VENICE: Delicious ‘Damsels’ breaks the Closing Night curse

Posted by · 9:57 am · September 10th, 2011

“Oh, Christ, that means it’s going to be shit,” wailed a friend of mine, an ardent devotee of long-dormant American auteur Whit Stillman, when the director’s new film, “Damsels in Distress,” was announced as the Closing Night film of this year’s Venice Film Festival. I consoled him that it needn’t be the case, but only […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2007 and 2008

Posted by · 4:07 pm · January 11th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. Welcome to the final entry in the Life Without Oscar series. Why call it a day with one, possibly two years left to consider? Well, for one thing, we won’t know which films are going to be snubbed from 2010 for another two weeks (although I’ll […]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Actress

Posted by · 12:40 pm · December 29th, 2010

The fifth column in our new seasonal series — if you haven’t got the drill by now, we’re rounding up the most Oscar-worthy work from the oft-overlooked first half of the year — wraps up the performance categories with by far the most competitive race of all. Conventional wisdom has it that Best Actress is […]

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12/13 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: HFPA’s “unsavory business practices,” Elswit talks ‘Town,’ the Zen of ‘TRON’

Posted by · 8:08 am · December 13th, 2010

• Golden Globes PR chief slams HFPA for “unsavory business practices.” [The Wrap] • David Heuring chats with “The Town” cinematographer Robert Elswit. [Variety] • Oscar marketing smackdown: “127 Hours” and “Buried.” [The Hollywood Reporter]

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‘Winter’s Bone’ leads Indie Spirits with 7 nods

Posted by · 10:37 am · November 30th, 2010

Well, quelle surprise. I’ve been saying for months now that Debra Granik’s solemn Ozark thriller is — even more so than the sunnier, starrier “The Kids Are All Right” — this year’s annointed indie cause in the Oscar race, and this only cements that belief. The film’s impressive showing this morning, coming on the heels […]

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BERLIN: ‘Winter’s Bone,’ ‘Greenberg,’ ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’

Posted by · 1:58 am · February 15th, 2010

Yesterday’s viewing roster just about had me double-checking whether I was at the right festival, as I was treated to a pair of Sundance hits, in addition to a brand-new Amerindie feature from a Sundance alumnus. The copious snow still smothering the sidewalks of Berlin only aided the comparison. Perhaps it was Valentine’s Day spirit […]

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LONDON: ‘Three Blind Mice,’ ‘Nights and Weekends,’ ‘Lazy Days,’ ‘Kala’

Posted by · 6:00 pm · October 16th, 2008

So today was the first full day of London Film Festival action, after last night’s premiere of “Frost/Nixon” kicked off proceedings. With a raft of fair-to-respectable reviews (as you know, I was firmly in the “meh” camp), Howard’s film didn’t land with quite the bang I’m sure the festival organisers were hoping for, but it […]

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