In Contention

9/19 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Toronto Oscar bounces, threads in ‘Drive,’ adaptng le Carre

Posted by · 8:54 am · September 19th, 2011

• Anne Thompson talks “Rampart” with writer/director Oren Moverman. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Greg Ellwood ponders who got an Oscar bounce out of Toronto. [Awards Campaign] • Simon Kinnear on the clothing designs of “Drive.” [Clothes on Film]

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9/16 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Scientists vouch for ‘Contagion,’ Refn breaks down ‘Drive,’ Toronto takeaways

Posted by · 7:46 am · September 16th, 2011

• Scientists say “Contagion” is for real. [Associated Press] • James Rocchi talks “The Ides of March” with Best Supporting Actress hopeful Evan Rachel Wood. [MSN Movies] • Nicolas Winding Refn breaks down a scene from “Drive.” [Arts Beat]

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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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BOX OFFICE: ‘Contagion’ finally stops ‘The Help,’ ‘Warrior’ stumbles in the first round

Posted by · 9:15 am · September 11th, 2011

I don’t pretend to be a box office expert, but I have to think five million for “Warrior” on opening weekend is a disaster for that film. What’s the ceiling when you start out there? It has to be low. Money was always going to be the difference for its Oscar chances. If it hit, […]

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Tell us what you thought of ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:46 am · September 9th, 2011

I dropped my thoughts on Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” while at the Telluride fest, following a brief discussion on the film with Anne in last weekend’s podcast. All of that came on the heels of my in-depth interview with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, but now it’s your turn to sound off. The film opens nationwide today, […]

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9/9 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Gosling King of Toronto, ‘Descendants’ drops earlier, spoilers in trailers

Posted by · 8:24 am · September 9th, 2011

• Susan Wloszczyna writes up Toronto as the Oscar season kickstarter, hears good buzz for Woody Harrelson in “Rampart.” [USA Today] • Jeff Labrecque chalks Ryan Gosling up as the King of Toronto with two films set for the fest. [Entertainment Weekly] • Fox Searchlight moves “The Descendants” up five days to November 18. [Variety]

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Tell us your ‘Contagion’ germaphobe stories

Posted by · 11:13 am · September 8th, 2011

Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” opens tomorrow nationwide. We’ll put up the usual “tell us what you thought” post then, but for now, I thought I’d point you all to this interesting behind-the-scenes look at the bacteria-infested billboard Warner Bros. commissioned for advertising the film in Toronto, courtesy of JoBlo. It’s kind of brilliant: Meanwhile, I thought […]

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9/7 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Summit’s ‘Better Life’ first screener with a chance, ‘Contagion’ peeps, Murphy reactions

Posted by · 8:06 am · September 7th, 2011

• Pete Hammond reports that Summit’s “A Better Life” is the first screener to go out “from a movie that has any chance in hell of getting a nomination.” [Deadline] • Bryan Alexander talks to the principals of Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion.” [USA Today] And naturally, everyone has something to say about Eddie Murphy…

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‘Contagion’ keeps you at arm’s length — by design

Posted by · 11:02 pm · September 2nd, 2011

Spinning off of comments made in the podcast this morning, I liked Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” quite a bit. It doesn’t reinvent the outbreak movie wheel per se, but it manifests a unique cross-section of characters and dissects them clinically, perhaps the film’s (and screenplay’s) biggest stroke of genius. There isn’t a lot of heart to […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 59 — Venice thoughts from Guy Lodge, debating ‘The Artist’, Telluride musings and Soderbergh’s stripped-down ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:04 am · September 2nd, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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9/2 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Diary’ a TFF surprise?, Cronenberg talks ‘Method,’ Cody’s most anticipated

Posted by · 7:55 am · September 2nd, 2011

• Word is one of the big Telluride surprises is the Johnny Depp starrer “The Rum Diary.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • At Venice, is “Contagion” following “The Town”‘s awards playbook? (Uh…yeah.) [24 Frames] • Sticking with the Lido, Nick Vivarelli talks to “A Dangerous Method” director David Cronenberg. [Variety]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Contagion’ screenwriter Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 9:08 am · August 31st, 2011

There’s a scene in 2009’s “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s tongue-in-cheek look at corporate malfeasance written by Scott Z. Burns, when Matt Damon’s pathological liar Mark Whitacre rants internally about the spread of a virus, spurred by a sneeze from co-star Scott Bakula. By the time the film was complete, Soderbergh had built a solid working […]

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8/31 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Social media boost ‘The Help,’ actress Oscar plays, Bird Flu back ahead of ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:16 am · August 31st, 2011

• Anne Thompson talks to “Warrior” stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy and director Gavin O’Connor. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Lucas Kavner on the debt “The Help” owes to social media for its box office staying power. [Huffington Post] • Louis Virtel looks shines a light on five female roles that seem to have the […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Fall fests look to boost early Oscar hopes

Posted by · 9:00 am · August 29th, 2011

On a warm Saturday afternoon in Telluride last year, I sat in the crowded Chuck Jones Cinema and felt the warmth in the room as Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” screened for its first audience of the year. Six months later, at the end of a road with plenty of twists and turns, the film’s […]

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‘Contagion’ character posters

Posted by · 3:57 am · August 10th, 2011

I’ve successfully dodged the trailer — and swiftly ducked out of any online discussion — for Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” to I can honestly say that I haven’t the faintest idea what it’s about, and plan to stay cheerfully ignorant until the lights go down at its Venice press screening in a few weeks’ time. Fortunately, […]

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Telluride guessing game

Posted by · 10:34 am · July 28th, 2011

(UPDATED: 8/29) Now that the Toronto and Venice line-ups have been unveiled (though we have a few more Toronto announcements to come), I figured I’d take a few stabs at sussing out the Telluride crop this year. I haven’t been a good journalist and called around or anything. Just spinning my wheels. One studio that […]

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Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

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