What will be this year’s Sundance story?

Posted by · 2:50 pm · January 31st, 2011

I must confess, this year’s Sundance Film Festival kind of passed me by. Admittedly, I’ve been distracted by a busy couple of weeks on the awards circuit, but the Sundance coverage I did follow suggested a high-quality if nonetheless rather quiet festival, one with fewer noisy breakout films than usual. In the last few years, […]

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‘Winter’s Bone’ takes Sundance gold

Posted by · 6:03 am · January 31st, 2010

Talk about a good day for female filmmakers. Hours before Kathryn Bigelow’s history-making triumph at the DGA Awards, Debra Granik took the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance (in the U.S. Dramatic strand) for her critically lauded sophomore feature “Winter’s Bone.” Granik and co-writer Anne Rosselini also took screenwriting honors for the film. The film is […]

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Is there a ‘Precious’ in this year’s Sundance lineup?

Posted by · 7:16 am · January 27th, 2010

When (at this stage, I think it’s safe to say “when”) “Precious” and “An Education” land Best Picture nods on Tuesday morning, there will be an interesting trivia note to attach to the occasion: they’ll be the first Sundance competition entries since 2001 to make it all the way to Oscar’s top race. Indeed, “Precious” […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Post early for Christmas

Posted by · 1:35 pm · October 7th, 2009

London is in the midst of a postal strike. No mail, be it far-flung postcard or electricity bill, has popped through my front door for over a month. I recently had to stroll into Soho to pick up my London Film Festival accreditation pack by hand. And rather discouragingly, my local post office today put […]

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7/8 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:04 am · July 8th, 2009

• AMPAS elects its governors. Among those returning to the board: Tom Hanks, James L. Brooks and eternal Oscar bridesmaid Kevin O’Connell. [Variety] • Nat Rogers reflects on his favorite thesps of the decade’s first half… and how they’ve fared since. [The Film Experience] • Martin Scorsese looks back on Woodstock. A good read, this. […]

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‘The Wrestler’ wins big at the Indie Spirits

Posted by · 2:18 pm · February 21st, 2009

Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” walked away three trophies at today’s Independent Spirit Awards, including top honors for Best Actor (Mickey Rourke) and Best Feature. In his greatest acceptance speech of the season, Rourke seemed fully uninhibited, almost as if he said, “Screw it, ballots are in,” and he cut loose.  The tough guy thing poked […]

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You were right, I was wrong: Guy’s final predictions

Posted by · 1:24 pm · February 21st, 2009

(Expanded thoughts and reasonings on yesterday’s list of predictions.) It’s years like 2008 when I throw my hands up and admit (albeit with great reluctance) that my family and friends have been right for the last two decades. Carla, Tom, Kim, Auntie Mavis: I give up. I am insane to care as much as I […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: BAFTAs, Berlin, pre-Oscar jitters

Posted by · 2:37 am · February 14th, 2009

Aside from two major precursors, it’s been a slow week for news — which leads to a lot of prediction second-guessing. • “Slumdog” swept at the BAFTAs, which also put new wind in Mickey Rourke’s sails. We live-blogged it here. • The “Slumdog” streak inevitably continued at the WGA Awards, where “Milk” picked up some […]

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Does ‘Frozen River’ have one more trick up its sleeve?

Posted by · 2:09 pm · February 11th, 2009

On Monday’s edition of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” reporter Nate DiMeo spotlights the “Cinderella story” of Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River,” which turned up a rather surprising original screenplay nomination two-and-a-half weeks ago. Originating out of Sundance in early 2008, the film is one of a handful that can be “very high quality, but not very […]

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2/10 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:52 am · February 10th, 2009

• At least Ron Rosenbaum kind of gets it.  Though he apparently thinks he’s the only one a bit miffed at the redemption angle.  Do some more Googling, Ron. [Slate] • Joining the “Reader” bash, Noah Forrest pleads with the Academy not to hand the Oscar to Kate Winslet. [Movie City News] • Jeff Wells […]

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CONTEST: Win a Blu-ray copy of ‘Frozen River’

Posted by · 11:47 am · February 9th, 2009

We haven’t had a contest in a while but with Melissa Leo and Courtney Hunt nabbing nominations for “Frozen River” two weeks ago, and with the Blu-ray/DVD release set for tomorrow, it seems a good time to give a copy to one savvy trivia hound. Yeah, a trivia question.  I know.  I’m running out of […]

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What about Melissa Leo?

Posted by · 8:56 am · February 6th, 2009

Yesterday, Kris pondered whether Kate Winslet’s Best Actress Oscar is quite the sure thing it appears to be on paper, or whether Meryl Streep can surf in on a tide of veteran goodwill and spoil the Brit’s party yet again. I’ve been saying since nomination day that I can’t imagine Winslet losing yet again, least […]

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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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Will SAG continue the ‘Slumdog’ sweep?

Posted by · 11:04 am · January 25th, 2009

As I anticipated, “Slumdog Millionaire” walked off with the Producers Guild of America Award last night, confirming its status as the unstoppable underdog-turned-juggernaut of this year’s Oscar race. It’s highly significant that Danny Boyle’s film managed to claim this gong, in particular; as Kris pointed out yesterday, of all voting bodies, it’s the PGA that […]

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‘Push’ sweeps at Sundance

Posted by · 7:37 am · January 25th, 2009

It had become quite clear over the past few days that Lee Daniels’ sophomore feature “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire” was one of the few titles raising pulses at a very quiet Sundance Film Festival. The film, a hard-hitting urban tale of an African-American teenager overcoming merciless parental abuse in 1980’s Harlem, has […]

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After cooling off a bit…

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 23rd, 2009

Yesterday the Academy displayed just what a fractured organization they are, championing a small film like “Slumdog Millionaire,” for which I applaud them, but snubbing “The Dark Knight,” one of the best reviewed films of the year and a titan at the box office. All day I was asking, ‘How?’  All day I wondered just […]

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Hey, it ain’t ALL bad

Posted by · 8:25 am · January 22nd, 2009

OK, looking at the bigger picture, I’m as mortified as everyone else by this morning’s Academy Award nominations. By playing it safe in numerous areas, AMPAS voters have once more failed their art form … but more surprisingly, they have failed their audience. Kris has already touched to some extent on the most glaring injustices […]

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How we did

Posted by · 7:51 am · January 22nd, 2009

I’ll let the other contributors’ picks speak for themselves, and they’re more than welcome to pipe in with notes if they like, but here’s my tally. Coming off probably my best year yet last year, I didn’t do great.  I only nailed one category 100 percent (Best Film Editing).  There were more 3/5s popping up […]

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