ACE nominees

Posted by · 7:23 pm · January 11th, 2010

For me, “District 9” is the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me in this morning’s American Cinema Editors announcement.  If ever the film looked like a lock for a Best Picture nomination, now is that time, I have to say.  Getting in over presumed Oscar frontrunners “Precious” and, most especially, “Inglourious Basterds,” that’s a […]

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Makeup bake-off leaves seven

Posted by · 4:40 pm · January 11th, 2010

Via AMPAS press release, the final group includes: “District 9” “Il Divo” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” “The Road” “Star Trek” “The Young Victoria” Well, there was always one spot in flux for me here and most recently I was giving it to “Cirque du Freak” for […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Guilds, lists and disqualifications

Posted by · 4:49 am · January 9th, 2010

• In a big week for precursor announcements, the DGA nominations were the biggest — and least surprising. • The PGA, meanwhile, found room for all three of the year’s hot sci-fi titles in its nominee slate. • “The Hurt Locker” triumphed at the National Society of Film Critics Awards, the first film in 12 […]

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Art Directors Guild nominees

Posted by · 10:32 am · January 8th, 2010

I’ve had my eye on these because I’ve always felt that, if “Avatar” could slide in here, it might be able to get over any weird bias against the way it was designed (largely in computer, etc.). But after sitting down with Robert Stromberg yesterday, and with these nominations in mind, I feel better about […]

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‘District 9,’ ‘In the Loop’ also ineligible for WGA

Posted by · 12:55 pm · January 6th, 2010

With all the WGA casualties popping up this morning I thought I’d track down the eligibility concerns of a handful of other films in the mix and, lo and behold, some other high-caliber work doesn’t make the cut with the guild. Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell’s “District 9,” for starters, is not eligible.  It was […]

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Visual effects bake-off leaves seven

Posted by · 10:28 am · January 6th, 2010

And they are, via AMPAS press release: “Avatar” “District 9” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” “Star Trek” “Terminator Salvation” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” “2012” And the three I still expect to get in are in the mix, so, whew.  I think we all know what will eventually win here, but if there’s a […]

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Speaking of Blomkamp…

Posted by · 9:59 am · January 6th, 2010

…who just popped up in my DGA predictions, in case you’ve missed it, do yourself a favor and give Geoff Boucher’s three-part interview with the “District 9” director a look.  Boucher did a similarly all-encompassing series with Christopher Nolan last year, and this one is every bit as insightful. What we get is a profile […]

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USC Scripter nominations announced

Posted by · 6:08 pm · January 5th, 2010

The USC Libraries has announced its list of contenders for the Scripter prize, which honors adapted screenplays, their writers and the source materials and authors that spawned them. So, with that in mind, I’m not sure how the “District 9” nod is justified here in the slightest, given the stated intention of the award.* But […]

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PGA announces nominees, goes sci-fi

Posted by · 6:13 am · January 5th, 2010

The most striking thing about the slate of nominees unveiled this morning by the Producers Guild of America is a heavy genre slant: all three of 2009’s acclaimed science-fiction mega-hits made the cut in the top category. Of course, that’s not all that surprising coming from the producers, whose appreciation of financial success tends to […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Why it should be ‘The Messenger’

Posted by · 9:46 am · January 4th, 2010

The writing is on the wall. “Nine” is on the precipice, teetering, on the brink of falling from the Best Picture ranks, 10 nominees or not. Speculation flies as to which film will be the beneficiary (as most concede this is the only slot in flux, though there are certainly compelling arguments against a secure […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Four to the floor

Posted by · 4:13 pm · December 30th, 2009

“It might as well rain until September,” wrote Carole King in her jaunty 1960s ditty of that title, an ode to summertime breakup blues that may as well have been composed for the autumnally-activated awards season. Swap September for December, and you have an apt description of the approach many studios and Oscar-watchers alike take […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 movie-related moments of 2009

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 29th, 2009

As the year (and decade) slowly winds down, I thought it would be a pretty good time to revive our long-slumbering Lists feature here at In Contention.  And what better way to do so and salute the year at hand than to lay out the most significant movie-related moments of 2009? The American Film Institute […]

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December winner predictions

Posted by · 9:38 am · December 28th, 2009

I gave this an initial stab nearly two months ago.  I thought I might as well re-visit things.  (And hopefully there won’t be anyone getting their panties in a twist over something as harmless as this.  You know who you are.) Best Picture: “Avatar” Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, […]

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Things of beauty: Guy’s best of 2009

Posted by · 6:01 am · December 23rd, 2009

The year of the woman. The year of animation. The year of science-fiction. Depending on who you read (and believe), the final year of the decade has been an awful lot of things. If you’re with Kris, it’s also the best cinematic year of the last ten. If you’re with an awful lot of others, […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 12:04 pm · December 16th, 2009

Every year I like to keep track of personal favorites throughout the Academy’s designated categories (plus one of my own addition, Best Ensemble). At the end of the year, my “if I had a ballot” post is the result. Of course, for the most part, I follow Academy designations here. If something is ruled ineligible, […]

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Going out with a bang: the best films of 2009

Posted by · 12:35 pm · December 14th, 2009

I’ve often been asked throughout the latter part of 2009 why I should have the gall to consider it the best year of film product in a decade. It’s such a subjective circumstance that, of course, the only answer is, “I liked a lot of movies.” That’s not enough for most. Hard and fast evidence […]

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‘Basterds,’ ‘Nine’ lead the pack with BFCA

Posted by · 2:31 am · December 14th, 2009

For better or worse, the Broadcast Film Critics Association has, of late, been frequently cited for its Oscar prognosticative prowess. Of course, it’s a pointless tidbit in the grand scheme and no one should be looking at organizations like this to see how accurate they might be on that front (even if this one in […]

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