David Poland’s Oscar underdogs … where are the ladies?

Posted by · 1:50 pm · November 13th, 2009

For those of you bored of reading the same ever-narrowing list of names in the assorted Oscar-speculation pieces across the web, David Poland’s latest column is a slight breath of fresh air. Decrying the fact that many pundits are making ludicrous long-shot calls like “This Is It” for Best Picture, while ignoring more deserving contenders […]

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First stab at winner predictions

Posted by · 3:13 pm · November 9th, 2009

I don’t offer up predictions on a given year’s Oscar winners until November, generally speaking.  And, well, it’s November.  Which is still, of course, too early to be making calls like these, since we don’t even have a nominations slate to go by, but I like to take an early stab, revisit in early December […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting gentlemen

Posted by · 9:10 am · November 9th, 2009

In recent weeks we’ve been covering the performance categories in this space.  With little else of tangible interest, what else can we possibly discuss?  It’s as good a time as any to take note of what we have on our hands.  Be sure to check out our looks at Best Actor, Best Actress and Best […]

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The Great Performances: 1999

Posted by · 9:18 pm · November 7th, 2009

1999 was a strange year.  And it’s hard to believe a full decade has slipped past since.  There were some great award-winning performances, to be sure, but there seemed to be just as many not nominated that certainly should have been. Ten years later, I remain stunned that Reese Witherspoon was not nominated for her […]

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Christopher Plummer talks Tolstoy, “S&M” and his under-the-radar film career at AFI Fest

Posted by · 7:03 pm · November 7th, 2009

Christopher Plummer was feted at AFI Fest Tuesday evening and I popped in for the brief toast before heading over to an unrelated Gala screening.  LA Weekly’s Scott Foundas was the moderator for an all-too-brief back and forth with the actor, who comes off as someone with whom you’d like to have a drink or […]

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‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Woman Without Piano,’ ‘Ajami’ honored at AFI

Posted by · 10:39 am · November 6th, 2009

Life came calling earlier this week, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to as many AFI Fest screenings and events as I had hoped.  I did catch Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” however (a bizarre, confusing misstep with a wonderful performance from Heath Ledger) and “Everybody’s Fine” (D.O.A.). I also caught […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading gentlemen

Posted by · 10:31 am · November 2nd, 2009

We’ve taken concentrated looks at the lead actress and supporting actress categories in recent weeks.  Now let’s turn our attention over to the fellas. Behind the Best Picture race, of course, the lead actor competition is perhaps the most hotly anticipated award of a given Oscar telecast.  Movie stars are born, Hollywood staples are rewarded […]

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Enter AFI

Posted by · 9:49 am · November 2nd, 2009

I haven’t had a chance to preview/write-up AFI Fest due to some a dizzying weekend and family obligations, but I should probably do that with the festivities entering a fourth day. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” kicked things off last week and with the festival moving from the Arclight on Sunset to the historic Chinese Theatre on […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Foxes, festivals and foreign contenders

Posted by · 7:54 pm · October 16th, 2009

• The 53rd annual London Film Festival kicked off with Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — we reviewed it here. • Speaking of festivals, the AFI Fest unveiled its own complete lineup, with “Fox” and “A Single Man” as its bookends. • This week’s edition of The Long Shot considered the extensive possibilities for black, […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 6 — Foreign, animated, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ Plummer and more

Posted by · 12:56 pm · October 16th, 2009

Welcome to the sixth installment of Oscar Talk, a weekly awards-centric kudocast featuring yours truly and Anne Thompson of indieWIRE’s Thompson on Hollywood. As we move further into the season, there is finally substantial grist for the mill.  Here’s what we’re discussing today: • With 65 countries locked in for consideration in this year’s Best […]

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10/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:44 am · October 16th, 2009

• Nathaniel Rogers weighs in on Christopher Plummer’s upcoming whirlwind campaigns. [The Film Experience] • John Hiscock sits down with 2009’s “it” girl, Carey Mulligan. [Daily Telegraph] • Enter a contest to design the actual one-sheet for Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist.” [CHUD]

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Category shuffling gets complicated

Posted by · 7:31 pm · October 12th, 2009

It’s been interesting to note that many of the conversations concerning the Oscar race that I’ve had with people lately revolves around category placement for a number of the year’s contenders.  It was a topic Anne and I addressed directly in Friday’s Oscar Talk, in fact. There tends to be dueling ideologies on this, as […]

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Confirmed: ‘The Last Station’ goes to Sony Classics

Posted by · 10:16 am · October 2nd, 2009

A few days ago there were whispers on the winds that “The Last Station” had been picked up by a specialty division with a number of art house releases primed for the season.  All signs pointed to Sony Pictures Classics. Today we get a confirmation (and I’ve independently verified) that, indeed, the film is a […]

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‘Last Station’ to Sony Classics?

Posted by · 2:41 pm · September 29th, 2009

Obviously the only thing Pete Hammond can mean when he writes the following: Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti are going to try to shake up the awards season. Look for their new film, “The Last Station” — written and directed by Michael Hoffman and based on the final months in the life […]

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9/14 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:49 am · September 14th, 2009

• Overture angles for the domestic rights to Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest,” perhaps giving a leg up to Ethan Hawke in the Best Actor race. [Variety] • Is Charles Darwin too controversial for American multiplexes? [CHUD] • Christopher Plummer at 80, busy as ever. [The Toronto Star]

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TELLURIDE: ‘The Last Station’ premieres to the world

Posted by · 9:32 pm · September 4th, 2009

Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station,” adapted from Jay Parini’s novel about the last days of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy, has been on my radar for quite some time.  There seemed to be an air of awards potential around Christopher Plummer, who stars as a dwindling Tolstoy, and Helen Mirren, as his fiery wife, Countess […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 performances from Michael Mann films

Posted by · 11:24 am · June 30th, 2009

With the forthcoming release of Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” (review) dominating — quite impressively, I might add — the publicity circuit this week, all eyes are on Johnny Depp.  An Ulmer Scale X factor for this character study posing as a summer blockbuster, Depp’s performance is sure to draw champions and detractors alike for its […]

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REVIEW: “Up” (***1/2)

Posted by · 10:52 am · May 21st, 2009

Watching Pixar Animation grow and develop as a studio has become almost more fascinating than experiencing one of the company’s many creative films unfold on screen. Beginning with an industry leap in 1995’s “Toy Story” and eventually moving into its daring own with 2008’s “WALL-E,” the studio has, at the very least, shown a desire […]

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