OFF THE CARPET: ‘Inception’ to the rule?

Posted by · 12:00 pm · July 19th, 2010

As I look over the last week of activity, believe me, I’m as over-inundated with “Inception” talk as the next guy. But it is the film that captured a collective imagination throughout the country this weekend and, therefore, it has been a mainstay on the front page. I purposely held the latest Oscar column until […]

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OFF THE CARPET: One for the toys

Posted by · 11:18 am · June 21st, 2010

Despite a precious few naysayers, Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” which hit theaters this weekend to an all-time high opening number for the studio, has become an odds-on awards season favorite.  Nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and, of course, Best Animated Feature seem like no-brainers. Additionally, though some might make arguments for this indie […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Back and forth…forever

Posted by · 1:01 pm · March 1st, 2010

The Circuit has run its course.  With the Visual Effects Society‘s awards gala last night and the press release announcement of the International Film Music Critics Association’s list of winners this morning, it’s on to the big show.  But the excitement is ever so slightly dampened, given the drama of the final stretch. I recently […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Are we there yet?

Posted by · 10:12 am · February 22nd, 2010

It’s been three weeks since I took note of the season’s course in this space, and really, there has been no need to put our finger to the wind until last week. And frankly, an author making an ass out of himself in public and Harvey Weinstein sooth-saying anyone who would listen (while an array […]

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OFF THE CARPET: David and Goliath

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 25th, 2010

The stunning PGA victory for “The Hurt Locker” last night not only injected some more excitement into what was a coagulating Oscar race, but it also injected some intrigue and drama as well. Some might want to say it wasn’t such a surprise, and if you called it, great.  But it was an against-all-odds victory […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Memo to the Academy

Posted by · 3:07 pm · January 12th, 2010

–MEMO– TO: Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences FROM: Kristopher Tapley RE: The ballot you recently received Ladies and gentleman, As you sit to ponder the year’s best in your various fields of professional expertise, you might find yourself strong-armed into the consensus view 2009’s film product has been whittled down […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Why it should be ‘The Messenger’

Posted by · 9:46 am · January 4th, 2010

The writing is on the wall. “Nine” is on the precipice, teetering, on the brink of falling from the Best Picture ranks, 10 nominees or not. Speculation flies as to which film will be the beneficiary (as most concede this is the only slot in flux, though there are certainly compelling arguments against a secure […]

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OFF THE CARPET: A spade is a spade

Posted by · 11:10 am · December 28th, 2009

Oscar ballots are being mailed to AMPAS members today.  So now is the time to pay attention to the buzz, as most ballots are returned within the first couple of weeks (which says everything you need to know about how much time and care is put into the process by voters). However, it’s somewhat amazing […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Pump your brakes

Posted by · 3:52 pm · December 7th, 2009

It is true.  The annual Oscar season has forged an epidemic of instant judgment and facile analysis that has become a fairly significant blight on the fraternity of film criticism. Not everyone is guilty.  In fact, most aren’t.  But from where I sit, and speaking solely for myself, the initial quality-assessors of the industry have […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Let it all bleed out

Posted by · 10:57 am · November 30th, 2009

Every now and then this season, I’ve sat down and taken on the fool’s errand of deciphering what 2009, the year in film, has been “about.”  It’s silly because a given film year is the result of years and years of preparation and development, so to think a collective thematic consciousness settles in is a […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Field of adaptations

Posted by · 8:34 am · November 23rd, 2009

As always, the year’s adapted screenplay race is much more competitive than the original screenplay race. But what’s intriguing to note is that of the anticipated “big four” still to be widely screened, three of them are right in the thick of this discussion. In the case of “Nine,” there is a chance for Anthony […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Original players

Posted by · 2:44 pm · November 16th, 2009

When I had the unmitigated gall last week to project a set of winners for this year’s Oscar race, I was a bit startled at how easy Mark Boal’s script for “The Hurt Locker” slid into the Best Original Screenplay slot.  Looking over the landscape of contenders in the category, it’s a little obvious why […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting gentlemen

Posted by · 9:10 am · November 9th, 2009

In recent weeks we’ve been covering the performance categories in this space.  With little else of tangible interest, what else can we possibly discuss?  It’s as good a time as any to take note of what we have on our hands.  Be sure to check out our looks at Best Actor, Best Actress and Best […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading gentlemen

Posted by · 10:31 am · November 2nd, 2009

We’ve taken concentrated looks at the lead actress and supporting actress categories in recent weeks.  Now let’s turn our attention over to the fellas. Behind the Best Picture race, of course, the lead actor competition is perhaps the most hotly anticipated award of a given Oscar telecast.  Movie stars are born, Hollywood staples are rewarded […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting ladies

Posted by · 9:37 am · October 26th, 2009

A few weeks ago in this space I took a dedicated look at the lead actress category.  With little in the way of actual development (this season is curiously divided on the timeline as we’ve got maybe another month before more major titles begin screening), I figured it would be a good idea to keep […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading ladies

Posted by · 9:24 am · October 5th, 2009

Now is the time when everyone begins assessing the race at its beginnings, and the gist I’m getting is that no one really knows what to write about.  Stabs at analysis end up being responses to other takes or rehashed arguments, and nothing really insightful is being brought to the table. And let’s face it.  […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Foreign contenders and underdogs

Posted by · 6:18 pm · October 2nd, 2009

• The deadline for Best Foreign Language Film entries passed, as Israel and Italy bucked conventional wisdom with their selections. • Among the better-received contenders, however, were major festival prizewinners from Australia and Greece. A full list of submissions here. • As the smaller studios beef up their Oscar prospects, this week’s Off the Carpet […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Underdog season

Posted by · 10:50 am · September 28th, 2009

It suddenly occurred to me when I got a screening invite last week to “That Evening Sun,” a potential awards prospect for lead actor Hal Holbrook, that the film actually had a distributor: Freestyle Releasing. Freestyle is a boutique company that doesn’t have a lot on deck, but it reminded me of how spread out […]

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