January 4th, 2010

A little late, but we’re at the halfway mark now, and I must say I couldn’t be more delighted and flattered by your warm response to the list so far. I mentioned in my intro to the first installment that I’d prefer you to view this as a loose playlist than as a rigid ordered […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t look back in anger

Posted by · 2:20 pm · November 11th, 2009

For all the movement in the awards game this week – Jeff Bridges leap-frogging into contention, the animation race swelling to five nominees, “Precious” continuing to gather momentum – my head hasn’t really been in it this week. That’s partly because we’re all still making blind prognoses until four unseen juggernauts – “Nine,” “Avatar,” “The […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Minority report

Posted by · 5:49 pm · October 15th, 2009

When the Academy Awards roll around in March, it will have been precisely two decades since the unlikely figure of Kim Basinger blasted Academy voters’ conservatism on air at the 1989 ceremony, with specific regard to their sidelining of “Do the Right Thing,” Spike Lee’s groundbreaking study of urban interracial tension. “We’ve got five great […]

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The new millennium Oscars?

Posted by · 9:53 am · January 18th, 2009

Looking back over the previous Oscar winners for Best Picture since 2000, the start of a new century (and a new millennium), I find myself wondering sometimes what the hell the Academy was thinking.  It’s no secret I disagree with the Academy a lot, but I can also admit that when they get it right, […]

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Why does the Academy fear controversy?

Posted by · 10:52 am · November 12th, 2008

In 1969, the Academy saw fit to give “Midnight Cowboy” the award for Best Picture — a first ever for an X-rated film.  Some saw the moment as a bellwether signaling a new dawn for the group, that they were developing a growing acceptance for the films that would start coming at them around this […]

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Filed in: Daily · Featured

EW’s Oscar revote

Posted by · 12:43 pm · October 6th, 2008

The editors at Entertainment Weekly hope to turn back the hands of time…

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What does early (and excessive) Oscar hype do to a film’s chances?

Posted by · 3:31 pm · September 20th, 2008

In 1996, a fall movie preview of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox, the cast of “The Crucible” staring back at me on the cover, making clear to me this was going to be THE film of the fall. There were rumors floating within the industry that the film, based on the Arthur Miller play, […]

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‘Wrestler’: Is Golden Lion just the beginning?

Posted by · 2:17 pm · September 6th, 2008

As Kris just reported, Darren Aronosky’s “The Wrestler” has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. No surprise there — in what was widely deemed a lukewarm festival, Aronofsky’s film, which only screened yesterday on the Lido, was one of the few outright critical sensations. What is surprising is that Mickey Rourke, whose […]

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Ang Lee takes Woodstock

Posted by · 4:20 am · August 6th, 2008

Here’s what I love about Ang Lee: there is simply no way of anticipating what his next project is going to be. So far, the decade has seen him bounce from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to “Hulk” to “Brokeback Mountain” to “Lust, Caution” – a group arguably linked by thematic concerns of outsider identity, but […]

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Tom-O ‘can’t quit’ the Academy’s insults

Posted by · 11:37 am · July 30th, 2008

I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of Tom O’Neil’s latest diatribe against the AMPAS.  Mainly, I just like to see him riled up, but he does have a point here.  Regarding the recent press release for the Academy’s upcoming screening of “Brokeback Mountain,” Tom had this to say: Am I the only […]

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Who joins the great Best Picture snubs this year?

Posted by · 1:52 pm · May 9th, 2008

It happens every year, a great film, in some cases destined to be remembered more than the eventual Oscar winner is snubbed for a Best Picture nod, or gets nominated and loses to an inferior film that happened to capture the public’s attention at that particular point in history. Some of the greatest films of […]

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Best actor contenders join an eclectic list of recent winners

Posted by · 7:16 am · May 6th, 2008

Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Frank Langella seem to be the names bandied about for Oscar consideration this year, which would place them in some impressive company of nominees and winners these last 20 years. Of course, that said, there have also been some bizarre choices for the Best Actor award, which has often […]

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REVIEW: “Brokeback Mountain” (***1/2)

Posted by · 8:54 am · November 23rd, 2005

It is the true mark of artistry that guides a hand away from the simplistic and into the complex. “Brokeback Mountain” is and has been poised to merely be considered “the gay cowboy movie,” a label I’ve defended it against ever since I first read E. Annie Proulx’s short story (which originally appeared in The […]

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Filed in: Reviews