CANNES CHECK: ‘Michael’

Posted by · 2:44 am · May 9th, 2011

The director: Markus Schleinzer (Austria) The talent: An actor and accomplished casting director — whose credits in the latter field include several films by his compatriots Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner — 39 year-old Schleinzer has cast his debut feature as writer-director with several actors he previously tapped for other directors’ films. Lead actor Michael […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 18th, 2010

The foreign Language film category has been marred in controversy for the last few years. When films like “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” and “Persepolis” were unceremoniously nixed from the field a few years ago, a special new “executive committee” was established to have final say on the fallen, hopefully saving the committee […]

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Calling the longshots

Posted by · 5:47 pm · February 1st, 2010

So this Steve Pond piece, titled “How Oscar Could Surprise — and Scare — Us,” is what we like to call hedging our bets.  It’s a chance to address some bubble matters so that we have something to point to and say, “Look, I toldja!” (Is that officially trademarked by Nikki Finke yet?) Anyway, I […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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1/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 10:46 am · January 19th, 2010

• Searching for meaning in Robert Downey Jr’s Stark-esque Globes beard.  Perhaps too much meaning. [CHUD] • Roger Ebert dives back into the enigma of Michael Haneke’s “Cache.” [Chicago Sun-Times] • Stretching to compare “Avatar” to “Slumdog Millionaire” because of it’s “out of the blue” success. [24 Frames]

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Sight for sore eyes

Posted by · 4:03 am · January 19th, 2010

Three weeks into the new decade, the flood of lists rounding up the last one seems to have abated, but I enjoyed Stale Popcorn’s countdown of the decade’s best film posters, whose #1 coincides with that of a similar list on The Auteurs last month. (They have an interesting interview with designer Akiko Stehrenberger here.) […]

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12/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:58 am · December 29th, 2009

• John Campea talks to “Avatar” star Stephen Lang. [AMC Entertainment] • Scott Feinberg spotlights 50 performances that “shoulda been contendas” in the 2009 Oscar race. [And the Winner Is…] • Nikki sez Warner Bros. has broken the studio’s own domestic box office record by crossing $2 billion across the States.  Wowsers. [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

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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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British critics fall hard for ‘The White Ribbon’

Posted by · 4:18 pm · November 13th, 2009

American audiences will have to wait until 30 December to see Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon,” but today marks the film’s UK release — and critically, at least, it’s off to a flying start. The film has received unanimously glowing notices in the four major British broadsheets, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw […]

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The Times names Haneke’s ‘Caché’ the decade’s best

Posted by · 11:30 am · November 8th, 2009

I’m not sure why the British broadsheets are all falling over themselves to publish their ‘best of the 2000s’ lists in early November, but mere days after The Telegraph critics declared Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” the film of the decade, The Times has weighed in with their own Top 100. In their list, a different […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Mind your language

Posted by · 3:38 pm · October 28th, 2009

You might not be aware of it, but the competition is already formally under way in Oscar’s most perennially problematic category, Best Foreign Language Film. For almost two weeks now, official Academy screenings of the longlisted contenders in the race have been in progress, and will continue through January, until all 65 titles have been […]

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REVIEW: “The White Ribbon” (***1/2)

Posted by · 2:05 pm · October 22nd, 2009

London Film Festival With apologies to Pete Townshend, the kids are most certainly not alright. Such is the message we seem to be gleaning from the cinema of 2009, as a vast range of unrelated titles – “Precious,” “Coraline,” “Dogtooth,” “Antichrist,” “Fish Tank,” even “An Education” – appear united in visiting the physical and/or psychological […]

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FIPRESCI names ‘White Ribbon’ best film of the year

Posted by · 5:35 pm · August 27th, 2009

It’s been a very good week for Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon.” One day after being selected as Germany’s official entry in the Oscar race, it has received a prestigious addition to its trophy cabinet in the shape of the FIPRESCI Grand Prix for Film of the Year. (Before you complain that […]

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Germany submits ‘White Ribbon’ for Oscar

Posted by · 3:44 pm · August 26th, 2009

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Germany has selected Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” (trailer here) as their official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. No foreign-language Palme d’Or winner has failed to be entered in the race since Japan’s “The Eel” in 1997, and “The White Ribbon” has both […]

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International ‘White Ribbon’ trailer

Posted by · 1:19 pm · August 15th, 2009

Okay, so your appreciation of this trailer for Michael Haneke’s lavishly acclaimed Palme d’Or winner will obviously be enhanced if you have at least a working knowledge of German. (No subtitles here.) But since it’s the first substantial glimpse most of us have had of what is clearly a major work, I thought it worth […]

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Haneke lands Palme d’Or, Gainsbourg takes Best Actress

Posted by · 10:41 am · May 24th, 2009

As it turned out, the most logical on-paper prediction turned out the be the right one. After emerging as the bridesmaid from several festivals past — winning the Grand Prix in 2001, Best Director in 2005 — the venerable Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has finally won the Palme d’Or for his stark moral drama “The […]

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What will take the Palme d’Or?

Posted by · 6:21 pm · May 23rd, 2009

It’s all over bar the voting. Tomorrow, Cannes jury president Isabelle Huppert will meet with her formidable, female-dominated team of eight – including the diverse likes of Robin Wright Penn, Asia Argento, James Gray and Hanif Kureishi – to pick over the 20 Competition titles they have seen over the last fortnight and select their […]

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Strong reviews for Haneke’s ‘White Ribbon’

Posted by · 8:33 am · May 21st, 2009

Could this year bring a close to Michael Haneke’s bridesmaid’s run at the Cannes Film Festival? Haneke has come within touching distance of the Palme d’Or before, taking the Grand Prix in 2001 for “The Piano Teacher” and Best Director in 2005 for “Caché,” but the big prize has so far eluded him. Now Haneke’s […]

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