OFF THE CARPET: Leading men in the spotlight

Posted by · 10:14 am · October 25th, 2010

About a year ago I took to examining the 2009 Best Actor race.  The frontrunners for five slots seemed to be, in order, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Jeremy Renner, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Viggo Mortensen and Robert De Niro. A day later press members received their first invites to “Crazy Heart” screenings and were notified […]

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Scorsese/DiCaprio retrospective set to kick-start ‘Shutter Island’ campaign

Posted by · 9:18 am · October 22nd, 2010

People have scoffed at the idea of a Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” campaign for months now.  The film didn’t hit with the critics, therefore it must be an also ran, right?  The thing is, it made decent bank and is packed with elements I know for a fact are well-respected from the industry, whether it’s […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 35 — ‘Secretariat’ hopes, ‘The Way Back’ enters the race, ‘Nowhere Boy,’ ‘Hereafter’ and listener questions

Posted by · 8:23 am · October 8th, 2010

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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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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Where is my mind

Posted by · 5:14 pm · August 3rd, 2010

As that finicky final shot of “Inception” continues to prompt confusion and discussion in comment boards across the internet, it would appear that some people still aren’t done processing Leonardo DiCaprio’s first puzzle pic of 2010. Much has been made of the sizable overlap between Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster and Martin Scorsese’s winter genre exercise […]

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‘Inception’: the dream is (too) real

Posted by · 4:21 pm · July 15th, 2010

It seems almost mandatory to begin any discussion of “Inception” with an acknowledgement of its scale of ambition – both aesthetic and intellectual – not least when set against the sights of most other $200 million summer studio pictures. So yes, let’s acknowledge it. Christopher Nolan’s latest is an uncommonly heady and intricate tentpole blockbuster, […]

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On the performances of ‘Inception’

Posted by · 2:48 pm · July 6th, 2010

As a number of people have pointed by asking, my review of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” doesn’t offer much perspective on the performances in the film.  The reason is probably a combination of a few things. For starters, I wanted to be as careful as possible to write a spoiler-free review that could be enjoyed by […]

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So, is ‘Inception’ a go for Oscar?

Posted by · 5:08 pm · July 5th, 2010

Now that the review embargo walls have crashed on “Inception” (though most of what’s out there is web-based media as we’ll wait a while for print reactions), I guess it’s fair to dive into the awards implications of the film.  I preferred to stay away from that kind of talk in my review. The first […]

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REVIEW: “Inception” (***1/2)

Posted by · 3:00 pm · July 5th, 2010

In reviewing 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” I wrote that director Christopher Nolan “has made a brief career of exploring characters built upon their somber, in some instances twisted pasts, however distant or immediate.” The theme continues with “Inception,” a film like nothing you have ever seen before that plays out like a two-hour therapy session, […]

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A toast to ambition

Posted by · 11:35 am · July 5th, 2010

It’s fascinating to me, the similarities between Leonardo DiCaprio’s two 2010 endeavors, Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” (which I will review in short time).  The themes and considerations in both have the same blood pumping through their veins. I’m talking about ideas of repressed trauma, avoidance of reality, the impact of children […]

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DiCaprio and Eastwood team for Hoover biopic

Posted by · 6:13 pm · June 17th, 2010

After three consecutive duds (in my book, anyway), Clint Eastwood will have to work hard to earn my anticipation again — harder, certainly, than dipping into the biopic well once more — but he sure gets full marks for persistence. Undeterred by his recent strike-outs with the Academy, he continues to assemble the most on-paper […]

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REVIEW: “Shutter Island” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:54 pm · February 13th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival (EDIT: Star rating adjusted upon consideration.) To filch an aphorism from Mike Skinner, “Shutter Island” represents of continuation of Martin Scorsese’s decade-long quest to find the hardest way to make an easy living. If that sounds like a jab, it’s not. Since the self-amusing personal statements of “Kundun” and “Bringing Out […]

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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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1/6 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:28 am · January 6th, 2010

• Sam Mendes could clearly use a paycheck, signs up for the new Bond. [Heat Vision] • Navigating the season in “For Your Consideration” ads. [Vulture] • Rodrigo Perez points out some buried points in another outlet’s coverage, namely that Apparition is aiming for a Cannes bow for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” [The […]

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De Niro, DiCaprio, De Mille, De Scorsese

Posted by · 11:56 am · December 17th, 2009

The pres release, in part: Golden Globe winners Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio will present the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Martin Scorsese at “The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards” on Sunday, January 17. The show, hosted by Ricky Gervais, will be broadcast live coast to coast on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, […]

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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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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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The Great Performances: 1997

Posted by · 8:03 am · October 23rd, 2009

1997 was a great year for actors, but a tough year for Oscar; how do you choose when there are so many deserving nominees? It’s that age-old issue that some award-worthy performances are going to be left out, which though unfair and sad, is very much part of the Academy Awards and frankly what makes […]

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