SHORT TAKE: “The Skin I Live In” (***)

Posted by · 8:24 am · May 21st, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Pedro Almodóvar’s new feature opens with a pause: a beautiful young woman holds a tricky yoga position, her already fine-lathed physique vacuumed into a nude body stocking, stretched across a couch like a pale side of meat hung out for curing. So so taut, so fragile, it seems a simple tap on […]

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CANNES CHECK: ‘The Skin I Live In’

Posted by · 10:05 am · April 20th, 2011

[This is the first in a daily series of posts, wherein I size up the 19 films–pending further additions–in the Competition at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. We’re running through them alphabetically, by director, so it just happens that we start with a biggie: the length of the entries will vary according to the availability […]

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Almodóvar and Banderas, together again

Posted by · 9:02 am · May 5th, 2010

Speaking as we just were of actors returning from the wilderness, when was the last time Antonio Banderas starred in a film you had any interest in seeing? (Talk to the hand if your answer contains the word “Shrek.”) From strained paycheck jobs like “My Mom’s New Boyfriend” to gruesomely botched prestige projects like “The […]

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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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BAFTA announces Best Foreign Film nominees

Posted by · 4:19 am · January 7th, 2010

For reasons I’ve never been able to determine, BAFTA chooses to reveal its nominees for Best Foreign Language Film two weeks before revealing their full nomination list. Way to make a ghetto category seem even more so, but … anyway. The nominees are: “Broken Embraces” “Coco Before Chanel” “Let the Right One In” “A Prophet” […]

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Guy’s top 50 of the decade: #1-10

Posted by · 1:29 pm · January 6th, 2010

And then there were ten. Before I wrap up the list that I’ve trickled out over the last five days, I suppose I should write a few words on the decade that was. I entered the 2000s as a 16 year-old boy in Johannesburg who thought he knew a lot about movies. I left it […]

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Golden Globes announce more inclusive foreign-language list

Posted by · 5:43 pm · December 8th, 2009

Any regular Oscar-watcher is familiar with the finicky rules and regulations that, year in and year out, keep some of the year’s most talked-about foreign-language titles from contending for the Oscar. Happily, the Golden Globes have fewer restrictions — unlike AMPAS, they permit more than one film per country in the competition, and don’t rely […]

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11/23 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 7:23 am · November 23rd, 2009

• Dave Karger cusses with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” star Bill Murray. [Oscar Watch] • Owen Gleiberman whines about the snubbing of inferior documentaries, fails to recognize the solid slate of short-listed films we ended up with. [Entertainment Weekly] • Nicolas Rapold talks to the principals of “The Last Station.” [New York Times]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Twilight’ning strikes again!

Posted by · 4:26 pm · November 22nd, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Well, that happened. “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” proved the franchise was no one-hit wonder by opening with $140.7 million over the weekend, breaking numerous records in the process. The $72.7 million pulled in on Friday is a new single day record, leaving “The Dark Knight” […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 7:12 pm · November 19th, 2009

Some categories haven’t had that much renewal since I last reviewed them. Best Original Score is an exception. Principally, this is because the category is very difficult to judge before hearing the scores, not to mention last minute personnel changes (as composers always seem to be the most disposable members of film crews). As I […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Original players

Posted by · 2:44 pm · November 16th, 2009

When I had the unmitigated gall last week to project a set of winners for this year’s Oscar race, I was a bit startled at how easy Mark Boal’s script for “The Hurt Locker” slid into the Best Original Screenplay slot.  Looking over the landscape of contenders in the category, it’s a little obvious why […]

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11/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · November 16th, 2009

• Catch video highlights of Saturday night’s Honorary Oscars celebration. [Oscars.org] • Baltimore Ravens OT Michael Oher on his life’s inspiration for Hollywood. [CNN] • Hoping “Avatar” is the new face of filmmaking. [Los Angeles Times]

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‘A Prophet’ dominates European Film Award nominations

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 7th, 2009

Is “A Prophet” gradually stealing awards-season momentum from “The White Ribbon?” (It’s the superior film, if you ask me.) Too soon to say, of course, but it certainly came out on top in this morning’s European Film Award nominations. Jacques Audiard’s searing chronicle of French prison gangs leads the field with six nominations, to four […]

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10/15 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:24 am · October 15th, 2009

• Pete Hammond digs into the truth about “Amelia” and potential new found hope in a recent re-edit. [Notes on a Season] • The Rome film fest gets with it, structures a “women in contemporary cinema” theme around this year’s festivities. [The Independent] • Variety’s Peter Debruge has a bit of mash-up fun with the […]

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U.S. ‘Broken Embraces’ trailer

Posted by · 6:32 am · October 14th, 2009

I’m already on the record as thinking “Broken Embraces” is distinctly minor Almodóvar, but I’ll be damned if this sleek new trailer (available on Apple here) doesn’t foreground all its most beguiling features in one lovely package. If the film only had as much to say as it does to show, we’d have something truly […]

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The foreign films that got away

Posted by · 12:33 pm · October 1st, 2009

With the deadline for Best Foreign Language Film submissions upon us, indieWIRE’s Peter Knegt is taking stock of the possible injustices that already have taken place in the race … and at this early stage, the Academy isn’t even responsible. (Well, unless we count the problems of the one-film-per-country system, not to mention leaving the […]

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Australia and Spain enter foreign-language race

Posted by · 11:33 am · September 29th, 2009

As regular readers have probably noticed, I’ve been away (undeservedly, apparently) on vacation for the past week or so, so I’ve missed out on the recent influx of submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film race. Fortunately, Kris has been keeping you up to speed with our new foreign contenders page. Thanks, meanwhile, to the […]

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Foreign film watch: Spain snubs Almodóvar again

Posted by · 6:14 pm · September 15th, 2009

Keeping up our watch on the Best Foreign Language Film race, one of the category’s regular players, Spain, has come one step closer to making its official submission — having revealed the final three films in contention for the spot. Some will be surprised that Pedro Almodóvar’s “Broken Embraces” — the year’s most globally-discussed Spanish […]

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