Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ to open London Film Festival

Posted by · 4:59 pm · July 27th, 2009

As the London Film Festival grows in scale and stature by the year, its opening film becomes an ever bigger deal. Last year, they scored a massive coup by kicking off with the world premiere of “Frost/Nixon,” and I’m pleased to report that they’ve maintained that standard by landing Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to […]

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‘Let the Right One In’ director Alfredson goes British

Posted by · 4:52 pm · July 9th, 2009

Is a John Le Carré adaptation now some kind of rite of passage for lauded foreign directors crossing over to English-speaking audiences? Okay, I’m stretching. Still, it’s interesting that a few years after Fernando Meirelles made the switch with his take on Le Carré’s “The Constant Gardener,” we now have “Let the Right One In” […]

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Start from scratch, Academy

Posted by · 6:19 am · February 12th, 2009

I do love a good rant about the Academy Awards. And Ryan Gilbey is, for my money, one of the sharpest, most entertaining film writers around these days. So it figures that a Gilbey-written attack on the Oscars, in the lefty political mag the New Statesman, should make for good reading. Gilbey cheerfully admits that […]

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Best Actor race — shades of ’74 and ’02

Posted by · 6:26 am · February 10th, 2009

The 1974 Academy Award nominees for Best Actor were Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown,” Al Pacino in “The Godfather, Part II,” Albert Finney in “Murder on the Orient Express,” Art Carney in “Harry and Tonto” and Dustin Hoffman in “Lenny.”  There had been some mild surprise that Gene Hackman had been passed over for his work […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Come together, right now

Posted by · 9:37 am · February 9th, 2009

Anyone ready for it to all be over? For me, it hasn’t been a painful Oscar season, despite what I may have let on throughout the last five months. After all, my favorite film is and has been primed for the big win since November (well, since we said it was in November…everyone soon followed […]

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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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Denby nails it

Posted by · 5:50 pm · February 2nd, 2009

If you saw his TV chat with Charlie Rose and A.O. Scott, you won’t be surprised to read that critic David Denby doesn’t think much of this year’s Oscar crop. (And if you didn’t, you could probably guess.) Anyway, in this very lucid New Yorker piece, he expands on the points he raised on the […]

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Double feature

Posted by · 10:33 am · January 31st, 2009

I believe this is what graphic designers term the “Washington-movie grid format.” Either that, or the creative well at the Universal/Working Title marketing department is running dry. It wasn’t that great the first time, guys. (EDIT: I see our friend Glenn has joined the dots too. Great minds, and all that.)

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The Bagger finds the meaning

Posted by · 5:05 am · January 30th, 2009

There are few journalists with as sharp an understanding of the tunnel vision that affects award-season coverage as David Carr.  So it’s with a guard of irony that, in yesterday’s ruminative NYT piece, he describes this year’s race as “somehow less frivolous than it has (been) in recent years.” While he acknowledges the comparative slightness […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Welcome to phase two

Posted by · 9:10 am · January 26th, 2009

The nominations and all their ghastly reality are behind us.  The first two major guilds have spoken.  “Slumdog Millionaire” continues a long, slow (too slow for Searchlight) march toward Oscar, and ironically enough, the only film to win two awards at last night’s SAG ceremony was the one a lot of people were pissed got […]

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Guessing the weekend’s guilds

Posted by · 12:13 pm · January 24th, 2009

I’ve been giving my picks out to various aggregators this weekend but haven’t bothered with a post of my own.  Go figure. I feel like the only sure thing at the SAG is Heath Ledger’s victory in the Best Supporting Actor category, but while everyone else is banking on Sean Penn and Kate Winslet in […]

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What will win the PGA?

Posted by · 12:07 pm · January 24th, 2009

Tonight, we will receive our biggest precursor pointer to date, as the Producers Guild of America becomes the first of the guilds to make its final pronouncement. In case you’ve forgotten, the five films vying for the PGA’s top honour are “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “Slumdog Millionaire” — and the one […]

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It’s not just the fanboys

Posted by · 6:10 pm · January 22nd, 2009

I had planned to write a full-blown rant about the numerous blind spots and errors of judgment in this morning’s Academy Award nominations, but at this point I’m too tired and resigned to summon up the necessary fire. It also occurred to me that I should take some inspiration from the character at the heart […]

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Last minute thoughts

Posted by · 6:35 pm · January 21st, 2009

Like I said, I’m on the record.  I’ve given some left-field choices (as have you).  But here are some lingering thoughts bouncing around inside my tired old head this evening: 1) I think we’re going to see tomorrow, finally, that “Rachel Getting Married” is nothing more than a critical fave.  Personally, I liked it enough, […]

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It’s the second movie

Posted by · 5:29 pm · January 21st, 2009

When Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker step up to the podium tomorrow morning to read the list of this year’s Best Picture nominees, I think we’re all going to be listening hard to the second movie announced.  Assuming “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is locked in (which some might argue that point believe it […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final preview special, part one

Posted by · 10:53 am · January 21st, 2009

Five months of Tech Support reach their climax on Thursday morning. This Canuck is, like the rest of the world, celebrating a new American President today. The fact remains, however, that a new set of Oscar nominees will greet us tomorrow and I can’t help but share my final thoughts on the categories. This is […]

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Are you different?

Posted by · 7:25 am · January 19th, 2009

Okay, by now, most Oscarwatchers and prognozticators are expecting the same five titles to pop up in the Best Picture category: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” But not everyone. My questiont o you is, if you are predicting a DIFFERENT lineup, what is it?  I figure […]

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After finishing off the Joker, Batman may have to fend off a Nazi and a biggot on the way to Oscar

Posted by · 10:01 am · January 15th, 2009

A week ago with the announcement of the Directors Guild Awards (DGA), it seemed Christopher Nolan and “The Dark Knight” were headed for Oscar night, with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director highly likely. But like a full balloon with a slow leak, the air is slowly hissing out as “Gran Torino” and “The […]

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