‘Amelie’ tops list of decade’s best cinematography

Posted by · 10:00 am · June 29th, 2010

The folks at Movieline got their hands on a list of the top 50 films of the decade, from a cinematography standpoint, as laid out by voters at American Cinematographer magazine. Topping the list: Bruno Delbonnel’s work on “Amelie.” Delbonnel is a favorite among DPs. After all, “A Very Long Engagement” won him the ASC […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 12:01 pm · March 4th, 2010

Welcome to the first of two (and the only two) categories that have me pulling my hair out. The cinematography race is a strange breed this year. There isn’t the usual one or two “pretty” films that turn the Academy on at large, nothing with sweeping vistas and postcard composition, all the stuff that allows […]

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ASC on the way

Posted by · 5:06 pm · January 8th, 2010

Along with the WGA, the American Society of Cinematographers will also be announcing nominees Monday.  Guesses as to which way they’ll go? I’d say the safest bet is Robert Richardson and his work on “Inglourious Basterds.” He often gets his due from the guild (eight nominations) even when he doesn’t from the Academy (five nominations). […]

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Art Directors Guild nominees

Posted by · 10:32 am · January 8th, 2010

I’ve had my eye on these because I’ve always felt that, if “Avatar” could slide in here, it might be able to get over any weird bias against the way it was designed (largely in computer, etc.). But after sitting down with Robert Stromberg yesterday, and with these nominations in mind, I feel better about […]

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Visual effects bake-off leaves seven

Posted by · 10:28 am · January 6th, 2010

And they are, via AMPAS press release: “Avatar” “District 9” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” “Star Trek” “Terminator Salvation” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” “2012” And the three I still expect to get in are in the mix, so, whew.  I think we all know what will eventually win here, but if there’s a […]

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‘Nine’ leads Golden Satellites with 11 nods

Posted by · 6:59 am · November 29th, 2009

(UPDATE: Full list of categories and special awards added, including a random Best Ensemble prize for “Nine.” Also, a pointless Ten Best Films of 2009 list that leaves out some of their very own Best Picture nominees. Don’t even try to make sense of it. Thanks to Ziyad for the info.) It isn’t really worth […]

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Studio FYC sites on the march

Posted by · 9:32 am · November 11th, 2009

It’s that time of year, when studios roll out their awards-centric websites for films in play.  You get screening info, news and notes, reminders of how AMAZING their films are (with critical quotes to back it up), goodies like screenplays and such, etc.  It’s a good way to see how wide the net is cast […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Art Direction — Volume II

Posted by · 11:01 am · November 5th, 2009

When I first addressed the race for Best Art Direction in August, I spoke of how the branch tends to favor period pieces and fantasy films. Considering the research involved in the former and the often showy creativity on display in the latter, this is hardly surprising. That said, I often feel badly for exceptional […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume II

Posted by · 12:17 pm · October 22nd, 2009

As more films have been unleashed, the race for the visual effects Oscar now appears clearer than it did three months ago.  I’m starting to feel the race for the final three will really be down to a handful of films. As I explained in August, a shortlist of seven films will be announced in […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 3:27 pm · October 8th, 2009

Back in July, I took an initial stab at the “zaps,” “booms,” “clinks” and “bams” of the sound editing category.  Since then, several titles have been seen, moved on to 2010 or popped up as new comers.  Let’s take a look… With “Green Zone” and “The Wolf Man” delayed until next year, the category’s potential […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume I

Posted by · 10:30 am · September 10th, 2009

“Make me look good.” While this might seem a vain phrase, in the context of a movie, makeup cannot only make an actor “look good” but it can capture the character and transform the performer, providing invaluable assistance in reaching the “truth” in the portrayal. The Academy Award for Best Makeup actually recognizes the individuals […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Art Direction — Volume I

Posted by · 12:30 pm · August 20th, 2009

Sets and props can create a time period, an era or simply the feel of a scene.  And the individuals involved in this process are awarded by the Academy in the category of Best Art Direction. Ironically, the art director of a film is not recognized here. Rather, the production designer – the art department […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘G.I.’ dough

Posted by · 10:27 am · August 9th, 2009

*All historical figures are adjusted to today’s dollars Paramount secured what is likely to be the last blockbuster opening of the summer with “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” this weekend. For a film that was plagued with bad buzz a few months ago and was withheld from most critics, a $56.2 million start is […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume I

Posted by · 11:51 am · August 6th, 2009

“How did they do that?”  Movie-goers often ask this in response to spectacular visual effects, one of few elements of a film, apart from acting, directing or story, that a studio might choose to sell a film directly on. Not surprisingly, the Academy’s award for Best Visual Effects is definitely the most mainstream-friendly of all […]

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The long haul

Posted by · 12:56 pm · July 27th, 2009

ScreenDaily editor Mike Goodridge raises a topic that has provoked more than a few grumbles this season: the inordinate length of some of Hollywood’s biggest summer releases. I’m not someone who automatically whines whenever a film pushes the 150-minute mark. Some films warrant that heft, and it’s not always directly related to the scale of […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘G-Force’ hits the G-spot

Posted by · 10:11 am · July 26th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. $32.2 million worth of Americans needed to see what happens when talking guinea pigs are entrusted with saving the world this weekend and have made “G-Force” our number one movie at the box office. Since I predicted $35 million last week, I can’t say this was […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Comic-Con, a taste of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Alice’

Posted by · 1:59 am · July 25th, 2009

• Comic-Con was the week’s big story, with 25 minutes of footage from “Avatar” its major talking-point so far. • Meanwhile, the rather less glitzy sci-fi of “District 9” wowed the crowds. • And Gary Oldman slipped some unexpected news about the next Batman installment. • Good week for trailers, as both “Alice in Wonderland” […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 7:55 am · July 23rd, 2009

Zoom. Smash. Bang. Grunt. Zap. Splash. Screech. A single sound effect can capture a character, emotion or setting. And creating such sounds is no easy task, requiring creativity, ingenuity and constant communication with the other filmmakers to best capture the feel of a film. The manifestation of these aural components — as well as their […]

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