The In Contention Readership Ballot

Posted by · 10:20 am · February 27th, 2011

Today’s the big day. No more Oscar Guide, no more polls, just a few choice hours left in the season and then, the 83rd annual. (And not a moment too soon.) I appreciate everyone participating in the daily polls this month and last, which accompanied each of our Oscar Guide entries. It offers us a […]

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Oscar’s foreign race hasn’t found the fix

Posted by · 12:51 pm · February 25th, 2011

How do you solve a problem like Best Foreign Language Film? I’m not sure you can, but in the Academy’s case, it’s certainly not for lack of trying. The voting process in this eternally dissatisfying ghetto category is now such a Frankenstein’s monster of stages, rules, committees, sub-committees, longlists, shortlists and more committees that it’s […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 10:35 am · February 24th, 2011

So this is it. Over the last seven-plus months here at Tech Support, we have tried to illuminate and analyze the craft races as they unfolded. On Sunday, the winners will be revealed, ushering some new faces into Oscar’s club.  And indeed, I expect the vast majority of the winners to make their first trip […]

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The top 10 shots of 2010: part two

Posted by · 10:49 am · February 23rd, 2011

In case you missed part one of this year’s top shots column, be sure to catch up before digging into the final five selections today. As I mentioned yesterday, it wasn’t exactly a banner year for singular images from films in 2010. And that’s certainly not a crime. But more to the point, what I […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Costume Design

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 10th, 2011

This year’s race for Best Costume Design became mired in controversy later in the season as a dispute erupted over proper credit in “Black Swan.” Amy Westcott was listed as responsible for the threads, but fashion duo Rodarte had a significant hand in concocting the performance costumes on the film — and were denied credit, […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Analyzing the nominees

Posted by · 11:53 am · January 28th, 2011

So the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced this week, and I did fairly well in handicapping the nominees. Outside of Best Sound Mixing, I never missed more than one nominee in a category. Unfortunately, there were no categories where I scored 100% (apart from Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Oh well. […]

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Oscar nominations: the good, the good and the good

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 25th, 2011

Even when they aren’t being read out with gale-force enthusiasm by Mo’Nique, the Oscar nominations tend to attack you with breathless speed that you need at least half an hour to decide how you feel about them at all. As usual, this morning’s announcement found me bouncing from one split-second reaction to another: Yay! No! […]

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My dream Oscar ballot, part one

Posted by · 1:22 pm · January 22nd, 2011

For the past two years running, I’ve celebrated Oscar Nomination Eve by assembling my own ideal (and, usually, incredibly far-fetched) ballot, so here we go again. As well as a kind of last-ditch prayer to the Oscar gods, I also look on it as a salute to the worthy contenders who haven’t a hope in […]

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Updates to The Circuit

Posted by · 8:13 am · January 19th, 2011

A couple of things this morning. First, the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association has come out of clear, blue (fabulous) sky to dish out their honors — and “I Am Love,” therefore, joins the minimal chorus of Best Picture critics award winners. Meanwhile, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” won the top prize at last […]

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Foreign Oscar watch: Israel, Italy, Germany and Sweden

Posted by · 4:11 pm · January 12th, 2011

A couple of months ago, I compiled some critical thoughts on five films in contention for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, ranging from the hotly fancied (France’s “Of Gods and Men”) to the longest of long shots (Estonia’s “The Temptation of St. Tony”). It was intended to be the first in a series of […]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Below-the-line standouts

Posted by · 11:45 am · January 11th, 2011

For the penultimate installment in our reflection on the most Oscar-worthy achievements from the largely forgotten first half of 2010’s release calendar, I’m backtracking away from the major categories to the place I should perhaps have started: the technical sphere. Had I thought to start this column 20-odd weeks in advance of nomination day, I […]

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BAFTA announce foreign-language nomineezzzzz

Posted by · 7:22 am · January 7th, 2011

Along with my annual bewilderment as to the reasoning for BAFTA’s longlist announcement, I’ve never really got why they announce their Best Foreign Language Film nominations separately, 11 days ahead of the other categories. To me, it seems merely an additional way to marginalize an already marginalized category, but what else is new? The official […]

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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]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Director

Posted by · 3:59 pm · January 4th, 2011

With precisely three weeks to go until Oscar nomination morning, we continue to flag up worthy work from 2010’s first half, much of it lost (or, indeed, never present) amid the crush of more recent awards contenders. You know the January-to-June drill by now: beyond that, we can get as far-fetched as we like. I […]

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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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Predict the LA and NY critics’ awards

Posted by · 7:58 am · December 11th, 2010

Tomorrow brings out the big guns in the critics’ awards derby, as the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Circle unveil their picks, with the New York Film Critics’ Circle following on Monday. (I believe the less prestigious but often interesting New York Online crix are announcing tomorrow too.) I offered some thoughts on the significance of […]

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11/4 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Sit-down with Swinton, ‘Megamind’ using social gaming, Elise on ‘For Colored Girls’

Posted by · 8:16 am · November 4th, 2010

• Pete Hammond talks “I Am Love” with dark horse Best Actress contender Tilda Swinton. [Deadline] • How DreamWorks Animation is using social gaming to boost “Megamind.” [Hollywood Reporter] • Meet the characters of “Morning Glory.” [MakingOf]

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10/27 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Sticking up for Swinton, AMPAS joins Twitter, 15 years of Fox Searchlight

Posted by · 9:11 am · October 27th, 2010

• Jeffrey Wells does his part to re-inject Tilda Swinton’s performance in “I Am Love” back into the Oscar conversation. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • The Academy is ready for its close-up — on Twitter! [Twitter] • Celebrating 15 years of Fox Searchlight Pictures. [/Film]

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