In Contention

9/13 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Madonna in Toronto, SPC’s would-be ‘Shame’ plan, Clooney overexposed?

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:12 am · September 13th, 2011

• Michael Cieply reports from the “W.E.” press conference in Toronto, where Madonna is doing slightly better than she did over in Venice. [Arts Beat] • Speaking of Toronto, Tilda Swinton keeps hitting the press rounds at the fest. [Speakeasy] • Pete Hammond hears that Sony Classics wanted to lay the groundwork for a Michael [...]

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OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 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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Venice awards make a stand

Posted by Guy Lodge · 11:05 am · September 11th, 2011

To judge from the press reaction to yesterday’s Venice Film Festival awards, you could be forgiven for thinking that Michael Fassbender won every single one of them, plus an extra certificate for full attendance. That’d hardly be surprising in any circumstances, given Fassbender’s growing celebrity and the media’s reliable aversion to world cinema. Best Actor [...]

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VENICE: ‘Faust’ wins Golden Lion, Fassbender takes Volpi Cup for Best Actor

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 10:53 am · September 10th, 2011

Guy is currently in transit from Venice (where, once again, he offered some bang-up coverage throughout — much appreciated). I’ll let him address the bulk of this when he touches down, but for now, a big win out of the festival for “Shame” in Michael Fassbender’s Volpi Cup victory. In accepting the award, Fassbender tipped [...]

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Fox Searchlight picks up McQueen’s ‘Shame’

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 4:35 pm · September 9th, 2011

I would say “Toldja!,” but I think that’s trademarked elsewhere. Nevertheless, as indicated here a few times, Fox Searchlight Pictures was pretty serious about “Shame” after the film bowed at Venice and Telluride on the same day over the weekend. It’s set to screen Sunday in Toronto, but ahead of that, the dependent has bravely [...]

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VENICE: What will win… and what should

Posted by Guy Lodge · 2:13 pm · September 9th, 2011

This year’s Competition strand of the Venice Film comprised 23 films — a large-ish number by major festival standards, and yet it still feels remarkably thin. Admittedly, I’m viewing the field with a slight eyepatch on, having only seen 17 of the 23 films. Yet compared to last year’s lineup — where the successes ranged [...]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 60 — A sprint Telluride recap, ‘Descendants,’ ‘Albert Nobbs,’ disagreeing on ‘Dangerous Method,’ thoughts on Eddie Murphy, Toronto preview (ish)

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:07 am · September 9th, 2011

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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REVIEW: “Shame” (***1/2)

Posted by Guy Lodge · 5:36 am · September 4th, 2011

Venice Film Festival If “Hunger,” artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen’s remarkable debut feature, was a study of a body strenuously denied its fundamental needs, his satisfyingly rigorous, explicit follow-up, “Shame,” traces the very different damage done by a body over-gifted with wants. A sternly formalist parable on the pruning and stunting of relationships both familial and carnal [...]

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REVIEW: “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)

Posted by Guy Lodge · 8:50 am · September 2nd, 2011

Venice Film Festival “Do you think they know we’re on our way, bringing them the plague?” So asks Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud of his younger colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as the two approach New York City to gift the untreated denizens of America with their equally grueling brands of psychoanalysis, in the closing stretch [...]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by Guy Lodge · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the [...]

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‘X-Men: First Class’ trailer

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 4:15 pm · February 10th, 2011

A bit of a diversion from the Oscar scene, though not really, seeing as Jennifer Lawrence stars (and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are surely not far away from their first nomination). But Fox has debuted the “X-Men: First Class” trailer via the film’s Facebook page and, if you’ve been online this afternoon at all, [...]

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FIRST-HALF FYC: Best Supporting Actor

Posted by Guy Lodge · 5:18 pm · December 8th, 2010

Only two weeks into my new feature and I’m already a day late — apologies. My laptop (now cured, at least until its next mood swing) will graciously accept the blame. If you missed last week’s introductory instalment, the game is a simple one. In the run-up to nomination day, I’m picking five outstanding contenders [...]

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Fassbender’s 2011 gets busier with McQueen’s ‘Shame’

Posted by Guy Lodge · 9:47 am · November 11th, 2010

I’m lousy at keeping track of pre-production news, so if you’d asked me an hour ago what British artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen was tackling for his sophomore feature, I’d have answered, “Oh, I know — that Fela Kuti biopic starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.” And I’d have been wrong. The more clued-up folks at The Playlist report that [...]

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‘Jane Eyre’ poster

Posted by Guy Lodge · 11:59 am · November 8th, 2010

Memo to the folks handling “The King’s Speech” at TWC: this is how you rustle up a poster for a period prestige pic. Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” — the first since Franco Zeffirelli’s Charlotte Gainsbourg-starring attempt in 1996 — is one of my most curiously awaited films of 2011. The novel, [...]

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Ubiquitous

Posted by Guy Lodge · 3:24 pm · March 19th, 2010

When I heard today that Mia Wasikowska had landed the lead in Cary Fukunaga’s upcoming adaptation of “Jane Eyre” for Focus Features, my first thought was, “Well, who else?” Not that there aren’t other suitable young actresses who could ace the part. But 20 year-old Australian Wasikowska seems to have hit a sweet spot in [...]

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‘A Prophet,’ ‘Fish Tank’ lead London Critics’ awards

Posted by Guy Lodge · 2:22 am · February 19th, 2010

The BAFTA Awards take place on Sunday, but last night the UK’s premier critics’ body had their say at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards. And what we learned is what the London Film Festival, Sight & Sound and even the BAFTA longlists already taught us: the Brits really, really like “A Prophet.” Busting out [...]

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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by Guy Lodge · 3:21 pm · February 1st, 2010

Yesterday, I began my far-fetched wishlist of nominees for tomorrow’s announcement with a look at the technical categories. Today we move into the big races. And as much as I thought I had my favorites clearly mapped out in my head, a rundown of the eligible titles made for some very crowded races indeed. Once [...]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Globe awards, BAFTA noms, foreign shortlist

Posted by Guy Lodge · 6:41 pm · January 22nd, 2010

• “Avatar” and “The Hangover” took top honors at a very populist Golden Globes ceremony — Off the Carpet reported from the party circuit. • The Academy revealed the nine films shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film; we sized up the race. • BAFTA announced their nominations, with “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” [...]

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