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 […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume II

Posted by · 10:42 am · October 16th, 2009

Since I last analyzed the costume design category in July, a number of the contenders are still waiting to be seen, though several have opened and we’ve seen glimpses from others. While the number of movers and shakers hasn’t been enormous, there has still been enough movement – and more insight gained – to warrant […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume I

Posted by · 11:51 am · July 30th, 2009

Movie stars are often given much attention for the fashion that they sport off-screen. Seldom does the on-screen attire garner as much publicity. Nevertheless, the Academy Award for Best Costume Design recognizes those talented men and women who design the threads actors wear on screen. Not only does this work add to the elegance and […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

TECH SUPPORT: Kicking the tires on a new season

Posted by · 11:52 am · July 11th, 2009

Today marks the beginning of a fourth year of Tech Support here at In Contention. Over the past four years, we’ve sought to bring the otherwise under-reported crafts categories and crafts artists the attention they seldom receive, despite their enormous contributions to the art of cinema. This year, we plan on looking at nine of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

THE LISTS: Top 10 first-half releases that deserved better

Posted by · 10:58 am · July 7th, 2009

Around this time last year, we did a mid-year stocktake of sorts, wherein the site’s various contributors named the best (and worst) of what the cinematic year had presented thus far. You may have noticed that we haven’t offered up a similar piece for 2009. Time constraints may have had something to do with it, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: The Lists

6/30 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:01 am · June 30th, 2009

• Paul Dergarabedian bangs the Oscar gong for…”Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?” [Hollywood.com] • Kim Voynar wraps up the LA Film Fest. [Movie City News] • Claudia Eller calls out Hollywood’s A-list for under-performing at the box office this summer while no-name productions have prevailed. [Los Angeles Times] • Brad Brevet kicks the tires […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

6/29 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:01 am · June 29th, 2009

• Rachel Abramowitz catches up with Johnny Depp on the “Public Enemies” publicity trail. [Los Angeles Times] • Helen O’Hara remembers Michael Jackson’s movie moments. [Empire] • Jenni Miller talks to “Cheri” director Stephen Frears. [Cinematical] • Guillermo DelToro’s credo. [The Independent] • “Do the Right Thing” still asks burning questions. [Washingotn Post] • Hey, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SUNDAY CENTS: Box office ‘Trans’-stormed!

Posted by · 3:37 pm · June 28th, 2009

After a critical mauling the likes of which is usually reserved for Uwe Boll, Michael Bay’s mega-budget sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” opened to the second largest five day opening of all-time behind “The Dark Knight.” Is that surprising? Not really. The original film is one of only two non-sequels in the last three […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

‘Chéri’ website launched

Posted by · 6:50 pm · May 27th, 2009

As you know, despite a mixed critical reception over here in the UK, I was quite taken with Stephen Frears’ “Chéri,” a tarter-than-expected Belle Epoque romance that showcases the director’s best work in nine years, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s best work in … well, longer than that. I’m not sure how the film, a rather subtle […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Taking the temperature

Posted by · 2:10 pm · May 25th, 2009

It’s somewhat surprising that our year-in-advance Oscar coverage is only three months old.  That now ancient list of predictions seems so long ago, and yet, even with Cannes behind us and this or that indication of a few of the contenders, I have no idea how to offer an educated update beyond general housekeeping.  The […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

Cougar in a corset

Posted by · 4:08 pm · May 19th, 2009

Jane Shilling has a piece at the Telegraph about the gender politics of “Chéri” — specifically, the social disruption engendered by a romantic relationship between a middle-aged woman and a young man. Describing “Chéri” author Colette, and by extrapolation the character of Léa (played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the film), as “the original cougar,” Shilling […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

American ‘Chéri’ poster

Posted by · 3:54 pm · May 17th, 2009

Unlike the appropriately sober (if aesthetically half-assed) UK poster, this U.S. one-sheet for “Chéri” does much the same thing as the trailer in selling the film as an effervescent romantic comedy. The film plays along for its first half, though as I said in my review, the chick-lit crowd may find themselves surprised by the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: Cannes unspooled, ‘The Road’ unveiled

Posted by · 7:36 pm · May 15th, 2009

• Kicking off a Cannes-loaded week, we offered a two-part profile of this year’s contenders for the Palme d’Or. • Meanwhile, this week’s Top Ten list reflected on the greatest runners-up in the festival’s history. • As “Up” opened the festival, Pixar maintained its recent critical streak. • Within the competition, however, it’s two films […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

5/11 Web Round-up

Posted by · 11:16 am · May 11th, 2009

• With J.J. Abrams’s reboot landing in theaters this weekend, and Emmy talk on the brain, Tom O’Neil asks which versions of the popular series deserved small screen awards attention. [Gold Derby] • Geoff Boucher, meanwhile, talks to Leonard Nimoy and gets the actor to admit that some “Star Trek” fans can be “scary.” [Hero […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

REVIEW: “Chéri” (***)

Posted by · 11:12 am · May 9th, 2009

My first thought on leaving the theatre after watching Stephen Frears’ crisp, elegantly turned new effort is that it is, in many ways, a consummate Frears film. My second thought, however, ran counter to the first: it has, over the years, become increasingly difficult to define what “a Stephen Frears film” might be. We are […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Reviews

WEEKLY WRAP: Loving ‘Trek,’ reading ‘Chéri,’ awaiting ‘Basterds’

Posted by · 6:00 pm · May 8th, 2009

• In a bumper season for the sci-fi genre, Kris was thoroughly impressed by both “Star Trek” and the lower-profile “Moon.” • Meanwhile, we kicked off this year’s Page to Screen series with a look at the literary origins of “Chéri’.” • In a sad week for the business, we bade farewell to both actor […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

PAGE TO SCREEN: “Chéri” by Colette

Posted by · 8:52 am · May 6th, 2009

Merely casual acquaintances of French literature will likely associate the name Colette with her short story “Gigi” – or rather, the flouncy musical film adaptation thereof that swept the board at the 1958 Academy Awards. A sunny, sanitized interpretation of an intricate study in sexual politics, it captured the author’s sensibility in its lavish set-dressing, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Page to Screen

Ma belle

Posted by · 8:38 am · April 22nd, 2009

While I’m on the subject of Gallic-flavoured Best Actress contenders, I usually try not to get too invested in an individual’s awards hopes before I’ve seen the film carrying them, but I must admit to one sentimental wish this year: that Michelle Pfeiffer and “Chéri” will live up to the delicate beauty of their source […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily