Day-Lewis on pickiness and privacy

Posted by · 9:32 am · December 11th, 2009

Part of the reason I love Daniel Day-Lewis — aside from the plain evidence of his acting, of course — is that he’s one of the few actors these days who maintains a measure of old-fashioned, movie-star mystique. His gossip-column days of dating and ditching everyone from Julia Roberts to Isabelle Adjani now long behind […]

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Oh yeah, the ‘Nine’ embargo lifted…

Posted by · 10:18 am · December 4th, 2009

It’s one of those things when you show a film early and hold everyone to an embargo for a number of weeks.  I imagine there are people like me who run out of the passion and desire to write about some films, and over the last few weeks, “Nine” has been that film for me. […]

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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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‘Nine’ gets big response from SAG

Posted by · 12:32 pm · November 20th, 2009

Rob Marshall’s hotly anticipated movie musical adaptation “Nine” played before a jam-packed SAG Nominating Committee crowd at the Pacific Design Center Wednesday night, and judging by the response, we’ve got a real player on our hands. Of course, one can never tell with these things.  Especially SAG Nom Comm, which tends to be a bit, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t look back in anger

Posted by · 2:20 pm · November 11th, 2009

For all the movement in the awards game this week – Jeff Bridges leap-frogging into contention, the animation race swelling to five nominees, “Precious” continuing to gather momentum – my head hasn’t really been in it this week. That’s partly because we’re all still making blind prognoses until four unseen juggernauts – “Nine,” “Avatar,” “The […]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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Who could say “Nein!” to a face like that?

Posted by · 6:06 pm · October 2nd, 2009

Not me.  And can we just give Dion Beebe his second Oscar now?  Talk about a race virtually sapped of intrigue (if we’re being honest): One more reason after the jump.

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On acting

Posted by · 10:11 am · October 2nd, 2009

What constitutes a great performance?  What makes it something that puts it head and shoulders above the rest?  What does an artist do to go to that level of art and achieve something that is both extraordinary and rare? Does the Academy, or rather the branch that nominates the actors, look as closely at performance […]

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Great performers at their best

Posted by · 7:50 am · August 21st, 2009

After spending some time this summer watching some excellent films on DVD, I was inspired to write this piece about the great actors’ (living, with one exception) greatest performances. Narrowing it down to one each (brutal, believe me), I think have come up with a list of actors, young and old, that represents some of […]

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Get a haircut and get a real job

Posted by · 12:37 am · April 29th, 2009

OK, so this story of Daniel Day-Lewis becoming the first person to receive the freedom of County Wicklow, Ireland, isn’t really of immense interest to anyone outside, perhaps, breathless followers of the Wicklow social scene. (My apologies to those of you reading.) But this photo of Day-Lewis certainly grabbed my attention, if only because of […]

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Year-in-advance winner predictions

Posted by · 11:26 am · February 27th, 2009

Yes, I’m insane, but before I leave off this year’s year-in-advance week, by request, I thought I’d throw up a random set of winner predictions and see if I was close to the target next February.  Last year I managed three correct guesses (four if you count Winslet for the wrong movie), two of them […]

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Best Actor race — shades of ’74 and ’02

Posted by · 6:26 am · February 10th, 2009

The 1974 Academy Award nominees for Best Actor were Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown,” Al Pacino in “The Godfather, Part II,” Albert Finney in “Murder on the Orient Express,” Art Carney in “Harry and Tonto” and Dustin Hoffman in “Lenny.”  There had been some mild surprise that Gene Hackman had been passed over for his work […]

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2/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:06 am · February 2nd, 2009

• How “The Wrestler” is rescuing professional wrestling. [The Independent] • Kim Voynar on spinning against the frontrunner. [Movie City News] • Michael Cieply writes up the Oscarcast as a production struggling to be exciting in the wake of an under-seen slate of nominees. [New York Times] • According to Christopher Nolan at the DGA […]

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12/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 4:07 am · December 19th, 2008

(This is your “don’t fly Continental — EVER” edition of the In Contention Oscarweb Round-up, brought to you live from Houston’s George Bush International Airport, a.k.a. Satan’s womb.) • Jeff Wells actually thinks there were “stunners” in yesterday’s SAG announcement. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland talks with a chin-up Baz Luhrmann. [The Hot Blog] • […]

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What does early (and excessive) Oscar hype do to a film’s chances?

Posted by · 3:31 pm · September 20th, 2008

In 1996, a fall movie preview of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox, the cast of “The Crucible” staring back at me on the cover, making clear to me this was going to be THE film of the fall. There were rumors floating within the industry that the film, based on the Arthur Miller play, […]

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And Fergie makes ‘Nine’

Posted by · 2:15 am · July 20th, 2008

Ugh, they had to ruin it, didn’t they? Yes, apparently the woman whose most significant artistic achievement thus far has been introducing the term “lady lumps” to the popular vocabulary is joining the most star-spangled cast in recent memory. She will play the prostitute from the Day-Lewis character’s youth, who was responsible for his sexual […]

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Kate Hudson joins ‘Nine’

Posted by · 2:01 am · July 15th, 2008

I wrote back in May about the embarrassment of riches that is the cast of “Nine” – Rob Marshall’s upcoming filmization of the hit Broadway musical based, in turn, in Fellini’s “8½.” Now, as if Daniel Day-Lewis, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard weren’t enough names to fit on the […]

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Day-Lewis in line for ‘Nine?’

Posted by · 1:57 am · May 15th, 2008

OK, so the dream cast potentially just got dreamier. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Variety reports that none other than Daniel Day-Lewis (one almost feels that should be preceded with a Sir, no?) is in talks to play the lead in Rob Marshall’s film version of “Nine” — the Broadway show that is in […]

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