‘We Bought a Zoo’ trailer

Posted by · 11:38 am · September 14th, 2011

Just in time to capitalize on Scarlett Johansson’s nude photo scandal (that was low, sorry), the trailer for Cameron Crowe’s latest, “We Bought a Zoo,” hits the web. The first half of this early glimpse really makes it look like a return to character study form for Crowe, while the second half lays on the […]

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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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Filed in: Off the Carpet

‘Contagion’ character posters

Posted by · 3:57 am · August 10th, 2011

I’ve successfully dodged the trailer — and swiftly ducked out of any online discussion — for Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” to I can honestly say that I haven’t the faintest idea what it’s about, and plan to stay cheerfully ignorant until the lights go down at its Venice press screening in a few weeks’ time. Fortunately, […]

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‘Margaret’ finally goes free

Posted by · 4:19 pm · August 4th, 2011

And you thought “The Tree of Life” had a protracted journey to its eventual release. It’s well over two years since I first wrote about the woes of Kenneth Lonergan’s chronically delayed sophomore feature, “Margaret,” and even then, it was a stale issue. The film was shot in 2005 — long before co-producers Sydney Pollack […]

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Should we be buying into ‘Zoo?’

Posted by · 1:38 pm · August 3rd, 2011

When compiling my first round of Oscar predictions last week, I somehow found myself gliding instinctively over Cameron Crowe’s upcoming true-life comedy “We Bought a Zoo” — despite its starry profile, big studio backing and plum holiday release date. Glancing over Kris’s predictions to the right, I noticed he’s done the same. Admittedly, Crowe’s last […]

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1/12 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Toy Story’ wins Golden Tomato, inside the NSFC vote, Firth loses his voice

Posted by · 8:01 am · January 12th, 2011

• “Toy Story 3” edges past “How to Train Your Dragon” and “The Social Network” to take this year’s Golden Tomato Award. [Rotten Tomatoes] • Louis Virtel, meanwhile, wants to know why “Oscar zealots” aren’t fighting for the film’s Best Picture chances.  Uh, hello? [Movieline] • Sex and ballet slippers: the themes of “Black Swan.” […]

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1/6 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Roberts stumps for Bardem, ‘Valentine’ as class commentary, Affleck’s ‘Town’ inspirations

Posted by · 5:10 am · January 6th, 2011

• Julia Roberts’s Oscar plea for”Biutiful” star Javier Bardem. [Inside Movies] • Patrick Goldstein on “Blue Valentine” as a meditation on the class divide. [The Big Picture] • Ben Affleck on “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “Amores Perros,” “Breaking Away” and “Heat” as inspirations for “The Town.” [The Envelope]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2001 and 2002

Posted by · 7:19 pm · December 21st, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. After being overlooked in 1995, Ron Howard finally got a pat on the back from Oscar in 2001 for “A Beautiful Mind,” which was Russell Crowe’s second Best Picture winner in a row. If that wasn’t bad enough, the inaugural Best Animated Feature award went to […]

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The Coens’ no-frills ‘True Grit’ hearkens to western heyday

Posted by · 10:00 am · December 1st, 2010

I’ve seen the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” twice now, and it’s not because the film is some “Inception”-like, mind-bending narrative maze. Quite the opposite, actually. I saddled up to it a second time yesterday morning because I wasn’t quite anticipating what I got the first time around and I wanted to consider it further knowing […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Town’ screenwriter, director and star Ben Affleck

Posted by · 2:14 pm · November 10th, 2010

Actor — and as of late, filmmaker — Ben Affleck makes his way to a cozy corner of Santa Monica’s Casa Del Mar hotel restaurant. He’s coming from a “Dad’s event” at his daughter’s school, he says, propping his feet up on a nearby chair. Currently shooting Terrence Malick’s latest film in Oklahoma, the multi-hyphenate […]

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Damon finds inspiration in Tommy Lee Jones for ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 9:14 am · November 3rd, 2010

It seems like I’m desperate for any morsel on the Coen brothers’ upcoming “True Grit.” If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the film I’m most looking forward to this season, and every time that trailer drops before a film, I perk up immediately.  I’m in the tank and I haven’t even seen it. I […]

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10/14 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Eisenberg could bump Damon, Pike’s break-out year, assessing Best Actor

Posted by · 8:30 am · October 14th, 2010

• Nathaniel Rogers gets delightfully painstaking with Oscar trivia, notes that, should Jesse Eisenberg be nominated for Best Actor, he’ll boot Matt Damon from the list of top 10 youngest nominees in the category. [The Film Experience] • Speaking of which, Damon has the directing bug and continues to bone up on the ins and […]

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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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‘Hereafter’ trailer

Posted by · 5:16 pm · September 10th, 2010

Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” is set to play Toronto this Sunday.  No screenings in LA until after the festival but there have been a few vague reactions already.  The story revolves around current event disasters (the London tube bombings, the Sri Lanka tsunami, etc.) to tell a story of, you know, death and stuff.  The trailer […]

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Eastwood’s “spiritual chick flick”

Posted by · 9:45 am · September 9th, 2010

You’ve probably read the countless link-backs to Geoff Boucher’s Hero Complex item about Clint Eastwood and how the actor turned down roles like Superman and James Bond in the 1970s.  Well, you wouldn’t know it, but those quotes actually came in the context of an interview concerning “Hereafter,” Eastwood’s 32nd directorial effort which is set […]

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‘Margaret’ will see light of day, says Searchlight

Posted by · 6:54 am · July 26th, 2010

Last year, I dedicated a couple of posts to the mysterious case of “Margaret,” Kenneth Lonergan’s seemingly terminally delayed follow-up to his 2000 directorial debut “You Can Count on Me.” The film, a character drama starring Anna Paquin as a traumatised witness to a bus accident, with Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon in support, was […]

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FRIDAY FORECAST: Lean ‘Zone’

Posted by · 12:53 am · March 13th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass return to the screen this week with their third collaboration and first outside of the Jason Bourne series. That particular franchise has done wonders for the careers of both men, particularly Greengrass, who won an Oscar nomination for “United 93,” but […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

THE LONG SHOT: Happy Oscar (War Is Over)

Posted by · 8:01 am · March 4th, 2010

So this is Oscar. And what have you done? Speaking for myself, lately, not a hell of a lot. In the three weeks that this column has been on hiatus – apologies to the handful of you who missed it – it’s remarkable how little the O-word has been on my mind. Yes, I’ve been […]

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Filed in: The Long Shot