TIFF: Lionsgate/Roadside grabs ‘Conspirator,’ Hawkins belle of the ball, Black’s melodramatic upbringing

Posted by · 10:26 am · September 15th, 2010

It seems Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” has become the first significant sell of Toronto (a few things have been picked up here and there already).  Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions (which is really stepping it up this year) have nailed down the domestic rights, but go ahead and strike the film from your longlists.  It won’t […]

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TIFF: ‘Brighton,’ ‘Virginia’ bow, ‘Super’ picked up

Posted by · 5:10 pm · September 12th, 2010

At Toronto today, a hand handful of distribution-seeking films hit and one potential cult favorite found a home.  Let’s dig in… One film looking for a distributor that we’ve had an eye on as a potential awards play for supporting actress Andrea Riseborough is Rowan Joffe’s Graham Green’s  “Brighton Rock.” But The Hollywood Reporter’s Ray […]

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DiCaprio and Eastwood team for Hoover biopic

Posted by · 6:13 pm · June 17th, 2010

After three consecutive duds (in my book, anyway), Clint Eastwood will have to work hard to earn my anticipation again — harder, certainly, than dipping into the biopic well once more — but he sure gets full marks for persistence. Undeterred by his recent strike-outs with the Academy, he continues to assemble the most on-paper […]

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Fletcher rides Oscar momentum to directorial debut

Posted by · 6:04 am · April 5th, 2010

In retrospect, Geoffrey Fletcher’s Best Adapted Screenplay win for “Precious” at last month’s Academy Awards shouldn’t have come as quite the shock it did. In the last few years, Oscar voters have been especially kind to newcomers in the writing races, with this year’s pair of freshman winners, Fletcher and Mark Boal, coming on the […]

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Neeson, Connelly headline Dustin Lance Black’s directing debut

Posted by · 10:43 am · May 17th, 2009

The Liam Neeson career revival continues apace. Variety reports that the 56 year-old thesp will star opposite Jennifer Connelly in “What’s Wrong With Virginia,” the first directorial effort from “Milk” scribe Dustin Lance Black. The film, which has Gus Van Sant involved as an executive producer, which begins shooting this summer. The pitch goes as […]

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Olbermann on the freedom of Oscar speeches

Posted by · 10:46 am · February 24th, 2009

Thanks to Ryan Adams at Awards Daily for pointing us to this clip. “Of the 40 hours of TV Oscar analysis I’ve seen in the past 48, the depth of this 6-minute segment make the rest look like the cover of US magazine,” Ryan says. Have a look:

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2/9 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:02 am · February 9th, 2009

• Thom Yorke and Gustavo Santaolalla to join forces on “Terminator Salvation” tunes?? [The Playlist] • Tom O’Neil spotlights the BAFTA voting process. [Gold Derby] • T.L. Stanley on the politics of Dustin Lance Black’s WGA acceptance speech. [Gold Rush] • David Poland says Universal dropped the ball on “Frost/Nixon,” as represented by its incredibly […]

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Thank you

Posted by · 4:50 pm · February 4th, 2009

Since I was talking about original screenplays earlier today, I was interested to see that Jeff Wells is also on the topic. He offers a brief rundown of the nominees for Saturday’s WGA Awards, and offers this theory on why Jenny Lumet missed out on both Guild and Oscar nods for “Rachel Getting Married”: Lumet’s […]

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Best Original Screenplay: The case for ‘WALL-E’

Posted by · 10:36 am · February 4th, 2009

I think it was some smart person on Nat Rogers’ most recent podcast who remarked that if you really want to get a picture of what was going on cinematically in any given year, you’d be better off bypassing Oscar’s Best Picture category and heading straight for the Best Original Screenplay nominees – a category […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Writers talk writing, Cruz walks the red carpet

Posted by · 11:38 am · January 25th, 2009

Yesterday was another busy event day for the Santa Barbara fest.  It was a shame the Director’s Panel was canceled, but participant Andrew Stanton switched gears to join Robert Knott (“Appaloosa”), Tom McCarthy (“The Visitor”) and Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) for an Anne Thompson-moderated discussion on their work at the keyboard this year. It was […]

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Santa Barbara heats up

Posted by · 5:29 pm · January 22nd, 2009

The air smells cleaner.  The sound of waves crashing outside the hotel room is soothing.  The hippies are dancing in the streets. It’s nice to get away from the mess of this morning and the frustration of Oscar season in general for eight days.  But the awards circuit isn’t out of sight by any means.  […]

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In the round

Posted by · 5:59 pm · November 20th, 2008

I don’t know why exactly, but the “roundtable” format of interviews that crops up a lot during awards season often strikes me as rather less fascinating than it’s meant to be. Unless the panel is very smartly chosen, I find the discussion tends to veer towards back-patting and faintly smug in-jokery, rather than stimulating argument […]

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Best Original Screenplay: beyond the obvious

Posted by · 8:11 am · September 21st, 2008

Everyone has a favourite Oscar category, and Best Original Screenplay is mine. It’s partly because I’m a screenwriter myself, so I feel a little more invested in the outcome. My evaluation of the category often comes down to the question: “Which screenplay do I most wish I’d written first?” More importantly, however, it’s the category […]

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Breakthrough for Hawkins and Franco

Posted by · 4:41 pm · September 16th, 2008

As regular readers may know, I’ve been yammering on about a Best Actress nomination for “Happy-Go-Lucky”‘s delightful Sally Hawkins since I reviewed the film back in April. So I’m pleased to see that Hawkins will receive the Breakthrough Actress award at next month’s Hollywood Film Awards. As I said when they named their crafts honorees […]

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