SHORT TAKE: “Restless” (*1/2)

Posted by · 6:53 pm · May 13th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard “What can you say about a 25 year-old girl who died?” Written by Erich Segal before being plaintively voiced by Ryan O’Neal, this presumably rhetorical question is the opening gambit of “Love Story,” the simple but phenomenally successful weeper in which a young couple’s relationship is prematurely halted when […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Setting the field

Posted by · 7:44 am · May 2nd, 2011

It’s a strange feeling writing about this kind of thing after last night’s news announcement. But that chapter is finally behind us, so behind us it shall remain. This is not an Oscar column (even though it’s labeled as such). This is not a predictions column. This isn’t even really a column. We should all […]

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Cannes competition includes Malick, Almodóvar, von Trier

Posted by · 3:06 am · April 14th, 2011

After weeks of speculation, this year’s Cannes lineup was unveiled in spectacularly long-winded fashion by fest director Thierry Frémaux this morning. (French TV networks clearly got so bored with his sidebar discussions on each title he announced that they helpfully cut to commercial halfway through the press conference.) Anyway, the speculation was largely borne out […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2001 and 2002

Posted by · 7:19 pm · December 21st, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. After being overlooked in 1995, Ron Howard finally got a pat on the back from Oscar in 2001 for “A Beautiful Mind,” which was Russell Crowe’s second Best Picture winner in a row. If that wasn’t bad enough, the inaugural Best Animated Feature award went to […]

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THE LONG SHOT: When you’re strange

Posted by · 8:05 pm · November 24th, 2010

(Updated predictions available here.) I shan’t often find room for Gaspar Noé’s name in a space ostensibly dedicated to the Oscar race, so bear with me if this seems an unlikely opening gambit, but inspiration for this week’s column began with a conversation about his fluorescent, drug-addled ghost story “Enter the Void.” A friend had […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Town’ screenwriter, director and star Ben Affleck

Posted by · 2:14 pm · November 10th, 2010

Actor — and as of late, filmmaker — Ben Affleck makes his way to a cozy corner of Santa Monica’s Casa Del Mar hotel restaurant. He’s coming from a “Dad’s event” at his daughter’s school, he says, propping his feet up on a nearby chair. Currently shooting Terrence Malick’s latest film in Oklahoma, the multi-hyphenate […]

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Neeson, Connelly headline Dustin Lance Black’s directing debut

Posted by · 10:43 am · May 17th, 2009

The Liam Neeson career revival continues apace. Variety reports that the 56 year-old thesp will star opposite Jennifer Connelly in “What’s Wrong With Virginia,” the first directorial effort from “Milk” scribe Dustin Lance Black. The film, which has Gus Van Sant involved as an executive producer, which begins shooting this summer. The pitch goes as […]

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1/20 Oscarweb Round-up — INAUGURATION EDITION

Posted by · 7:01 am · January 20th, 2009

“Inauguration Edition,” of course, is code for “there’s precious little movie-related talk out there right now, so forgive the slim pickings.” Here goes: • Yet another take on “how to fix the Oscar telecast.” Hey, I like Jack Nicholson. [Hollywood Reporter] • Patrick Goldstein wonders how the Obama presidency may impact on Hollywood. [The Big […]

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DGA discrepancies with AMPAS are not uncommon

Posted by · 9:39 am · January 9th, 2009

The announcement of this year’s DGA nominees has left the sense that the races for Best Picture and Best Director are over.  Not so.  While the guild and Academy line up most of the time, and have a decent track record with the directing branch, we must not forget the years that proved otherwise.  This […]

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DGA nominees

Posted by · 10:10 am · January 8th, 2009

I think we’re locked and loaded, folks… David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight” Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon” Gus Van Sant, “Milk” Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire” What more is there to add at this point?  This is where John Shanley needed to show up if there was any more hope […]

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Guessing the DGA

Posted by · 9:56 am · January 7th, 2009

So, with SAG, PGA and ASC out of the way, and with WGA still to come in a matter of hours, I guess it’s worth mentioning that the big daddy guild is announcing tomorrow: the Directors Guild of America (DGA).  Now’s as good a time as any to take a stab at guessing the nominees… […]

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Catching up with ‘Milk’ in the Bible belt

Posted by · 6:40 am · December 20th, 2008

In 1977 Harvey Milk was elected to position as city supervisor in San Francisco. Milk, an openly gay man, was the first of his kind. Rather than concealing his sexual orientation, he wore it proudly, and used his influence in a largely gay section of San Francisco to do good. He became an effective advocate […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘WALL-E’ tie for top honors with Beantown critics

Posted by · 1:42 pm · December 14th, 2008

Two ties from the Boston crowd, actually.  In big categories.  Have some balls.  Take a stand.  Anyway, Sally Hawkins gets yet another boost, while “Man on Wire” remains the only (boringly) undefeated contender so far. Here’s the list: Best Picture: (tie) “Slumdog Millionaire” and “WALL-E” Best Director: Gus Van Sant, “Milk,” “Paranoid Park” Best Actor: […]

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12/1 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:54 am · December 1st, 2008

(Back from vacation and ready to roll.  Thanks to Guy for keeping the ship sailing during the holiday.) • A first peak at what will likely be one of next year’s serious contenders: Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies.” [Empire] • TV spotting “Gran Torino” with a little outside-the-beat commentary. [/Film] • Carl DiOrio reports on the […]

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Early winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 1:42 pm · November 28th, 2008

Well, Kris was brave enough to stick his neck out and venture some winner predictions, so I thought I’d follow up on that — with the strict caveat that, while nobody knows anything, I frequently know even less. So my own predictions are after the cut. I don’t think them informed enough to place on […]

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Embargo? Todd McCarthy don’t need no stinkin’ embargo.

Posted by · 8:03 pm · November 2nd, 2008

…while “Milk” is unquestionably marked by many mandatory scenes — the electioneering, outrage at conservative opposition, tension between domestic and public life, insider politicking, public demonstrations, et al. — the quality of the writing, acting and directing generally invests them with the feel of real life and credible personal interchange, rather than of scripted stops […]

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My back, my aching back…thoughts on ‘Milk’ and ‘Frost’

Posted by · 10:07 pm · October 28th, 2008

This is why I don’t do the festival thing.  Multiple screenings back-to-back always plagues the faculties. Anyway, David Poland was eager to iPhone in his “First!” response on “Milk,” and while I agree with his assessment of Sean Penn’s phenomenal portrayal, I can’t share his overall enthusiasm for the film itself. On the whole, it’s […]

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10/28 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:44 am · October 28th, 2008

• Michael Cieply says “Welcome to the pop Oscars” regarding the big budget Oscar pushes this year. [New York Times] • Tom O’Neil reports that the two biggest stars in “Doubt” won’t be at the AFI world premiere on Thursday. [Gold Derby] • Patrick Goldstein wonders why Oscar consistently shies away from the funny bone. […]

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