It’s not just the fanboys

Posted by · 6:10 pm · January 22nd, 2009

I had planned to write a full-blown rant about the numerous blind spots and errors of judgment in this morning’s Academy Award nominations, but at this point I’m too tired and resigned to summon up the necessary fire. It also occurred to me that I should take some inspiration from the character at the heart […]

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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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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by · 12:24 pm · January 21st, 2009

OK, I explained the deal with this yesterday, when I covered the technical categories. What follows are the names and films that I, in a perfect world, would like to hear announced by Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker bright and early tomorrow morning. (Or tomorrow afternoon, in my case … living across the Atlantic does […]

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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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Suspicion of optimism

Posted by · 6:08 am · January 19th, 2009

As you know, one of the many things that aggravated me about this year’s BAFTA nominations was the pointed shut-out of Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky.” The snub extended to lead actress Sally Hawkins, who has torn through the critics’ awards on the other side of the Atlantic and stands a sizeable chance of landing an Oscar […]

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Best Actress: a tough call

Posted by · 9:27 am · January 17th, 2009

Rarely does the lead actress category provide more suspense than leading gentlemen and rarely is it as packed with fine performances as it is this year.  I can remember years when it was a struggle to come up with five nominees for best actress, 1975 and 1992 springing to mind.  It might have less to […]

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“Did you like the work? Buy the ticket!”

Posted by · 10:30 am · January 16th, 2009

This isn’t exactly new, but I just stumbled across this video, one of a series from the Hollywood Reporter’s actress Oscar roundtable last month. THR has had several such sessions this season, but I really liked the chemistry and empathy between these five wonderful women — Michelle Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Emma Thompson, Amy Adams […]

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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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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ lead BAFTA pack with 11 nods each

Posted by · 12:20 am · January 15th, 2009

Each year, the BAFTAs never fail to find new and frustrating ways to surprise me. It wasn’t hard to guess that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire” would come out on top here — though even as a fan of the latter film, I do wonder whether nominations for Best Production Design […]

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BAFTA predictions

Posted by · 2:00 pm · January 14th, 2009

The BAFTA nominations drop tomorrow, and while I hardly covered myself in glory with my foreign film Oscar forecast yesterday, I’m going to wade into the murky waters of prediction once more. On the one hand, it’s a fool’s errand trying to predict the BAFTA nods, as they can frequently be the most perverse and contrarian awards […]

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Golden Globes: Feeling the love

Posted by · 1:06 pm · January 12th, 2009

As I curled on the couch in the wee small hours of the morning, watching last night’s Golden Globes telecast with only a hot toddy and a handful of chatty IC commenters for company, it occurred to me that I was hearing an awful lot of one word as the evening unfolded. And that word […]

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Pre-PGA housekeeping

Posted by · 4:34 am · January 5th, 2009

I hadn’t realized I’d let my predictions linger, unattended, since November — I revised them in my head and guess I thought that would somehow magically appear on the site. Anyway, I thought it best to do some cobweb-clearing before the PGA announcement later today (for the record, I’m going with “Button,” “Knight” “Milk,” “Slumdog” […]

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An unfortunate precedent

Posted by · 1:02 pm · January 4th, 2009

With Sally Hawkins and Sean Penn each picking up a gong from the National Society of Film Critics yesterday, the two actors thus complete the trifecta of major critics’ awards, having already taken the New York and Los Angeles critics’ respective honors. (I know some refer to the ‘big four,’ but we all know the […]

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NSFC goes with ‘Bashir’ and ‘Happy’ in a big way

Posted by · 4:24 pm · January 3rd, 2009

This is just like the National Society of Film Critics.  Sorry, just coming around to this (football has taken some precedence this afternoon as I unwind post-vacation).  “Waltz with Bashir” may have taken the top prize, but “Happy-Go-Lucky” was the clear favorite.  Perhaps added fuel to the film’s Oscar fire.  Lone director nomination?  Hmmm… Best […]

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Small pleasures: Guy’s best (and worst) of 2008

Posted by · 1:14 pm · January 2nd, 2009

It’s a lovely thing when you realize, at least part of the way through adulthood, that we still possess the ability to surprise ourselves. When left to graze at leisure, the mind can stumble upon some unexpected notions, frequently overriding the conclusions we thought we had reached after twelve months of watching, writing and (occasionally […]

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‘WALL-E,’ ‘Red Balloon’ head up top 10 list compilations

Posted by · 9:46 am · December 27th, 2008

Once upon a time there was a great website run by a fella named Engin that tracked top 10 lists at this time of year.  It was one hell of a comprehensive collective, but I haven’t heard from him in a few years. David Poland at Movie City News has done a nice enough job […]

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‘Slumdog’ dominates the critics awards circuit

Posted by · 9:56 am · December 22nd, 2008

It looks like the critics groups are slowly winding down this season, the annual influx finally settling in for a post-glut nap.  I believe the only organizations left to announce are the Kansas City, Vancouver and Central Ohio crowds, as well as the National Society of Film Critics, all of whom should reveal their winners […]

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All in the family: a note on the SAG nods

Posted by · 7:00 pm · December 18th, 2008

I know I shouldn’t get upset. As Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily repeatedly intones, when it comes to awards analysis, “the trick is not minding.” You should coolly observe the trends, learn from them and be guided always by your head rather than your heart. But damn it, I’m only human. I can’t help […]

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