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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REVIEW: “Carnage” (**1/2)

Posted by · 7:50 am · September 1st, 2011

Venice Film Festival When the title of Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed 2006 play “God of Carnage” was given a haircut in its transition to the screen, it was hard to read what — if anything — the change implied about the film to come. On the one hand, “Carnage” sounds pithier and more aggressive, removing the […]

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‘Carnage’ trailer

Posted by · 12:11 pm · August 19th, 2011

I’ve been somewhat reserved on Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” for a while now, mainly because the cast doesn’t really seem all that right to me. I caught the play on Broadway a few years back, and it’s an amazing piece of work. You might recall I was particularly impressed with (and totally crushing on) Hope Davis […]

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Emmy goes to the movies

Posted by · 6:57 am · July 15th, 2011

We don’t normally pay much attention to the Emmy Awards, this being a site primarily devoted to the bigger screen. But when the recently unveiled nomination list contains such film heavyweights as Todd Haynes, Olivier Assayas and (twice) Martin Scorsese, it’d be remiss not to mention it — and the fact that the line between […]

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Until Oscar do us part

Posted by · 7:06 am · February 1st, 2011

A few days ago, a reader responded to a trivia note by Steve Pond, about the number of Best Actor nominees whose Christian names begin with the same letter, with the question, “Is this the point at which we are officially over-saturated with Oscar stats?”. Well, if we weren’t there then, we might be now. […]

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Portman on ‘Black Swan’ eroticism: “Extreme, not raunchy”

Posted by · 5:48 pm · November 17th, 2010

When it comes to Oscar campaigning, sex can be something of a double-edged sword. We all know that the Academy has often responded well to attractive young actresses baring flesh for their art: Kate Winslet was the most recent beneficiary, but Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Holly Hunter and Jane Fonda are among the other actresses […]

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James Cameron tops Guardian’s “most powerful” list

Posted by · 8:55 am · September 24th, 2010

There has been some debate this morning in the British corner of the Twitterverse about the merits of The Guardian’s inaugural Film Power 100 list, which claims to represent the 100 industry figures current wielding the most power over, and influence on, UK filmgoers. It’s an ungainly and frequently baffling collection of names, mashing together […]

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Better and better

Posted by · 8:34 am · February 26th, 2010

Two weeks ago, Kris expressed his (and, well, pretty much everyone’s) excitement over Todd Haynes’s HBO reimagining of “Mildred Pierce,” with Kate Winslet stepping into Joan Crawford’s Oscar-winning shoes in the title role. Today, The Playlist passes on two further reasons to anticipate the project, namely Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood. The latter, in […]

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‘Mildred Pierce’: bring it on

Posted by · 9:55 pm · February 11th, 2010

This is the first time I can remember a TV movie rising to the top of my “gotta see it” pile, but how can you not be excited for the forthcoming Todd Haynes four-hour “Mildred Pierce” HBO mini-series with Kate Winslet?  I forgot all about this project, which has been in the works for some […]

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Paramount and Lionsgate do it up pre-Globes

Posted by · 10:04 am · January 17th, 2010

There will be a number of post-Golden Globes parties tonight — Summit, Warner Bros., Fox, Weinstein, etc. — but a pair of studios did it up Saturday night in honor of their nominees. First at the Chateau Marmont, Paramount toasted its stable with a star-studded, paparazzi-snapping affair.  Actually, it wasn’t the least bit comfortable.  Talk […]

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‘White Ribbon’ triumphs at European Film Awards

Posted by · 12:57 pm · December 12th, 2009

(UPDATE: Due to an error on the EFA’s own website, we initially reported that the technical Prix d’Excellence had been awarded to “Vincere.” This is incorrect: the sound design team behind “A Prophet” took the prize.) Foreign-language Oscar favorites “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet” have been locked in something of an awards duel since […]

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The Great Performances: 2004

Posted by · 6:35 pm · December 11th, 2009

In Alexander Payne’s “Sideways,” Paul Giamatti gave the best performance by an actor in 2004, so said the New York Film Critics Circle, and how right they were.  So why, why, why was the actor denied an Oscar nomination?  Granted, it was a strong year, but his work was at the top of that heap […]

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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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11/10 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:55 am · November 10th, 2009

• Deborah Sontag talks “The Messenger” with Oren Moverman, Woody Harrelson, etc. [New York Times] • Roger Ebert sits down with the fast-becoming new “it” girl, Gabourey Sidibe. [Chicago Sun-Times] • With movies still to be seen in 2009, Noah Forrest pegs “25th Hour” as the decade’s best.  Brave choice.  I’m a fan. [Movie City […]

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‘A Prophet’ dominates European Film Award nominations

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 7th, 2009

Is “A Prophet” gradually stealing awards-season momentum from “The White Ribbon?” (It’s the superior film, if you ask me.) Too soon to say, of course, but it certainly came out on top in this morning’s European Film Award nominations. Jacques Audiard’s searing chronicle of French prison gangs leads the field with six nominations, to four […]

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Emily Blunt named British Artist of the Year

Posted by · 5:23 pm · November 3rd, 2009

Okay, let me get this out the way: I love Emily Blunt. On screen and off, she exudes smarts, class and a welcome streak of British eccentricity. Most still remember her principally as the girl who cut through “The Devil Wears Prada” like a hot knife through butter, though it was 2004’s “My Summer of […]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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The Great Performances: 1995

Posted by · 4:06 pm · October 10th, 2009

Based on some of the comments I received last week regarding my article on great acting, I took the suggestion of a young lady and am kicking off a series of articles, one per week, that will explore the best performances ofeach year, beginning today with 1995.  So let’s go back and work our way […]

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