New AMPAS invitees include Sorkin, Hooper… and Beyoncé

Posted by · 5:17 pm · June 17th, 2011

The annual announcement of the new members invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the latest batch of industry pros we get to blame for next year’s Oscar results — is a moment that always prompts as much satisfied head-nodding as bewildered head-scratching. The latter action isn’t always in response […]

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Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Posted by · 10:33 am · January 31st, 2011

The race for Best Original Screenplay is full of worthy competitors this year.  Four Best Picture nominees and the year’s best screenplay period make up the field, and even if there are a few that should have been in the mix, I find it difficult to argue with what squeaked through in the end. The […]

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Filed in: Oscar Guide

SANTA BARBARA: Writers on writing

Posted by · 4:01 pm · January 29th, 2011

Today saw Santa Barbara’s annual “It Starts with the Script” writers panel, moderated by Anne Thompson.  Participating were Michael Arndt (“Toy Story 3”), Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right”), C. Gaby Mitchell (“Get Low”), David Seidler (“The King’s Speech”), Scott Silver (“The Fighter”) and Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network”). I was a little late […]

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Predict the DGA nominees

Posted by · 9:43 am · January 7th, 2011

Monday the guild circuit continues — at the start of what will be a very busy week — as the Directors Guild of America (DGA) unveils its list of nominees. The age-old rule of thumb has been that this is perhaps the most consistently foreshadowing precursor, as the five DGA nominees tend to have a […]

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What came after “the year of the woman?”

Posted by · 3:26 pm · December 27th, 2010

This time last year, we were still in the thick of a long-running “year of the woman” narrative, as female filmmakers enjoyed critical, festival and box-office success, plus an unprecedentedly high profile in the awards season –culminating in that history-making Best Director win for Kathryn Bigelow (as well as a Best Picture nod for Lone […]

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THR’s directors round table

Posted by · 6:57 am · December 21st, 2010

The Hollywood Reporter sure kicked up some controversy with that writers round table last month. This one featuring directors of the season has been making the rounds so I thought I’d post it up:

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THE LONG SHOT: When you’re strange

Posted by · 8:05 pm · November 24th, 2010

(Updated predictions available here.) I shan’t often find room for Gaspar Noé’s name in a space ostensibly dedicated to the Oscar race, so bear with me if this seems an unlikely opening gambit, but inspiration for this week’s column began with a conversation about his fluorescent, drug-addled ghost story “Enter the Void.” A friend had […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot

11/17 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: The death of Oscar bait, ‘How Do You Know’ nails a PG-13, Moore and Levi on ‘Tangled’

Posted by · 10:46 am · November 17th, 2010

• Guest blogging for Nathaniel Rogers, Michael C. writes up the apparent death of “Oscar bait” as it pertains to Best Picture winners. [The Film Experience] • Steve Pond chats with “The Kids Are All Right” writer/director Lisa Cholodenko. [The Odds] • James Cameron discusses his inspiration for “Avatar” (it won’t go away) in an […]

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INTERVIEW: Patricia Clarkson

Posted by · 8:26 pm · November 5th, 2010

“I’m going to bring back the letter,” a flustered Patricia Clarkson announces as she makes her way to our lunch table, ever-so-slightly rain-mussed but otherwise immaculate in black and cream, a jaunty matching fedora astride her familiar blonde mane. “I’m never late. I blame email for this. I’m only just getting acquainted with it.” She […]

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Cholodenko: Hollywood “lopsided” against female directors

Posted by · 5:41 pm · October 4th, 2010

In Oscar-watching, causes can be seasonal things: there’s no guarantee that what the industry and the media jointly declare a crucial issue one year will last to the next. In 1991, “Beauty and the Beast” earned applause for breaking the animation ceiling in Best Picture, but it took 18 years (and a format change) for […]

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REVIEW: “The Kids Are All Right” (***1/2)

Posted by · 11:04 am · February 17th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival A spry, sun-bleached and often rather sexy study of what makes a family in modern America, “The Kids Are All Right” breezes by so pleasurably it’s easy to forget what a daring and very necessary film it is. Gift-wrapping its smart sexual politics with kicky dialogue, bright visuals and a pleasingly […]

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Filed in: Reviews