My dream Oscar ballot, part two

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 23rd, 2011

Yesterday, I began my very far-fetched (and in some cases, frankly impossible) wishlist for Tuesday’s Oscar nominations with my favorite achievements in the technical categories. Today, I offer up my picks in the top races, and I don’t mind telling you things got pretty agonizing in some categories. “Why can’t I have 15 nominees for […]

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Inevitable list of WGA ineligibilities surfaces

Posted by · 7:42 pm · December 28th, 2010

Steve Pond is on the news today that a number of this year’s screenplays will be ineligible for WGA consideration (and therefore should be kept in mind when nominations are revealed next week). First and foremost, we all know Pixar films never fall under WGA signatory regulations, so Michael Arndt’s work on “Toy Story 3” […]

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Sussing out the HFPA’s comedy/musical field

Posted by · 2:47 pm · November 16th, 2010

In the latest Gurus o’ Gold survey, David Poland asked us all to contribute the usual rankings for Best Picture, added in the supporting actor and supporting actress categories, then popped the question regarding the Golden Globes comedy/musical category.  It’s interesting to get perspective on the latter this (relatively) early in the season. A couple […]

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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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Why we should be watching Kristin Scott Thomas

Posted by · 5:55 pm · October 7th, 2010

Hey, did you know I’m something of a Kristin Scott Thomas fan? If you didn’t, chances are you only just met me. Welcome. The precis version is that I think she’s one of the few great contemporary actresses currently working on career-peak form, and in two languages to boot. The non-precis version — well, dig […]

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10/5 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Moving the show to January, CGI gaffes, toasting Mirren

Posted by · 9:06 am · October 5th, 2010

• The Academy considers moving the Oscars up to late January or early February.  Same old song and dance.  It would begin in 2012 and is dependent on the NFL’s plans. [Los Angeles Times] • Tom Shone talks to “Nowhere Boy” director Sam Taylor-Wood. [New York Magazine] • Monika Bartyzel toasts Helen Mirren’s rise from […]

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Oren Moverman, Kurt Cobain and the biopic

Posted by · 12:42 pm · July 19th, 2010

One of my favorite current film writers, Ryan Gilbey, has an excellent piece in today’s Guardian on the subject of biopics — in particular, on the rise of the postmodern biopic in the face of Hollywood’s increasingly tepid stabs at the form. It’s a good read, but far better is the unabridged version of the […]

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Tom Ford, Scott Cooper on Variety’s Directors to Watch list

Posted by · 10:03 am · January 21st, 2010

Variety’s annual Directors to Watch list lives up to its title more often than not, frequently highlighting names that go on to be hotter talking points in the year that follows. Last year’s list, for example, include “(500) Days of Summer” helmer Marc Webb, who recently signed on to reboot the “Spider-Man” franchise, as well […]

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‘Moon,’ Carey Mulligan, Tom Hardy take BIFA Awards

Posted by · 3:28 pm · December 6th, 2009

The British Independent Film Awards really spread the wealth this year, with only two films — “Moon” and “Fish Tank” — taking more than one award. In a slightly surprising result, Duncan Jones’s sci-fi debut claimed the night’s top prize, Best British Independent Film, as well as Best Debut Director honors. Meanwhile, “Fish Tank,” which […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Nowhere Boy” (**1/2)

Posted by · 5:17 pm · October 29th, 2009

London Film Festival A bright, slight, mostly enjoyable portrait of the formative years of John Lennon, artist-turned-filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy” opens with a nudge-nudge tease, as the singular opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night” reverberates through the theater over a shot of the 18 year-old Lennon running to school. That single-second strum, however, […]

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‘Nowhere Boy’ trailer

Posted by · 7:07 am · October 29th, 2009

Sam Taylor-Wood’s debut feature has its world premiere tonight as it closes out the London Film Festival. I’ll have a short take up for you later today, but for now, here’s the trailer. (I’ll say this much: Kristin Scott Thomas’s recent run of form remains unbroken.)

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‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Moon,’ ‘Education’ lead BIFA noms, female directors rule

Posted by · 2:23 pm · October 26th, 2009

You’ve heard me natter on enough for months about how “Fish Tank” is one of the year’s best films — now you don’t have to just hear it from me anymore. Andrea Arnold’s lyrical character study of an unhappy Essex teenager (now being dubbed ‘the British “Precious”‘ by some lazy wags) leads the nominations for […]

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Counting down to the London fest

Posted by · 5:52 am · October 14th, 2009

(Apologies for the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” review that appeared prematurely here as a result of embargo confusion. It will be reposted later today.) There may have been silence on my end these past few days, but I assure you it hasn’t been for lack of activity. The days leading up to the London Film Festival […]

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Goldfrapp meet Beatles in ‘Nowhere Boy’

Posted by · 9:46 am · October 11th, 2009

I meant to mention this just before I went on vacation in September, but it slipped my mind. Anyway, adding to the many reasons for my interest in Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy,” the John Lennon biopic that closes the London Film Festival on 29 October, is the promise of a score by electro-pop outfit Goldfrapp […]

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London Film Festival shortlists nine titles for top prize

Posted by · 8:04 am · October 7th, 2009

I mentioned recently that the London Film Festival is upping its profile by adding a couple of new awards to its roster, including a crowning Best Film prize. This, I felt, was a positive development for a festival that becomes a richer, more rewarding cinematic showcase by the year. However, I must admit to being […]

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London fest adds awards, goes heavy on Clooney

Posted by · 7:41 am · September 9th, 2009

While still ensconced in Venice, I must admit that the thought of diving into another festival makes me slightly dizzy — but the London Film Festival doesn’t care about that. LFF artistic director Sandra Hebron unveiled a strong lineup this morning, but the real news is that they have added a bevy of awards to […]

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Aaron Johnson as John Lennon in ‘Nowhere Boy’

Posted by · 12:03 pm · August 30th, 2009

Hat tip to The Playlist for digging up this newish still from one of my most anticipated films of the year, Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy.” The film, a study of John Lennon’s early years, will premiere on the closing night of the London Film Festival in October. As Lennon, 19 year-old Aaron Johnson faces a […]

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Lennon biopic ‘Nowhere Boy’ to close London fest

Posted by · 1:32 am · July 31st, 2009

UPDATE: “Nowhere Boy” producer, Kevin Loader, addresses Jeff Wells’s concerns about the film’s non-appearance at earlier autumn festivals quite reasonably. He explains that the post-production schedule means the film simply won’t be complete in time for Venice or Toronto. I thought as much. This is an interesting development. Lately, the London Film Festival has chosen […]

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