THE LONG SHOT: What are precursors for, anyway?

Posted by · 11:00 am · September 30th, 2009

I didn’t time my holiday to coincide with the sleepiest week of awards season, but that’s how it panned out anyway. While I spent 10 days drinking my way along the canals of France’s Burgundy region, divorced from my computer screen and, I admit, any thoughts of Oscar whatsoever, the industry, too, took a collective […]

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Want to win cinematography? An art direction nod helps.

Posted by · 11:36 am · February 21st, 2009

I’m surprised I completely forgot about this little, some might say meaningless statistic, but with all the predictions for “Slumdog Millionaire” taking the cinematography win at tomorrow night’s Oscar ceremony, the Oscarweb seems to be in the same boat. You have to go back to 1999 and “American Beauty” to find a film that won […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions

Posted by · 5:27 pm · February 18th, 2009

After six months of Tech Support previews and interviews, the films have arrived, the nominations have been announced and the guilds, the critics and BAFTA have all announced their preferences.  Today we take a final look at the races before the envelopes are opened on Sunday. BEST ART DIRECTION After guild and BAFTA wins, I […]

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Predicting BAFTA, part one — the techs

Posted by · 2:15 pm · February 6th, 2009

It’s no secret that the BAFTA awards, which unfold at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday evening, can be one of the most contrarian and surprising events on the awards calendar – but nowhere are they more unpredictable, and occasionally inscrutable, than in their technical awards. Year in, year out, anybody trying to predict the […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final preview special, part one

Posted by · 10:53 am · January 21st, 2009

Five months of Tech Support reach their climax on Thursday morning. This Canuck is, like the rest of the world, celebrating a new American President today. The fact remains, however, that a new set of Oscar nominees will greet us tomorrow and I can’t help but share my final thoughts on the categories. This is […]

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Best Actress: a tough call

Posted by · 9:27 am · January 17th, 2009

Rarely does the lead actress category provide more suspense than leading gentlemen and rarely is it as packed with fine performances as it is this year.  I can remember years when it was a struggle to come up with five nominees for best actress, 1975 and 1992 springing to mind.  It might have less to […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ lead BAFTA pack with 11 nods each

Posted by · 12:20 am · January 15th, 2009

Each year, the BAFTAs never fail to find new and frustrating ways to surprise me. It wasn’t hard to guess that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire” would come out on top here — though even as a fan of the latter film, I do wonder whether nominations for Best Production Design […]

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CDG nominees

Posted by · 4:00 pm · January 13th, 2009

I’ve been out and about, so apologies for getting to the Costume Designers Guild nominees late: Contemporary Film “Iron Man” (Laura Jean Shannon and Rebecca Bentjen) “Mamma Mia!” (Ann Roth) “Sex and the City” (Patricia Field) “Slumdog Millionaire” (Suttirat Larlarb) “The Wrestler” (Amy Westcott) Period Film “Changeling” (Deborah Hopper) “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” […]

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Art Directors Guild Nominees

Posted by · 9:47 am · January 9th, 2009

Period Films “Changeling” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” “Doubt” “Frost/Nixon” “Milk” Fantasy Films “The Dark Knight” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” “Iron Man” “The Spiderwick Chronicles” “WALL-E” Contemporary Films “Burn After Reading” “Gran Torino” “Quantum of Solace” “Slumdog Millionaire” “The Wrestler” Alright, so more surprising guild love for “The Wrestler.”  […]

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My picks for the 10 BEST films of the year

Posted by · 11:04 am · December 29th, 2008

It’s no secret that I don’t expect 2008 to be remembered as a banner year for cinema, though with that said, there are plenty of exceptional films to be remembered. Perhaps 2007 spoiled us and got our hopes up and 2008 brought far too many let downs and disappointments from great filmmakers. Usually when I […]

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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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Clint Eastwood’s potential Best Actor win

Posted by · 9:09 am · December 20th, 2008

It could happen…but it shouldn’t. My admiration and love of Clint Eastwood’s work as a director was enough to send me on an 18-month research and writing spree, piecing together a study of the man that should be in bookstores in a week’s time. In the forward, I make clear that had anyone suggested to me […]

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Runnin’ on empty: the best films of 2008

Posted by · 9:25 am · December 15th, 2008

Just to say it once more, because I’ve certainly brought it up enough, 2008 was not a good year for film-goers. That’s an incredibly subjective quip, of course, but I certainly found myself struggling with the level of quality on display with each and every screening, the oasis of the Oscar season ultimately proving to […]

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Globe cheers, jeers and predictions

Posted by · 6:56 pm · December 11th, 2008

As ever, this morning’s Golden Globe announcement provided a mixed bag of talking points, with some pleasantly zany curveballs at one end of the scale, and a couple of yawnsome autopilot nominees at the other. Like most awards bodies, they’re never going to get it completely right: for every inspired inclusion or omission there’s an […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Button,’ ‘Reader’ screen… uncertainty reigns

Posted by · 8:00 pm · November 28th, 2008

• After a false start, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was finally unveiled, to considerable applause… but is it too chilly? • Maybe. In his gutsy early predictions, Kris names “Slumdog Millionaire” the one to beat. • InContention readers, however, are less sure. • In a week of revelations, “The Reader” also screened — […]

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11/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:34 am · November 26th, 2008

• Jeff Wells is beside himself because Oscar prognosticators understand “Che” has a snowball’s chance in hell at a best Picture nomination. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Noah Forrest podcasts “Changeling” screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. [Movie City News] • Anne Thompson gets the “Australia” goods from Hugh Jackman. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Tom O’Neil, meanwhile, wonders if […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Changeling’ screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski

Posted by · 12:31 pm · November 25th, 2008

“In the feature film world, we television writers barely exist,” explains J. Michael Straczynski screenwriter of Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling,” starring Angelina Jolie.  “So for this to all happen so fast is really a fairy tale year for me. I am elated with how this has all gone down and changed the course of my life.” […]

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In the round

Posted by · 5:59 pm · November 20th, 2008

I don’t know why exactly, but the “roundtable” format of interviews that crops up a lot during awards season often strikes me as rather less fascinating than it’s meant to be. Unless the panel is very smartly chosen, I find the discussion tends to veer towards back-patting and faintly smug in-jokery, rather than stimulating argument […]

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