TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions

Posted by · 5:27 pm · February 18th, 2009

After six months of Tech Support previews and interviews, the films have arrived, the nominations have been announced and the guilds, the critics and BAFTA have all announced their preferences.  Today we take a final look at the races before the envelopes are opened on Sunday. BEST ART DIRECTION After guild and BAFTA wins, I […]

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Is ‘Slumdog’ score too pop?

Posted by · 4:20 pm · January 29th, 2009

Thanks to Nat Rogers at The Film Experience for pointing out a really worthwhile article in the Wall Street Journal, in which music critic Jim Fusilli takes a close look at this year’s nominees for Best Original Score. It’s not a category which tends to inspire much intelligent coverage in mainstream outlets, so it’s great […]

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January winner predictions

Posted by · 8:16 am · January 22nd, 2009

Onward. I bet Fox Searchlight wants this phase two to go by as fast as possible. Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire” Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire” Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk” Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader” Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” Best Adapted […]

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How we did

Posted by · 7:51 am · January 22nd, 2009

I’ll let the other contributors’ picks speak for themselves, and they’re more than welcome to pipe in with notes if they like, but here’s my tally. Coming off probably my best year yet last year, I didn’t do great.  I only nailed one category 100 percent (Best Film Editing).  There were more 3/5s popping up […]

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1/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:37 am · January 19th, 2009

(It’s kind of hard to find anything with meat on its bones amid all the boring, derivative Sundance coverage.) • David Poland spends 30 minutes with genius Charlie Kaufman. [The Hot Blog] • Patrick Goldstein comes to Edward Zwick’s defence over a wrong-headed, borderline moronic assessment of his recent film “Defiance.” [The Big Picture] • […]

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The top 10 shots of 2008: part one

Posted by · 9:03 am · January 14th, 2009

I’m hoping to make this an annual tradition here at In Contention.  It’s no secret we have a lot of respect for below-the-line talent around these parts, but it’s nice to have a visual way of showing that appreciation.  I sat down to write this piece for the first time last year, taken by the […]

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Cinema Audio Society nominees

Posted by · 7:31 pm · January 7th, 2009

The five contenders for the 2009 Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards are: “The Dark Knight” “Iron Man” “Quantum of Solace” “Slumdog Millionaire” “WALL-E” So this is the second “Defiance” snub that has surprised me so far, following Eduardo Serra coming up short with the lensers earlier today. “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man” and especially “WALL-E” […]

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1/7 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:31 am · January 7th, 2009

• Noah Forrest talks with “Che” scribe Peter Buchman. [Movie City News] • David S. Cohen takes a deeper look at the visual effects bake-off. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Tom O’Neil chats with Dave Karger and Michael Musto about the seemingly Oscar-locked Heath Ledger. [Gold Derby] • Reed Johnson talks to the descendents of “Defiance”‘s […]

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Guessing the WGA: the adaptations

Posted by · 8:07 pm · January 6th, 2009

(Original screenplay predictions here.) The adapted field is a little easier to manage.  But I wouldn’t look to USC’s typically road-less-traveled nominees for much of a barometer for the adapted screenplay race, however.  That’s folly of a different sort.  So we’re left to our own devices. Once again, foreign and animated films are not eligible […]

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1/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:36 am · January 2nd, 2009

• David Poland looks at the race nine weeks out from the angle of release marketing and strategy. [Movie City News] • Nathaniel Rogers is knee deep in his annual (extensive) year in review features.  Read it.  Now. [The Film Exerience] • Jeffrey Wells passes on some notes from a friend making some dubious comparisons […]

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December winner predictions

Posted by · 7:07 am · December 27th, 2008

Before we get to the end of the month here I thought I’d go ahead and toss up another set of winner predictions.  This’ll be the last pre-nom set.  I’ll go back to them next month, probably the day of the nominations announcement.  But for now, it’s really all blind guessing, as always. For last […]

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12/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:44 am · December 26th, 2008

• Bob Tourtellotte spends a minute with Sam Mendes. [Reuters] • David Poland responds to the week’s “Watchmen” wowser. [The Hot Blog] • Jeffrey Wells re-runs his thoughts on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Joel Stein wants it understood that Jews still run Hollywood, m’kay? [Los Angeles Times] • Lisa Marks […]

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Here’s why the BFCA snubbed ‘Revolutionary Road’

Posted by · 11:29 am · December 9th, 2008

I didn’t think about this at the time this morning, because of course, I do the diligence of going to the screenings.  But DVDs of “Revolutionary Road” and “Defiance” did not arrive on our doorsteps until late last week, in some cases, as late as Friday.  Even though the voting deadline was Sunday, I’m sure […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Torino’ win big at NBR

Posted by · 11:19 am · December 4th, 2008

The National Board of Review has announced its list of winners for the 2008 awards season and Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog Millionaire” is the big champ, taking down three awards including Best Film and a tie for Best Adapted Screenplay with Eric Roth’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”  Dev Patel also won the award for […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume One

Posted by · 12:24 pm · November 20th, 2008

Music is one of few of the “tech” awards cited by the Academy that tends to result in passionate discussions among moviegoers, including non-cinephiles. Awarded in the Best Original Score category, the film music composer has one of the most difficult and lonely jobs in filmmaking. Almost always arriving at the end of the editing […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Dark Knight’ disqualified, Rourke interviewed, ‘Australia’ unwrapped

Posted by · 8:00 pm · November 14th, 2008

Kind of an in-between week, this. Here’s how it went down: • In probably the most discussed Oscar news of the week, “The Dark Knight” was dodgily ruled ineligible in the Best Original Score category. • On a happier note, we sat down with surefire Best Actor nominee Mickey Rourke. • A shortlist of 14 […]

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‘Defiance’ strikes out with the trades

Posted by · 6:27 pm · November 11th, 2008

Ed Zwick may just be one of those directors who will never be in critics’ good graces: a fine technical craftsman and a no-nonsense storyteller, even his best films remain as resolutely unfashionable in execution as they are noble in intention. Nothing wrong with that, of course — I’m no real fan, but films like […]

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Oscar column? Ha.

Posted by · 10:21 am · November 10th, 2008

Nothing to show for myself yet again this week.  I swear, in seven days time, I’ll get my act in gear on that front.  But without something to push the passion, it’s kind of hard not to let other committments take hold. After AFI, some think “Doubt” has a Best Picture shot, others don’t.  I […]

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