OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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‘Take Shelter’ and Jessica Chastain win in Deauville

Posted by · 12:42 am · September 11th, 2011

In the midst of early-season festival madness (and sometimes lost in the clutter) is the Deauville Film Festival, which concluded this weekend. Top honors went to Jeff Nichols’s “Take Shelter,” a film of which I’m a big proponent. To start the festival, though, one of the film’s stars, Jessica Chastain, shared the “New Hollywood” award […]

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VENICE: ‘Texas Killing Fields,’ ‘Faust,’ competition stragglers

Posted by · 7:39 am · September 9th, 2011

After a ten-day, 23-film Venice Competition that started slowly but respectably, hit a healthy stride midway through and began wheezing with exhaustion in its closing stages, things have finally ground to a permanent halt with “Texas Killing Fields” (**), the sophomore feature from Ami Canaan Mann — daughter of Michael,  who predictably takes a producer […]

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OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set […]

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Jessica Chastain wins award in Venice — more to come?

Posted by · 4:38 pm · September 3rd, 2011

Nathaniel Rogers tipped me off today to the fact that Jessica Chastain has won her first (of many?) award of the season in Venice. The prize, presented by “W.E.” director Madonna, was the Gucci Award for Women in Film. And it’s a pretty good pick when you consider how prolific she is this year. Chastain […]

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9/1 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: “It” girl Chastain still on the circuit, Lindelof hearts ‘Raiders,’ ‘Ides’ first slam-dunk?

Posted by · 5:42 am · September 1st, 2011

• He puts a question mark on it but Dave Karger nevertheless calls “The Ides of March” the year’s first slam-dunk Best Picture nominee. [Entertainment Weekly] • Steve Pond talks to 2011 “it” girl Jessica Chastain. [The Odds] • S.T. VanAirsdale gets a bunch of us awards blowhards on the record for a little early […]

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8/31 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Social media boost ‘The Help,’ actress Oscar plays, Bird Flu back ahead of ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:16 am · August 31st, 2011

• Anne Thompson talks to “Warrior” stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy and director Gavin O’Connor. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Lucas Kavner on the debt “The Help” owes to social media for its box office staying power. [Huffington Post] • Louis Virtel looks shines a light on five female roles that seem to have the […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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8/30 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Mirren on her bod, ‘Exotic Marigold’ gets some press, films skipping fall fests

Posted by · 7:36 am · August 30th, 2011

• Helen Mirren on “The Debt,” getting played by Jessica Chastain and everyone’s ongoing obsession with her body. [Vulture] • Newly minted UK resident Julianne Moore talks “Crazy, Stupid, Love” across the pond. [Daily Telegraph] • Susan Wloszczyna talks shooting in India with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” principals. [USA Today]

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Michael Shannon is a beast in the spectacular ‘Take Shelter’

Posted by · 9:22 am · August 29th, 2011

Not to overstate things, but it’s time to talk about Michael Shannon and the fact that it’ll be amazing if there is a better, more refined, more electrifying performance this year than his work in Jeff Nichols’s “Take Shelter.” This is his best work to date and it deserves a huge swell of awards support. […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 58 — Wrapping up the summer, fall festival preview, ‘Warrior’ and ‘50/50’

Posted by · 10:00 am · August 26th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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Tell us what you thought of ‘The Help’

Posted by · 3:52 pm · August 13th, 2011

I haven’t yet had a chance to see the bestseller-based civil rights drama “The Help,” but I gather a lot of you have. The film — and more specifically, its first-class female ensemble — clearly hit the right note for Kris, though other reports I’m hearing suggest there’s far more to like about the film’s […]

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‘The Help’ and the year’s best ensemble performance…so far

Posted by · 2:49 pm · August 3rd, 2011

Now that I’m done crying my eyes out, a few words on Tate Taylor’s “The Help,” which I caught this afternoon. It’s a beautiful film, safe, sure, but it knows where to lay the emotional hammer down and where to let the rock keep skipping on the surface. Most striking is the ensemble, as there […]

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Diving back into ‘The Tree of Life’ (SPOILERS)

Posted by · 1:51 pm · May 27th, 2011

If you’ve been fortunate enough to catch Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” in its limited release already, don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the reactions thread. I’ve written about the film at length once (during a lunch break at jury duty downtown after sleeping on it). Guy reviewed it in full out […]

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‘Take Shelter’ takes first award at Cannes

Posted by · 4:40 pm · May 19th, 2011

Nine days in, the Cannes Film Festival is winding down. Many of the US journos are flying home, and with Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Skin I Live In” having premiered this morning — review coming tomorrow — the superstar auteurs have all shown their hand. (That’s not to say Nuri Bilge Ceylan or Paolo Sorrentino can’t […]

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REVIEW: “The Tree of Life” (***)

Posted by · 4:51 am · May 16th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Landscape has always been character in the films of Terrence Malick. The even, rolling fields of “Days of Heaven,” the sweatily green hill ladders of “The Thin Red Line,” even the dry-toast mesa of “Badlands”: all expansive, overwhelming environments that dictate the behavior of the films’ human occupants through sheer force of […]

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CANNES CHECK: ‘The Tree of Life’

Posted by · 6:30 am · May 6th, 2011

The director: Terrence Malick (USA) The talent: Do you need reminding by this point? The Competition’s most high-profile film stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Jessica Chastain; the name I’m most pleased to see in the supporting cast, meanwhile, is Irish stalwart Fiona Shaw. The technical crew is, obviously, first-class: DP Emmanuel Lubezki, […]

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Shedding more light on ‘Tree of Life’

Posted by · 11:33 am · March 14th, 2011

Apologies for the radio silence last week — Kris is still enjoying his hiatus, while I had all manner of dull earthbound duties to take care of. As I kept one eye on Twitter and my regular blog roll, however, I didn’t feel I was missing matters of paramount importance: I have nothing to say […]

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