VENICE: ‘Alps’ and other drugs

Posted by · 11:57 am · September 3rd, 2011

The first few days of the Venice Film Festival were so jam-packed with the big-name premieres you’ve been most restless to hear about that, between thrashing out full-length individual reviews of those and negotiating the braided Venice obstacles of crippling humidity and crippled wi-fi facilities, my usual roundups of less flashy fare got a bit […]

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Greece and Poland first to enter foreign Oscar race

Posted by · 9:36 am · July 21st, 2011

The Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film — or, to use its formal title, Most Inoffensively Socially Conscious Non-English-Language Feature To Pass Through The Academy’s Narrow Qualifying Hoops Whilst Remaining Sufficiently Low-Profile For Voters To Feel Like They Discovered It For Themselves — is truly the gift that gives all year round. Scarcely have […]

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The In Contention Readership Ballot

Posted by · 10:20 am · February 27th, 2011

Today’s the big day. No more Oscar Guide, no more polls, just a few choice hours left in the season and then, the 83rd annual. (And not a moment too soon.) I appreciate everyone participating in the daily polls this month and last, which accompanied each of our Oscar Guide entries. It offers us a […]

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Oscar’s foreign race hasn’t found the fix

Posted by · 12:51 pm · February 25th, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Best Foreign Language Film? I’m not sure you can, but in the Academy’s case, it’s certainly not for lack of trying. The voting process in this eternally dissatisfying ghetto category is now such a Frankenstein’s monster of stages, rules, committees, sub-committees, longlists, shortlists and more committees that it’s […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A toast to the douchebags

Posted by · 5:34 pm · February 24th, 2011

(Not-quite-final predictions here.) 176 days from the unofficial opening of my Oscar season — a breakfast-hour press screening of “Black Swan” on the first day of the Venice Film Festival — it’s fair to say I’m ready for the endgame. Aren’t we all? Whether you’re delighted or disappointed by where the awards trail has led […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 22nd, 2011

The race for Best Foreign Language Film has been covered diligently by Guy Lodge here at In Contention throughout the season. I confess that I failed to see most of the 65 submissions and, as usual, waited until the shortlist was unveiled before I really dug into the titles. This category has, of course, been […]

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2/7 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: The country turns to a flawed ‘Grit’ hero, will win/won’t win, Lanthimos talks ‘Dogtooth’

Posted by · 8:58 am · February 7th, 2011

• “Why, in troubled times, does America turn to a hard-drinking, half-blind US marshal?” [The Guardian] • Bob Verini takes the pro/con route on each Best Picture hopeful. [Variety] • Larry Rohter chats with “Dogtooth” director (and unlikely Oscar nominee) Yorgos Lanthimos. [The Carpetbagger]

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Catch up with Oscar nominee ‘Dogtooth’

Posted by · 5:05 pm · January 27th, 2011

For those of us who like to make wholly informed decisions when entering our Oscar pools, the Best Foreign Language Film category can be a bit of a thorn in the side. Unless you’re a particularly well-travelled festivalgoer, it’s mighty difficult to see all five nominated films ahead of Oscar night. This year is no […]

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1/26 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Facebook is over it, ‘Superman’ snub “myths,” an all-white acting class

Posted by · 9:11 am · January 26th, 2011

• Facebook on the film’s eight-nomination haul: “We’re over it, thanks.  Trying to build the future here.” [Hollywood Reporter] • A.J. Schnack attempts to unravel the myths behind the “Waiting for Superman” snub. [All These Wonderful Things] • Patrick Goldstein notes the (anticipated) lack of color in this year’s acting categories. [The Big Picture]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 50 — Special Edition! — Nod postmortem with Guy Lodge and Peter Knegt

Posted by · 12:18 pm · January 25th, 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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Oscar nominations: the good, the good and the good

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 25th, 2011

Even when they aren’t being read out with gale-force enthusiasm by Mo’Nique, the Oscar nominations tend to attack you with breathless speed that you need at least half an hour to decide how you feel about them at all. As usual, this morning’s announcement found me bouncing from one split-second reaction to another: Yay! No! […]

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Tweak this

Posted by · 6:21 pm · January 24th, 2011

I’ve made one (and only one, lest I get carried away) change to my final predictions, FYI.  I think I’m going to switch my final foreign language pick from Algeria’s “Outside the Law” to — wait for it — Greece’s “Dogtooth.” My former line-up didn’t include one of the (perceived, as nothing is official) executive […]

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My dream Oscar ballot, part two

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 23rd, 2011

Yesterday, I began my very far-fetched (and in some cases, frankly impossible) wishlist for Tuesday’s Oscar nominations with my favorite achievements in the technical categories. Today, I offer up my picks in the top races, and I don’t mind telling you things got pretty agonizing in some categories. “Why can’t I have 15 nominees for […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 49 — Final pre-nod discussion

Posted by · 9:00 am · January 21st, 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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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t let ’em catch you caring

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 20th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here. They’ll likely be tweaked once more before Tuesday.) Following the Academy Award season is a little like watching a particularly low-rent TV soap: just as the mindlessness and predictability of the enterprise escalates to a point where quitting seems the only credible option, some or other narrative curveball will lure you […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot

FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Picture

Posted by · 7:07 pm · January 19th, 2011

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been spotlighting nomination-worthy names,  in all major Ocar categories, from the first half of the US release calendar. Today, we close out the series with an alternative January-to-June Best Picture 10, though it comes a week after ballots closed — timing was never my strong suit. A look at […]

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Greece makes foreign Oscar shortlist, France snubbed

Posted by · 9:42 am · January 19th, 2011

“Dogtooth.” That’s the title an every Oscar pundit’s lips right now, as Greece’s critically beloved but super-outré submission — which includes inter-sibling sex and feline homicide in its curious bag of tricks — stunned pretty much everyone by showing up on the nine-title shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. I can hardly believe […]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Director

Posted by · 3:59 pm · January 4th, 2011

With precisely three weeks to go until Oscar nomination morning, we continue to flag up worthy work from 2010’s first half, much of it lost (or, indeed, never present) amid the crush of more recent awards contenders. You know the January-to-June drill by now: beyond that, we can get as far-fetched as we like. I […]

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