‘Contagion’ character posters

Posted by · 3:57 am · August 10th, 2011

I’ve successfully dodged the trailer — and swiftly ducked out of any online discussion — for Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” to I can honestly say that I haven’t the faintest idea what it’s about, and plan to stay cheerfully ignorant until the lights go down at its Venice press screening in a few weeks’ time. Fortunately, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Best Original Song performances are back

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 4th, 2011

The Academy’s Twitter feed just noted the following: You heard it 1st: Best Song performances are back for 83rd #Oscars! Gwyneth Paltrow set to sing…more on the way. To which I say: Great.  It was grossly disrespectful, I thought, to suddenly jerk them from the telecast last year (and if you heard some of the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

1/5 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Paltrow and “singer-as-Oscar-bait,” 80 years of THR, questioning Bening’s, er, overdueness

Posted by · 9:07 am · January 5th, 2011

• Larry Getlen on Gwyneth Paltrow in “Country Strong” and the “singer-as-Oscar-bait phenomenon.” [New York Post] • The this year’s Oscar hopefuls who got their starts as child actors. [Variety] • In celebrating THR’s 80th anniversary, Todd McCarthy picks the 80 greatest Hollywood moments. [Hollywood Reporter]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Song

Posted by · 12:15 pm · December 9th, 2010

I guess I’ve been pretty hard on the Best Original Song category this year. It’s not like any given year tends to have a deluge of impressive fodder up for consideration or anything, but on the whole, outside of a concentration of contenders that have a fighting chance at recognition, it just seems to be […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Tech Support

Gwyneth Paltrow performs ‘Country Strong’ at CMAs, only one original song will be submitted from ‘Tangled’

Posted by · 4:31 pm · November 11th, 2010

A little event dropped at last night’s Country Music Association Awards: Gwyneth Paltrow took to the stage to perform “Country Strong,” the title track from the upcoming Screen Gems release, with a little help from country star Vince Gill. I haven’t seen the film yet, but depending on how the original songs are used in […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: The year of the woman, take two?

Posted by · 9:11 am · September 13th, 2010

It wasn’t by coincidence that the three photos decorating the season’s introductory installment of this column two weeks ago represented lead actress contenders in the 2010 Oscar race. After all the talk of 2009 being “the year of the woman,” owing much to the number of female directors who found themselves in the mix (and […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

‘Country Strong’ trailer

Posted by · 9:09 am · September 10th, 2010

One of the lurking titles this Oscar season is Shana Feste’s “Country Strong,” currently set for a limited release on December 22.  Screen Gems could make a play for Gwyneth Paltrow, but it’s competitive terrain (Monday’s Off the Carpet will survey the strongest lead actress category in years).  Perhaps it’s too easy to chalk it […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SHORT TAKE: “Iron Man 2” (**1/2)

Posted by · 6:34 am · May 3rd, 2010

“Good is the enemy of Great,” wrote Jim Collins, in one of the more high-maintenance self-help plans you’re likely to encounter. As nice a thought as it is, this law appears to have no place in the world of the Hollywood franchise blockbuster, where Crap is the enemy of pretty much everything, and Good is […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Reviews

Because it made me laugh

Posted by · 7:22 am · April 20th, 2010

Is “Iron Man 2” really just 10 days away? This is the buzziest thing I’ve seen about it.

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The Great Performances: 2005

Posted by · 5:07 pm · December 18th, 2009

2005 was the year of Heath Ledger’s beautiful, moving performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” which I saw for the first time in Toronto.  It instantly became the talk of the festival, and the film became the one to beat for the Academy Award. Ledger was astonishing as the taciturn cowboy who is more surprised than anybody […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Precious’ and ‘Last Station’ lead Spirit nominees

Posted by · 8:38 am · December 1st, 2009

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone to “Precious” landed atop the list of Independent Spirit Award nominations this morning. Lee Daniels’ indie smash earned 5 mentions including Best Feature, Director and Actress, and looks like the one to beat in every category where it features. Fewer people, however, might have expected Michael Hoffman’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

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.” […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

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 […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

It’s not so dire, Mr. Friedman

Posted by · 4:06 pm · August 22nd, 2009

Obviously Hollywood Reporter gossip hound Roger Friedman hasn’t been reading our Contenders section, or else he’d know there are plenty of lead actress hopefuls out there, not the dearth he apparently perceives. Friedman rattles off 12 contenders in a recent piece titled Shortage of “Best Actresses in the Coming Oscar Season,” but he misses some […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Coldplay’s Chris Martin has a say on wife Gwyneth Paltrow’s ballot

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 16th, 2009

And according to a radio station in Manchester, via The Times, he voted for Mickey Rourke: The Coldplay singer found a nominations form lying around — understandable perhaps when you are married to a former Best Actress winner in Gwyneth Paltrow. But Martin just couldn’t resist. “I read the instructions, which is like you’ve got […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Two Lovers’

Posted by · 5:55 pm · January 28th, 2009

This US trailer for James Gray’s wispy throwback romance has been knocking around for a little while, but it only came to my attention now. It’s a minor-key work that admittedly isn’t flattered by the rather prosaic trailer, though it’s been lauded (like all Gray’s films) in France, and I was rather charmed by it […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SHORT TAKE: “Two Lovers” (***)

Posted by · 9:37 am · October 22nd, 2008

London Film Festival Bar the odd appearance of a text message or Ecstasy tablet, James Gray’s “Two Lovers,” a disarmingly modest tale of misdirected passion, could just as easily be set in 1958 as in the present day. This is both one of its charms and one of its failings. The premise is unfussy and […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Featured · Reviews