Six Virtuosos chosen for Santa Barbara Fest

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 16th, 2008

The press release, in part (happy for Shannon, one of the good guys): The Santa Barbara International Film Festival continues its tradition of honoring the year’s standout performers by presenting The 2009 Virtuosos Award to Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon.  The Award presentation will take place Wednesday, […]

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Globe cheers, jeers and predictions

Posted by · 6:56 pm · December 11th, 2008

As ever, this morning’s Golden Globe announcement provided a mixed bag of talking points, with some pleasantly zany curveballs at one end of the scale, and a couple of yawnsome autopilot nominees at the other. Like most awards bodies, they’re never going to get it completely right: for every inspired inclusion or omission there’s an […]

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Here’s why the BFCA snubbed ‘Revolutionary Road’

Posted by · 11:29 am · December 9th, 2008

I didn’t think about this at the time this morning, because of course, I do the diligence of going to the screenings.  But DVDs of “Revolutionary Road” and “Defiance” did not arrive on our doorsteps until late last week, in some cases, as late as Friday.  Even though the voting deadline was Sunday, I’m sure […]

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Getting around to the BFCAs

Posted by · 10:26 am · December 9th, 2008

A late night premiere and after party kept me in bed most of the morning.  It happens.  So I’m just now coming around to today’s BFCA announcement.  First, some reactions (full disclosure, I am a member of the organization). First and foremost, the group subtracted one category (Best Family Film) and added another (Best Action […]

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Early winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 1:42 pm · November 28th, 2008

Well, Kris was brave enough to stick his neck out and venture some winner predictions, so I thought I’d follow up on that — with the strict caveat that, while nobody knows anything, I frequently know even less. So my own predictions are after the cut. I don’t think them informed enough to place on […]

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Ledger: is it written?

Posted by · 12:52 pm · November 24th, 2008

When running through the list of contenders of next year’s Academy Awards, most will agree that there are no safer bets than Heath Ledger picking up a Best Supporting Actor nomination for “The Dark Knight.” He’s been locked in for the best part of the year… no argument, no dissent, no negotiations. Many people seem […]

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Variety weighs in on ‘Revolutionary Road’

Posted by · 4:38 pm · November 17th, 2008

UPDATE: We’re not out of the woods yet. The Hollywood Reporter gives it the thumbs-down, something I didn’t notice earlier, as the review was buried in their impossible website. (Seriously, guys, work on it.) Anyway, Kirk Honeycutt calls it “didactic” and “emotionally overblown,” and has nothing to say about the performances. On the other hand, […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Getting to know you

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 17th, 2008

This is the first season I can think of, at least since I’ve been covering this crazy beat on the west coast, that studios have become so terrified by the media that guild screenings are preempting press screenings with such consistency. Some have whined about “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” screening for SAG 10 […]

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Filed in: Featured · Off the Carpet

Michael Shannon among NYT’s breakthrough picks

Posted by · 1:52 pm · November 2nd, 2008

The New York Times has compiled a list of what they deem the five outstanding breakthrough performances of the season. It makes for interesting reading — sure enough, there are some performers from otherwise high-profile Oscar-bait films, but there are some surprises too. I’m pleased to see them singling out François Bégaudeau, the star and […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 performances you’re underestimating

Posted by · 7:22 am · September 16th, 2008

Every year it seems there are a number of performers in the thick of an Oscar hunt that don’t get the same attention as the expected heavy-hitters. It’s no surprise, of course, that Oscar prognostication would lean toward the anticipation of what lies ahead, unseen, unproven.  The mystery stays in tact, if for precious few […]

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Filed in: The Lists

The independent film not to be missed

Posted by · 6:59 am · April 22nd, 2008

Every year the best of independent cinema convenes at a series of festivals and awards programs, most notably the Independent Spirit Awards. In February, Jeff Nichols, a first-time filmmaker, won an ISA for his first feature length film “Shotgun Stories.” The effort chronicles a deadly family feud between two sets of brothers that ensues upon […]

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REVIEW: “World Trade Center” (***1/2)

Posted by · 12:39 pm · August 2nd, 2006

“World Trade Center” is a nearly flawless account of something so personal, yet so universal, that it leaves the instigating events of September 11, 2001 almost as an afterthought – lipstick on the rim of a wineglass long emptied. he triumph of commanding such humanity in the face of a story that could have easily […]

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Filed in: Reviews