CANNES: ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘On Tour’

Posted by · 2:42 pm · May 12th, 2010

I spent a good long time trying to think of some glib, pithy way to link the pair of titles served up on the first day of the Cannes Film Festival, but must admit defeat — they have no common points whatsoever, apart from the fact that they both, like, feature French people. In lieu […]

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Call it ‘Robin Hood Begins’

Posted by · 2:45 pm · May 9th, 2010

Anne tips us off to the first wave of “Robin Hood” reviews, which were meant to be held until Wednesday, given the Cannes screening and all.  Alas, no one seems to follow embargoes anymore, so the trades, as usual, spilled right after Empire did the same across the pond. For my part, I’ve been trying […]

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The Great Performances: 2004

Posted by · 6:35 pm · December 11th, 2009

In Alexander Payne’s “Sideways,” Paul Giamatti gave the best performance by an actor in 2004, so said the New York Film Critics Circle, and how right they were.  So why, why, why was the actor denied an Oscar nomination?  Granted, it was a strong year, but his work was at the top of that heap […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Disgrace’ star Jessica Haines

Posted by · 9:35 am · December 4th, 2009

When I begin my phone conversation with Jessica Haines by telling her how insistently I prodded her publicist to set up our interview – the reverse is so often the case – she responds with a bashful laugh. “I can believe that,” she says, in a warm South African drawl. “Not many journalists have bothered […]

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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

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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 LISTS: Top 10 memories from TIFF

Posted by · 8:01 am · September 8th, 2009

One of the joys of my life is the 10 days in September I spend at the Toronto International Film Festival, bringing the film world to our city, the world press, and enough stars to take over Hollywood. The little festival that could, as it was known in the 1970s and early-1980s, The Festival of […]

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Great performers at their best

Posted by · 7:50 am · August 21st, 2009

After spending some time this summer watching some excellent films on DVD, I was inspired to write this piece about the great actors’ (living, with one exception) greatest performances. Narrowing it down to one each (brutal, believe me), I think have come up with a list of actors, young and old, that represents some of […]

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Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film begins production

Posted by · 2:22 pm · March 24th, 2009

Fingers crossed for this one.  Sue me, I still love “Prince of Thieves.” Anyway, Universal rolls out the red carpet with a big ole’ announcement today: Joining Crowe and Blanchett for the film are Oscar® winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Atonement) as John and Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; Mark Strong (Body of Lies, Stardust) […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Memo to the Academy

Posted by · 9:11 am · December 29th, 2008

–MEMO– TO: Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences FROM: Kristopher Tapley RE: The ballot you recently received Ladies and gentleman, As you sit to ponder the year’s best in your various fields of professional expertise, you might find yourself strong-armed into the consensus view 2008’s film product has been whittled down […]

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Things

Posted by · 4:35 am · December 19th, 2008

As soon as I make it to my destination (the journey has been an epic one…for me to poop on!), I’ll finally get the final post of my week in review up, a list of superlatives in a variety of categories.  And Monday, the Oscar column will be back up and running with fresh charts.  […]

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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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THE LISTS: Top 10 ‘right actor, wrong film’ Oscars

Posted by · 12:35 pm · December 9th, 2008

As we head into the thick of awards season, one of the biggest “will-they-won’t-they” questions about this year’s Academy Awards concerns one of their most favored sons, Clint Eastwood. Specifically: despite wildly polarized responses to the film, and a widespread perception that he has already been amply rewarded in other categories, can Eastwood ride the […]

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Early winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 1:42 pm · November 28th, 2008

Well, Kris was brave enough to stick his neck out and venture some winner predictions, so I thought I’d follow up on that — with the strict caveat that, while nobody knows anything, I frequently know even less. So my own predictions are after the cut. I don’t think them informed enough to place on […]

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11/27 Oscarweb Round-up — THANKSGIVING EDITION

Posted by · 5:59 am · November 27th, 2008

• EW rounds up eight memorable Thanksgivings at the movies. “The Ice Storm” wins for me. No contest. [Entertainment Weekly] • Anne Thompson on the indies hoping to score in the acting races. [Variety] • Dave Karger lays out the Oscar prospects for “Milk” and “Australia.” [Entertainment Weekly] • Todd Martens reports on some alternative […]

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First set of winner predictions

Posted by · 3:04 am · November 27th, 2008

Before the holiday I thought I’d make my first calls on the year’s Oscar winners.  Bear in mind we don’t even have a list of nominees yet and anything can happen.  I think around this time last year I was predicting “Into the Wild” for across-the-board wins and it only managed two nominations at the […]

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‘Button’ reviews run hot and, well, cold

Posted by · 10:39 am · November 24th, 2008

UPDATED: Slow on the uptake again, the Hollywood Reporter finally offers the unqualified rave we’ve been awaiting. Gushing praise in all departments, including a big thumbs-up for Pitt (“his most impressive outing to date”). Blanchett, meanwhile, “illuminates the screen.” No issues with digital or emotional aloofness to be found. EARLIER: A couple of days ago, […]

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