‘A Prophet’ takes nine César Awards

Posted by · 5:50 pm · February 27th, 2010

I know, I know … quelle surprise. One week after taking the BAFTA, Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” obliterated the competition at its home awards ceremony, the Césars. The foreign-language Oscar nominee took a massive nine awards, including honors for Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Supporting Actor. Tahar Rahim was a double winner, in fact, […]

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Counting to ten

Posted by · 9:17 am · July 2nd, 2009

Since the Academy announced the new ten-lane track for the Best Picture race, any number of bloggers have projected which extra films might have made the cut under this format in the last few years, a process that, for many, retrospectively hands hypothetical nods to everything from “Doubt” to “Memoirs of a Geisha” to “My […]

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The reality of the ‘Wolverine’ leak and box office

Posted by · 12:06 pm · April 16th, 2009

You may have already heard about a certain workprint for Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” leaking onto the Internet two weeks ago since the resulting firestorm and fallout has been covered and re-covered by bloggers, journalists and former journalists alike.  So there’s not much left to say on the issue. I do, however, want to go […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 pet peeves of the 2008-2009 Oscar season

Posted by · 9:41 am · February 17th, 2009

The season is winding down this week.  The slow President’s Day holiday yesterday seemed to be more of a harbinger than a lull in the excitement.  This time next week, we’ll probably be over the fallout of the circuit and on to debating the contenders we’re likely to see a year from now. It’s a […]

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It’s all about the actors

Posted by · 7:00 am · February 17th, 2009

Over at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna has come to the conclusion that, in a fairly weak year for film with a less-than-competitive Best Picture slate to show for it, the performance categories are where it’s at this year: The real action this year is in the acting. Sets were chewed with delicious relish and scenes […]

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Taking it in his stride

Posted by · 1:14 pm · February 14th, 2009

With the Best Actor race narrowing to a heated finish between Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn, it’s easy to forget that Clint Eastwood was once very much part of the conversation. Of course, any such possibilities were sunk as “Gran Torino” became the first Eastwood in six years to come up empty on nomination morning. […]

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1/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:53 am · January 30th, 2009

• Good riddance. [Crain’s New York] • Bob Thompson talks to “Gran Torino” star Ahney Her. [National Post] • Pete Hammond digs into the hounding of “Slumdog.” [Notes on a Season] • Amy Adams makes a splash across the pond. [The Independent] • Jeff Wells is suspicious of the “Milk” come-from-behind talk. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Clint Eastwood hailed as a Modern Master

Posted by · 12:44 am · January 30th, 2009

So Clint Eastwood arrived in town tonight without all the pizazz you might have expected, as I reported from this evening’s Arlington Theatre event.  But inside the place was bananas.  Every single seat in the theater was filled, many of the locals vocalizing their shock on the way down the aisles.  “I’ve never seen it […]

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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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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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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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WEEKLY WRAP: Globe surprises, best shots, BAFTA nods

Posted by · 6:00 pm · January 16th, 2009

Sorry the Weekly Wrap feature has been M.I.A. these past few weeks — between the holidays and various disasters, they got a bit forgotten. Anyway, it’s back this week, and what a busy week it was: • In a new annual institution at IC, Kris reviewed the top 10 shots of the year here … […]

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1/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:17 am · January 16th, 2009

• A brilliant roundtable: wrestlers discussing “The Wrestler.”  It’s just nice that Luger has his faculties about him now. [Fox Searchlight] • While we’re on the subject, the top 10 wrestlers in movies.  I’m big on #10 and #3.  Not so much on #1. [The Times] • Making the SAG award statuette. [The Envelope] • […]

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On the Sally Hawkins BAFTA snub

Posted by · 10:34 am · January 15th, 2009

One of the biggest surprises from yesterday’s BAFTA nominations announcement was the exclusion of “Happy-Go-Lucky” across the board.  But at the very least, awards watchers might have expected a nod for Sally Hawkins, who has been tearing up the precursor circuit stateside and has a clear shot at nabbing an Oscar nomination one week from […]

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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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Reel Geezers on ‘Torino’

Posted by · 7:51 pm · January 14th, 2009

I think these things have kind of run their course, but I thought it worth pointing to the Reel Geezer review of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino.” I can’t help but wonder whether Lorenzo’s opinion is going to be shared enough within the Academy to warrant that Best Picture nomination I hinted at earlier this week […]

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