OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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TELLURIDE: Michael Fassbender and a tale of two movies

Posted by · 11:54 pm · September 4th, 2011

Today’s screening of “Shame” was the big note of anticipation for me at this year’s Telluride fest. After bowing in Venice earlier this morning to generally positive praise, my hopes were still high that Steve McQueen made good on the promise of “Hunger” three years ago. And did he ever. I’m tired, at the end […]

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REVIEW: “Shame” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:36 am · September 4th, 2011

Venice Film Festival If “Hunger,” artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen’s remarkable debut feature, was a study of a body strenuously denied its fundamental needs, his satisfyingly rigorous, explicit follow-up, “Shame,” traces the very different damage done by a body over-gifted with wants. A sternly formalist parable on the pruning and stunting of relationships both familial and carnal […]

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COMIC-CON: Refn’s ‘Drive’ is a bullet of vision

Posted by · 11:40 am · July 23rd, 2011

I’ve had to sit on my feelings on Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive,” which had a special screening here Thursday night, because I haven’t found a window to write about it. That’s either good or bad, I don’t know, because the film has just continued to grow in my mind, but I don’t want to over-inflate […]

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REVIEW: “Drive” (****)

Posted by · 8:40 pm · May 22nd, 2011

Cannes Film Festival It’s not often that opening credits as hideous as the ones in “Drive” — hot-pink cursive squiggles of the kind favored these days only by nail bars in suburban strip malls — are a reassuring omen for the film to come. But Nicolas Winding Refn’s beautiful, bolt-from-the-blue genre trip is a kind […]

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CANNES CHECK: ‘Drive’

Posted by · 3:34 pm · May 10th, 2011

The director: Nicolas Winding Refn (Denmark) The talent: Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan — the latter making her first significant foray into multiplex territory — are the star attractions here, but the supporting cast isn’t too shabby, either: Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and current TV darlings Christina Hendricks and Bryan Cranston are all on board. […]

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Best in show 2010: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 10:07 am · December 17th, 2010

The week, and with it, the bulk of my 2010 coverage, draws to a close today with a look at the best of the best. I’m offering up a personal list of superlatives, including most Oscar categories and some other fun fields thrown in for good measure. A tradition at this point. There will be […]

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‘King’s Speech’ rules BIFAs, ‘Ghost Writer’ sweeps EFAs

Posted by · 5:03 pm · December 6th, 2010

Apologies for getting to both these announcement so late: my laptop is currently (perhaps terminally) hospitalized, so posting is rather spotty on my end. The timing is particularly bad, since this past weekend’s awards activity included two major European ceremonies that I should have been all over. That said, if you paid even vague attention […]

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Palm Springs fest to honor Portman and Firth

Posted by · 4:00 pm · November 16th, 2010

The Palm Springs International Film Festival may claim independent thought in the rationing of their performance awards, but rather like Santa Barbara, any West Coast fest that takes place in prime awards-season territory can’t claim to be free of the Oscar campaign circuit. After all, when their press release states that the two actors being […]

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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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Stone charges back with subprime ‘Money Never Sleeps’

Posted by · 10:58 am · September 21st, 2010

It’s taken me some time to get around to writing about Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” because watching the film was like have your bubble burst (no pun intended).  Where the director’s 1987 original worked from a tight, disciplined script that never took its eye off the ball, this follow-up is a loose, […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The year of the woman, take two?

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

It wasn’t by coincidence that the three photos decorating the season’s introductory installment of this column two weeks ago represented lead actress contenders in the 2010 Oscar race. After all the talk of 2009 being “the year of the woman,” owing much to the number of female directors who found themselves in the mix (and […]

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9/9 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:15 am · September 9th, 2010

• James Rocchi previews the Toronto Film Festival with quotes from co-director Cameron Bailey and yours truly. [MSN Movies] • Dave Karger writes up the festival’s top 10 Oscar contenders. [Oscar Watch] • Regarding Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” Brad Brevet wonders if Warner Bros. is hiding a stinker. [Rope of Silicon]

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TELLURIDE: ‘Never Let Me Go,’ ‘Tabloid’

Posted by · 1:16 am · September 4th, 2010

On the first day of this year’s fest, things are off to an interesting, up and down start. I would bore you with an intro, but it’s late and I’m fading. Let’s get to the reactions… “Never Let Me Go” (**) I went back and read Guy’s summation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel “Never Let Me […]

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9/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · September 3rd, 2010

• Joe Morgenstern writes a love letter to Carey Mulligan.  It’s still all happening. [Wall Street Journal] • Jennifer Lawrence’s buzz wave makes its way across the pond. [The Guardian] • The foreign film submissions are already off to the races, and now the Netherlands (“Tirza”) declares. [Variety]

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Clips from ‘Never Let Me Go,’ ‘Somewhere’

Posted by · 10:24 am · August 31st, 2010

With the fall festival circuit merely hours away (Guy is already getting settling in Venice), we’ve got a pair of clips from two anticipated titles to pass along today. First, there is Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” which is exclusive to Venice and features Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in what isn’t likely to be an Oscar […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Posted by · 4:21 pm · June 29th, 2010

SPOILER ALERT: By necessity, this article must reveal some key plot developments of the novel, though no more than you might have gleaned from the film’s recent trailer. “(T)hough the tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sobbing or out of control,” writes Kathy, the young female narrator of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel “Never Let […]

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AMPAS welcomes 135 new members

Posted by · 4:12 pm · June 25th, 2010

Well, we already knew Jeremy Renner had got the nod. And no surprise that many of his fellow acting nominees from this year’s Oscar race — Christoph Waltz, Mo’Nique, Carey Mulligan, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick among them — have now been granted Academy membership. (Lest you think that the invitation automatically follows a nomination, […]

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