In Contention

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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Jessica Chastain wins award in Venice — more to come?

Posted by · 4:38 pm · September 3rd, 2011

Nathaniel Rogers tipped me off today to the fact that Jessica Chastain has won her first (of many?) award of the season in Venice. The prize, presented by “W.E.” director Madonna, was the Gucci Award for Women in Film. And it’s a pretty good pick when you consider how prolific she is this year. Chastain […]

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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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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 58 — Wrapping up the summer, fall festival preview, ‘Warrior’ and ‘50/50’

Posted by · 10:00 am · August 26th, 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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‘Coriolanus’ poster

Posted by · 3:10 pm · August 17th, 2011

Another day, another poster. Interesting that they’re selling this one less as The Ralph Fiennes Show (he is Coriolanus, after all) and more as a two-hander. It’s worth playing up Gerard Butler’s contribution — his performance here is a career highlight — but I maintain my broken-record position that Vanessa Redgrave is the real story here. […]

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‘Coriolanus’ UK trailer

Posted by · 7:03 am · August 11th, 2011

I stuck my neck out back in February at the Berlin Film Festival and said that Vanessa Redgrave will snag a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination (at least) for her galvanizing interpretation of Volumnia in Ralph Fiennes’s hopped-up take on Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus.” I’m sticking to my guns — and I imagine more voices will join […]

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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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Weinsteins announce release dates for winter bait

Posted by · 6:10 pm · June 17th, 2011

Harvey Weinstein has never been one to put much faith in the length of Academy voters’ memories, so as usual, he’s favoring a late-year release plan for his presumed awards contenders — the prospects of which I was discussing only the other day. Thanks to Coming Soon’s Ed Douglas for pointing out the newly announced […]

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Madonna’s ‘W.E.’ joins Weinsteins’ scattered 2011 slate

Posted by · 11:56 am · June 13th, 2011

Having done all right with the last film to cover the romantic tribulations of King Edward VIII — it was called “The King’s Speech,” it won a few Oscars, you might have heard of it — The Weinstein Company clearly feels there’s an appetite among audiences for more on that chapter of British royal history, […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: BAFTA ‘Speech’ sweep, ASC upset, Berlinale coverage

Posted by · 8:54 pm · February 18th, 2011

• To the surprise of precisely no one, hometown favorite “The King’s Speech” reigned supreme at the BAFTAs. • Before you go basing your Oscar predictions on the BAFTA outcome, Kris pointed out a crucial caveat. • “Inception” added another guild award to its mantel, as Wally Pfister beat Roger Deakins to the American Society […]

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BERLIN: ‘Coriolanus,’ Redgrave and an early Oscar bet

Posted by · 6:58 pm · February 14th, 2011

The cavernous Berlinale Palast theatre was packed to the gills for today’s noontime press screening of “Coriolanus” (***), and small wonder — in a Competition lineup heavy on oatmeal fare boasting comparatively unfamiliar names, Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut is one of the few entries that affords viewers a little star-gazing. Fiennes, of course, takes the title […]

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Off to the Berlinale

Posted by · 7:50 pm · February 10th, 2011

In a couple of hours, I’m jumping on a crack-of-dawn flight to one of the coolest cities on earth for a week at the Berlin International Film Festival — or, to use the name that rolls more luxuriously off the tongue, the Berlinale. I probably should have mentioned this earlier and posted some sort of […]

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First Berlinale selections revealed, ‘True Grit’ to open fest

Posted by · 3:43 am · December 15th, 2010

Of all the festivals I attended this year, Berlin was perhaps the one with the most covert significance. At the time, it seemed critics were foraging for scraps amid a dismal competition lineup and a confusingly scattered selection of sidebars — and yet so many of the films I caught there (and some that I […]

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