‘Monsters’ poster and trailer

Posted by · 11:42 am · August 10th, 2010

A smart little horror-romance-road movie hybrid, and an eye-catching debut for British writer-director-DP-production-designer-FX-creator Gareth Edwards, “Monsters” was one of my top finds of June’s Edinburgh Film Festival, where it deservedly won the New Directors Award. Judging from this new poster and UK trailer, the film’s marketers are obviously feeding off the comparisons that have already […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Picture

Posted by · 9:37 am · March 6th, 2010

And here we are. With one day until the Oscar ceremony, we wrap up our Oscar Guide series with a look at the 10 nominations for Best Picture. Yes, 10. The Academy decided to pump up the intrigue by expanding its Best Picture field this year in an attempt at securing some love for more […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Posted by · 11:17 am · March 1st, 2010

In most cases, the adapted screenplay category of a given Oscar race is packed with Best Picture nominees or contenders. This year, however, there was a nice balance of adapted and original screenplays in the Best Picture category, and in fact, of the “top five” films that trickled down throughout the season, three were original […]

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Stop the presses: ‘Avatar’ sweeps VES

Posted by · 9:50 pm · February 28th, 2010

ZOMG!  Well, actually, it wasn’t a clean sweep, as “District 9” managed to win in the compositing category (one of many that saw “Avatar” as a multiple nominee).  But it was unsurprisingly dominated by Cameron and company throughout, with six awards going to the blockbuster.  Go to The Circuit to see the damage. (Also, while […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Film Editing

Posted by · 12:22 pm · February 12th, 2010

The Best Film Editing category tends to be a shadow of the Best Picture category in some ways. With there being 10 Best Picture nominees this year, however, the field was bound to nail down five of the contenders. So considering the old stand-by stat (no film has won Best Picture without an editing nomination […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Visual Effects

Posted by · 1:30 pm · February 5th, 2010

The field of visual effects contenders didn’t seem to need the annual bake-off reduction to know which way the wind was blowing this year.  Three films seemed to be headed for recognition from the outset, and on nomination morning, the category made for one of the least surprising collectives of the day. Furthermore, it has […]

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10 snubs that sting

Posted by · 5:40 pm · February 2nd, 2010

I’ve already highlighted my favorite aspects of this morning’s Oscar nominations. Still, before we move into Phase Two, I’d like to give one final respectful nod to the could-have-beens — the names that we sadly won’t be talking about anymore in the next five weeks of speculation. I listed my true favorites in my dream […]

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The bright side

Posted by · 7:36 am · February 2nd, 2010

Well, I’ll start the good news selfishly, by noting that I didn’t entirely embarrass myself with my predictions: not counting the short categories (which I was too cowardly and uninformed to predict) I nailed 78/106, just two points behind Kris’s round tally of 80. But while I was pleased to see at least one of […]

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Calling the longshots

Posted by · 5:47 pm · February 1st, 2010

So this Steve Pond piece, titled “How Oscar Could Surprise — and Scare — Us,” is what we like to call hedging our bets.  It’s a chance to address some bubble matters so that we have something to point to and say, “Look, I toldja!” (Is that officially trademarked by Nikki Finke yet?) Anyway, I […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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Reitman: “Bigelow is going to win and she deserves to win.”

Posted by · 9:22 am · February 1st, 2010

Over at Roger Ebert’s little corner of the web, the Chicago Sun-Times critics has posted a great conversation with “Up in the Air” director Jason Reitman.  There’s a bit of everything, really, but most noteworthy is his praise of “The Hurt Locker” and “District 9.” He proves he’s a lot more humble than his detractors […]

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My dream ballot: part one

Posted by · 7:32 pm · January 31st, 2010

As I did last year, I’m preparing for Tuesday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations by running through my own favorites in each category — following on from the ideal ballots posted by Kris and Chad in the past few weeks. “Preparing” isn’t quite the word: it implies a link between the processes of predicting and […]

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January winner predictions

Posted by · 10:59 am · January 27th, 2010

It’s time for me to go to the well one more time before next week’s big announcement.  That’s right, six days and the mystery of the 10 will finally be answered.  But first, some blind (since there are no nominations yet) guesses.  Just trying to find the right balance here: Best Picture: “The Hurt Locker” […]

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‘Avatar,’ ‘Star Trek’ lead the way with MPSE

Posted by · 10:13 am · January 22nd, 2010

For the first time I can ever remember, the Motion Picture Sound Editors have announced their list of nominees BEFORE the Academy has announced the Oscar nominees.  Because these always came a few days after the big announcement, I have to say, I have never bothered to see how often they match up with the […]

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CAS nominees

Posted by · 7:56 pm · January 20th, 2010

Ironic that his release drops tonight just as I’m transcribing an interview with sound mixer Greg Russell for tomorrow’s Tech Support column. The list of nominees for the Cinema Audio Society doesn’t exactly hold any surprises.  The only film on the list that isn’t being predicted in the sidebar as of right now is “District […]

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The home stretch

Posted by · 9:57 am · January 20th, 2010

Pete Hammond’s story concerning Academy members tapping out before listing a full slate of 10 nominees on their ballots is getting some traction today, but it’s hardly new news.  Many voters never even bothered to come up with five nominees, so the switch to 10 was always going to yield a number of incomplete ballots. […]

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‘Avatar’ leads VES nominations

Posted by · 5:49 pm · January 18th, 2010

No surprises there.  James Cameron’s film landed 11 separate mentions from the Visual Effects Society (some more specifically indicated than others).  “2012” and “District 9” each landed three nominations, while “Sherlock Holmes” and “Star Trek” each landed two. The nominees in the main field, “visual effects in a visual effects driven feature motion picture,” are: […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Hollywood fights back

Posted by · 5:45 pm · January 13th, 2010

I may be looking out at my snow-caked garden as I write this, but it was in the spirit of spring-cleaning that I revised my nomination predictions this morning, ridding myself of most of the clinging personal hopes and hunches that lingered when I last updated them a month ago. It wasn’t the most drastic […]

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