LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2003 and 2004

Posted by · 9:34 pm · December 28th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. 2003 belonged to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” as it won every single award it was up for, tying the all time record haul of 11 trophies. Few could argue that Peter Jackson had accomplished something unique with the execution of […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Follow the leader

Posted by · 3:56 pm · December 16th, 2010

[Updated Oscar predictions here.] Hey, have you heard of this movie called “The Social Network?” You should probably check it out. It’s about Facebook and stuff and it’s supposed to be really good. So good, in fact, that it’s managed to tame the single most argumentative species in the animal kigdom, The Lesser Spotted Film […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Bait, switch

Posted by · 8:39 pm · September 29th, 2010

Whether you choose to believe them or not – and speaking for myself, I don’t quite – the media powers that be have currently reduced the 2010 Best Picture race to just two titles: “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech.” That’s entirely (and hopefully, lest things get too dull too soon) subject to change […]

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The new millennium Oscars?

Posted by · 9:53 am · January 18th, 2009

Looking back over the previous Oscar winners for Best Picture since 2000, the start of a new century (and a new millennium), I find myself wondering sometimes what the hell the Academy was thinking.  It’s no secret I disagree with the Academy a lot, but I can also admit that when they get it right, […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 ‘right actor, wrong film’ Oscars

Posted by · 12:35 pm · December 9th, 2008

As we head into the thick of awards season, one of the biggest “will-they-won’t-they” questions about this year’s Academy Awards concerns one of their most favored sons, Clint Eastwood. Specifically: despite wildly polarized responses to the film, and a widespread perception that he has already been amply rewarded in other categories, can Eastwood ride the […]

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‘Gomorrah’ and ‘Changeling’: two that work

Posted by · 2:28 pm · October 16th, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve committed to a long-form review, and for that, I have to apologize.  Short Takes here and there don’t exactly cut it, but we’ve certainly stayed afloat in this light with Guy’s wonderful work across the pond.  I don’t get a chance to sit down and hammer out some thoughts […]

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Reading ‘Gran’

Posted by · 2:41 pm · September 7th, 2008

I’m about half-way through Nick Schenk’s script “Gran Torino,” the Clint Eastwood surprise of 2008 waiting to jump up and bite us all in the ass this December.  So far it’s a really casual, satisfying read.  Some bumps in the first act as Schenk has some trouble settling into the style of the narrative, the […]

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And often, the Academy gets it right…

Posted by · 10:53 am · July 30th, 2008

As much as I rant about some of the bizarre choices made by the Academy, let’s be fair…there are times when they are right on the money. The AMPAS allowed for an embracing of the New American cinema with their awards for Best Picture and Best Director for “Midnight Cowboy” in 1969, and only they […]

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Clint Eastwood: the unlikely Oscar favorite

Posted by · 4:19 am · July 12th, 2008

Had anyone said to me in the 1970s that Clint Eastwood would in time become one of the finest and most important American directors in modern cinema, I would have laughed — quite loudly — in their collective faces. The star of “Dirty Harry” and “Every Which But Loose?”  The guy who shares the screen with apes?  […]

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Who joins the great Best Picture snubs this year?

Posted by · 1:52 pm · May 9th, 2008

It happens every year, a great film, in some cases destined to be remembered more than the eventual Oscar winner is snubbed for a Best Picture nod, or gets nominated and loses to an inferior film that happened to capture the public’s attention at that particular point in history. Some of the greatest films of […]

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Lead actress contenders also join interesting group

Posted by · 5:36 pm · May 7th, 2008

As the piece on actors managed to spark some interest and debate, of course I have to explore the women. Though I am studying just the last 20 years, the Best Actress Oscar has often left some of the greatest performances as mere nominees, or in some cases not even that. Katherine Hepburn, though nominated […]

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Clint Eastwood — anything he does grabs Oscar’s attention

Posted by · 8:13 am · May 5th, 2008

Let me begin with something very personal, something I prefer not to do in this column. Movies have not mattered much this past week, as my wife of 18 years, the love of my life was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. This Thursday we journey to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to allow the finest […]

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