‘King’s Speech’ leads Globe nods, ‘True Grit’ shut out

Posted by · 4:53 am · December 14th, 2010

True to form, the Golden Globe nominations are a buffet of the good, the bad and the unconscionably hideous — with perhaps a touch more emphasis than usual on the third of those this year. I refer, of course, to those largely mortifying Comedy/Musical races, where HFPA voters solved the lack of obvious contenders this […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 1995 and 1996

Posted by · 2:34 pm · December 1st, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. I saw “Braveheart” on video and I’m not positive if that was before or after it won Best Picture at the Oscars. Whenever it was, Mel Gibson’s historical epic immediately became this 13 year old’s favorite movie of all time. My second favorite movie of all […]

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9/24 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Franco nearly flunks, ‘Rabbit Hole’ sets a date, no one edits Oliver Stone

Posted by · 9:25 am · September 24th, 2010

• All-time greatest Oliver Stone line: “I like mirror. I wrote Scarface. Go fuck yourself.” [Vulture] • Potential Oscar nominee James Franco got a “D” in his NYU acting class. [Showbiz 411] • Read Tim Burton’s poem about Johnny Depp, circa 1991. [Cinematical]

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‘The Tourist’ trailer

Posted by · 10:01 am · September 15th, 2010

Sony recently announced a December release date for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s English language debut “The Tourist,” starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. It’s likely o be a commercial play (that will nevertheless be an SEO dream for webmasters), but the recently debuted trailer showcases a delightful performance from Depp. Check it out at Yahoo! […]

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December welcomes ‘The Tourist’

Posted by · 5:26 am · August 19th, 2010

It’s difficult to know how to interpret the news that “The Tourist,” the first English-language feature from Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, has been yanked forward into the 2010 release calendar, following a reportedly well-received screening for studio bosses. The film will now hit US theaters on December 10, a release date it shares with the […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Oscar nominee fields

Posted by · 12:47 pm · January 26th, 2010

In exactly one week’s time, we’ll have a brand new list of Oscar nominations to pore over, pick apart and eventually file away in our subconscious with the other 81 editions of this annual collective. For Oscar geeks, nomination day is in many ways more exciting than the ceremony itself, celebrating a broader spectrum of […]

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The actor as auteur

Posted by · 5:27 am · December 10th, 2009

One of my current favorite film writers, Ryan Gilbey, has written an excellent New Statesman piece reflecting on the past decade in film acting. In it, he argues that the 2000s have gone some way towards blurring the definitions of ‘star’ and ‘character actor,’ and singling out the achievements of three actors in particular: Unconsciously […]

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The Great Performances: 2003

Posted by · 9:14 am · December 4th, 2009

There is little doubt in my mind I am going to take some heat this week, so let’s kick it off right away with my belief that Sean Penn deserved his Best Actor Oscar for “Mystic River,” a performance of overwhelming ferocity and staggering emotional power. Yes, I too loved Bill Murray in “Lost in […]

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Risk addiction

Posted by · 1:18 pm · November 30th, 2009

After some initial resistance, I’m getting chattier on Twitter lately. Yesterday, in a “best of 2000s” frame of mind, an enjoyable back-and-forth with some of you started after I idly asked which actor or actress has had the greatest decade on film. The suggestions came in thick and fast, some mathematically going by awards stats, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Popular mechanics

Posted by · 6:19 pm · November 25th, 2009

“My God, they’ve thrown in everything but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Quoted by writer Anthony Holden in his gossipy history “The Oscars,” this was one publicist’s dismayed response to the 1990 Academy Award nominations, which included such unusual concessions to popular (as opposed to critical) opinion as a Best Picture nomination for “Ghost” and […]

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11/18 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:00 am · November 18th, 2009

• The swashbuckling spirit behind “Pirate Radio.” [Los Angeles Times] • Anne Thompson wants to know where the screeners of “The Hurt Locker” are.  Probably waiting on “New Moon” box office receipts. [Thompson on Hollywood] • The gall: Why Roger Corman doesn’t deserve an Oscar.  Apparently there’s a “pro” side on the way. [Cinematical]

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11/17 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:30 am · November 17th, 2009

• “Avatar” to hold its world premiere in Leicester Square, London, December 10. [Deadline Hollywood Daily] • Nathaniel Rogers isn’t phased by his signed non-disclosure agreement, breathlessly (but briefly) enthuses about “Nine.” [The Film Experience] • Johnny Depp becomes Hollywood’s highest paid actor with a £21 million ($42 million) salary for “Pirates of the Caribbean: […]

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Mann subs Robert Capa for Robert Jordan

Posted by · 9:15 pm · October 4th, 2009

Director Michael Mann has been trying to get an adaptation of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” off the ground for a while now.  As far back as October 2006 (when I interviewed Mann for an Eric Roth profile), the film was mere days from being announced. I’m not a sleuth like the Anne Thompsons or […]

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On acting

Posted by · 10:11 am · October 2nd, 2009

What constitutes a great performance?  What makes it something that puts it head and shoulders above the rest?  What does an artist do to go to that level of art and achieve something that is both extraordinary and rare? Does the Academy, or rather the branch that nominates the actors, look as closely at performance […]

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8/18 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:46 am · August 18th, 2009

• “District 9” and the legacy of high-brow sci-fi. [Film School Rejects] • Roger Ebert talks “Inglourious Basterds” with Quentin Tarantino. [Chicago Sun-Times] • Patrick Goldstein weighs in on the Redbox brouhaha. [The Big Picture]

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Gilliam talks completing ‘Parnassus’ without Ledger and his defining film moment

Posted by · 11:45 am · August 5th, 2009

At Comic-Con last month, Motion/Captured’s Drew McWeeny was fortunate enough to sit down with director Terry Gilliam for a solid 60 minutes, allowing the conversation to drift from actors like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt to the Criterion Collection to Gilliam’s latest, the still domestic distributor-less “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and everything in between. […]

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COMIC-CON: Disney showcases ‘Carol,’ ‘Alice,’ ‘Tron’

Posted by · 1:10 pm · July 23rd, 2009

The first opening day studio panel has just concluded as Walt Disney Pictures brought Robert Zemeckis (“A Christmas Carol”), Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland”) and the “Tron: Legacy” principals to Hall H for a hefty three-dimensional dose. The “Christmas Carol” footage, which was an extended version of the Marley’s ghost sequence Disney has been showing […]

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‘Alice in Wonderland’ teaser trailer

Posted by · 11:49 am · July 22nd, 2009

As someone who is both fanatical about Lewis Carroll and agnostic on Tim Burton, I’ve been a little wary about this project from the outset. Burton and his team have given something of a CGI Gothic distortion to John Tenniel’s immortal illustrations — I don’t know how I feel about it, but suffice to say […]

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