PAGE TO SCREEN: “London Boulevard” by Ken Bruen

Posted by · 7:39 pm · July 13th, 2010

When Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed”) brings Irish crime writer Ken Bruen’s 2001 novel “London Boulevard” to screen in his directorial debut, he won’t be adapting the text so much as returning it to its natural source. A short, sharp, deliciously black-hearted thriller that reads not unlike a readymade screenplay in its brisk, dialogue-dominated […]

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‘Wrestler’ rules London crix awards

Posted by · 3:15 pm · February 4th, 2009

The London Film Critics’ Circle have just announced their winners, and I have to say they’ve done a pretty terrific job. (I discussed the nominations here.) The really heartening news is that “The Wrestler” finally has another Best Picture award to its credit, five months after taking the Golden Lion at Venice — who would […]

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A word of advice

Posted by · 4:14 pm · January 22nd, 2009

To any actors who might find themselves in the hunt for an Oscar nod next year: don’t let me interview you. Seriously. It appears that the mere act of shaking my hand, or even greeting me over the phone, placed an immediate hex on the Oscar chances of several deserving thesps this season. If your […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Enough foreplay

Posted by · 9:59 am · January 19th, 2009

What else is there to say?  Tomorrow we’ll have a new president and the last eight years will, hopefully, start to fade away.  In four days we’ll have a fresh slate of Oscar nominees and the last four months of awards speculation will suddenly be a distant memory.  The big wheel keeps on turning. I […]

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Suspicion of optimism

Posted by · 6:08 am · January 19th, 2009

As you know, one of the many things that aggravated me about this year’s BAFTA nominations was the pointed shut-out of Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky.” The snub extended to lead actress Sally Hawkins, who has torn through the critics’ awards on the other side of the Atlantic and stands a sizeable chance of landing an Oscar […]

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For the completists

Posted by · 2:20 pm · January 4th, 2009

Over at Gold Derby, Tom O’Neil lists all the runners-up (with points tallies) from yesterday’s National Society of Film Critics awards, along with other gossipy tidbits from the days proceedings. (Most stupid/amusing nugget: Eve, the eerily Applesque female robot from “WALL-E,” garnered a lone Best Actress vote.) The full list is below the cut, but […]

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NSFC goes with ‘Bashir’ and ‘Happy’ in a big way

Posted by · 4:24 pm · January 3rd, 2009

This is just like the National Society of Film Critics.  Sorry, just coming around to this (football has taken some precedence this afternoon as I unwind post-vacation).  “Waltz with Bashir” may have taken the top prize, but “Happy-Go-Lucky” was the clear favorite.  Perhaps added fuel to the film’s Oscar fire.  Lone director nomination?  Hmmm… Best […]

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Don’t forget the Motor City

Posted by · 6:04 am · December 16th, 2008

Ha. Allow me to bask in the glory of that headline for a moment. No? Okay. Anyway, a concerned reader emailed to point out that the Detroit Film Critics Society announced their own nominees (that’s right, not just awards, but nominees) a few days ago. Even considering the bewildering array of critics’ awards that I […]

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INTERVIEW: Sally Hawkins

Posted by · 10:30 am · December 10th, 2008

“We didn’t necessarily set out to create someone as perpetually sunny as Poppy,” says Sally Hawkins of her radiant performance in Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” which is currently making waves in the awards race. “But Mike was very dismissive of doing anything maudlin or moody with this project. So the optimism came early on for her. […]

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LAFCA gives Best Picture to ‘WALL-E’

Posted by · 1:38 pm · December 9th, 2008

Shocking.  “WALL-E” is officially the most overrated film of the year, but that having been said, this is one hell of a ballsy move on the part of the L.A. film critics (whose vote came down a lot earlier than I expected). I correctly anticipated a Sally Hawkins victory in the lead actress category, which […]

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‘Slumdog’ scores at BIFA Awards

Posted by · 2:49 pm · November 30th, 2008

Thanks to bright-eyed, bushy-tailed commenter Silrone for pointing out that the winners of the British Independent Film Awards were announced while I was mired in technical problems. “Slumdog Millionaire” emerged as the evening’s big winner, taking Best British Film, Best Director and Best Newcomer for Dev Patel, though “Hunger” ran it close, also taking three […]

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Ebert hearts Hawkins

Posted by · 9:38 am · October 30th, 2008

I happened upon this a week late, so apologies for that, but I still think it bears mentioning. It’s no secret that Roger Ebert is probably one of the few critics who means anything to Academy voters. Whether it’s true or not that his backing of such underdog contenders as “Crash” played into their victories, […]

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‘Hunger,’ ‘Bruges’ lead British Independent nominees

Posted by · 5:44 pm · October 28th, 2008

The British Independent Film Awards are an odd, under-the-radar institution that frequently like to avoid the obvious and champion the underdog. Last year, for example, they bypassed the starrier likes of “Eastern Promises” and “Notes on a Scandal” to award their top prize to Anton Corbijn’s magnificent, under-rewarded “Control.” The previous year, they were even […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Button’ rises, ‘Torino’ surfaces, ‘Doubt’ swoops

Posted by · 6:30 am · October 25th, 2008

Apologies for the slightly delayed wrap. Much to discuss this week — here are the highlights: • With some formerly hot prospects now off the radar, this week’s Off the Carpet column surveys the landscape, and concludes that things look good for “Benjamin Button.” • “The Soloist” withdrew as the AFI fest opener; their loss […]

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INTERVIEW: Eddie Marsan

Posted by · 8:29 am · October 20th, 2008

It is somehow fitting that I meet Eddie Marsan not in the lounge of some swanky West End hotel or members’ club, but amid the worn wooden chairs and scuffed 1970s wallpaper of his local pub in the villagey West London suburb of Chiswick. For Marsan is not a movie star, but an actor — […]

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10/17 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:07 am · October 17th, 2008

• Dave Karger responds to the “Soloist” slide. [Oscar Watch] • Seven favorite screen Presidents.  In total agreement on #1. [Cinematical] • A welcome respite from the vitriol you might have come across elsewhere, New York Magazine runs an intern’s review of the “Road” screening that happened in the Big Apple this week.  Does that […]

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U.S. critics wild for ‘Happy’

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

Wow. I was expecting a warm Stateside reception for Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” but even so, this is exceptional. For those who place stock in such things, the film’s Metacritic score is sitting at 82, but more importantly, some top critics have fallen hard for this one. If the film’s awards hopes seemed to be slipping […]

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Jeff Wells finds ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ to be “oppressive”

Posted by · 9:40 am · August 26th, 2008

Uh-oh. I’ve expressed my sentiments for this film. So has Guy. I think there’s something to the “oppressive” comment because Poppy will no doubt be a character that grates on the nerves of plenty of viewers. But I found charms here and there and, with a second viewing, I think I might settle into it […]

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