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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OFF THE CARPET: Heading into the home stretch

Posted by · 11:48 am · February 21st, 2011

I’m watching CNN’s report of the on-going situation in Libya as I write these comparably pointless words. The “real world” seems so unique, so foreign after having our head in the awards season clouds since September. Now, six months in, victory lane is a mere six days away. And man, it’s been a marathon. So […]

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‘King’s Speech’ nabs seven BAFTA Awards

Posted by · 5:28 pm · February 13th, 2011

I had more interesting things to do at the Berlinale this evening than watch the BAFTAs, so the only commentary I can offer is on the winners list itself. And, well, it doesn’t make for terribly exciting reading. To the surprise of precisely no one, “The King’s Speech” ruled the night with seven trophies, though […]

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Previewing BAFTA

Posted by · 2:15 am · February 12th, 2011

In the 10 years since they moved up in the calendar to pre-Oscar status, the BAFTAs have hovered uncertainly between complying with awards trends across the pond, thereby establishing themselves as a viable precursor, and stubbornly standing by their own – as in 2007, when they opted out of the Coen Brothers-P.T. Anderson faceoff by […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Supporting Actor

Posted by · 8:59 am · February 8th, 2011

Very few of the 20 actors nominated for Oscars this year (if any) feel like egregious calls. As usual, the lead actor race is the most impressive, but the Best Supporting Actor slate isn’t too shabby, either. Each performance is masterful in its own way, and each serves its respective narrative to the fullest. Two […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Rush toasted with Montecito Award, ‘King’s Speech’ cast receives ensemble honor

Posted by · 8:51 am · February 1st, 2011

Last night saw Santa Barbara’s tribute to “The King’s Speech” star Geoffrey Rush.  Looking suave with a cleanly shaved head (for his current role on stage in “Diary of a Mad Man”), Rush held court with trademark affable humor and tales of his comparatively brief Hollywood career thus far. I Tweeted this and that from […]

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Predict the SAG winners

Posted by · 10:43 am · January 28th, 2011

This weekend completes the trio of Guild awards with the most bearing on the Best Picture race, as the Directors’ Guild of America and the Screen Actors’ Guild dish out their prizes on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Following the Producers’ Guild’s surprise coronation of “The King’s Speech” last week, the next two days could help […]

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12/31 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Way Back’ last on the scene, 70 votes gets you in, Sparling breaks the rules

Posted by · 8:14 am · December 31st, 2010

• Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” intentionally hits voters’ doorsteps last, just s ballots are arriving.  Shrewd, given the P&A budget.  Will it pay off? [Deadline] • Steve Pond does the Oscar math and discovers that fewer than 70 votes will secure you a nomination everywhere except the four acting categories and Best Picture. [The […]

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Geoffrey Rush to receive Santa Barbara’s Montecito Award

Posted by · 10:38 am · December 6th, 2010

The press release, in part: The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award® winning actor Geoffrey Rush with the Montecito Award at the 26th edition of the Festival, which runs January 27– February 6, 2011…The Tribute will take place Monday, January 31, 2011, at the historic Arlington Theatre. The Montecito Award was created […]

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11/25 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Dubbing ‘Tangled,’ ‘King’s Speech’ discourse, Portman talks the trade

Posted by · 8:14 am · November 25th, 2010

• How did Rapunzel become “Tangled?”  Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard set the record straight. [Inside Movies] • Peter Sciretta posts alternate, unused poster artwork for “Inception.” [/Film] • Jenelle Riley talks “The Fighter” with the film’s prickly star, Christian Bale. [Backstage]

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LONDON: ‘The King’s Speech, ‘Neds’ and the Brit pack

Posted by · 11:27 am · October 22nd, 2010

Unlike, say, the Venice fest – where the jury’s failure to reward any of the (lousy) Italian films in competition is cause for a media strop — the London Film Festival has often seemed somewhat embarrassed by the homegrown portion of its programme, perhaps granting a big red-carpet date to the odd bit of tony […]

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‘Meek’s Cutoff,’ Franco top Toronto critics’ poll

Posted by · 12:27 pm · September 20th, 2010

“The King’s Speech” may have come out on top with Toronto Film Festival audiences, but the critics — at least, the broad cross-section surveyed by indieWIRE in their annual post-festival poll — have other ideas. Kelly Reichardt’s period western “Meek’s Cutoff,” my own pick of the Venice fest, was voted film of the festival by […]

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TELLURIDE: That’s a wrap on the “Show”

Posted by · 11:08 am · September 7th, 2010

If you’ve been keeping up with the Telluride coverage then you know my thoughts on the 10 films I was able to catch over that four-day spread.  So I’m not going to bore you with a tedious recap here.  Instead, now that I’m back and relaxed in LA, not looking at the clock and rushing […]

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INTERVIEW: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Tom Hooper

Posted by · 12:28 am · September 6th, 2010

Telluride Film Festival For actor Geoffrey Rush and director Tom Hooper, David Seidler’s script “The King’s Speech” came to them by serendipity. Still in stage play format, it arrived at Rush’s Melbourne residence with a note apologizing for a cold call avoiding the traditional agency pipeline. For Hooper, it came to him because his mother […]

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TELLURIDE: ‘The Way Back,’ ‘The King’s Speech’

Posted by · 5:09 pm · September 4th, 2010

The second day of Telluride has brought treat after treat. I decided early this morning to skip the world premiere of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” in favor of Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” because I could slide two films in rather than the one. Peter Weir’s latest, “The Way Back” (which didn’t generate many reviews […]

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The Great Performances: 2000

Posted by · 7:14 pm · November 13th, 2009

Michael Douglas was robbed. The already Oscar-christened actor gave a career-best performance in 2000 in Curtis Hanson’s “Wonder Boys,” but he got no love from the Academy. Worse, his performance was easily among the five best of the year and won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actor prize. That having been said, I […]

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The Great Performances: 1998

Posted by · 2:03 pm · October 30th, 2009

For all my bitching about Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor in 1998 for his incessant mugging in “Life is Beautiful,” I was also thrilled the Academy watched enough films and paid enough attention to realize that Edward Norton was deserving for his magnetic turn as a neo-Nazi who sees the light in “American History X.” […]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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