OFF THE CARPET: Counting chickens

Posted by · 11:09 am · January 3rd, 2011

The critics have had their say.  “The Social Network” has enjoyed an impressive kudos haul throughout the month of December.  Game over, call it, throw in the towel, all other comers need not apply, “there is only one.” That’s the instinct.  But I embrace caution over haste (and I’m not on the advocacy bandwagon), so […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Time to flex

Posted by · 10:51 am · December 6th, 2010

All of the cards (save for the elusive James L. Brooks title “How Do You Know,” which few seem to be expecting much from at this stage — a commodity in Oscar season, actually) are on the table. The critics are beginning to speak up with their faves (likely to be “The Social Network” after […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Kicking the tires on the circuit

Posted by · 8:42 am · November 29th, 2010

On the precipice of December, the season feels at once stale and fresh. We’re in the post-Thanksgiving food coma paradox that hits every year. But things are going to start heating up real soon. The last two films out of the gate, “TRON Legacy” and “True Grit” (both ironically starring Jeff Bridges), have already started […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Giving thanks

Posted by · 9:41 am · November 22nd, 2010

As we move into turkey (or tofurkey, if that happens to be your speed) week 2010, it seems proper, if a tad bit obvious, to take a moment and give thanks. So in lieu of a proper analysis of the season’s progression this week, allow me to express my boundless, breathless appreciation for the following: […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Dolla billz, y’all!

Posted by · 10:15 am · November 8th, 2010

A reader comment got me thinking on box office and Oscar as the usual blockbuster and genre fare led the way in ticket sales this weekend.  It dawned on me that pickins might be extra slim when it comes to representing populist filmmaking in 2010’s Best Picture crop. Box office and finding room for ratings-friendly […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Leading men in the spotlight

Posted by · 10:14 am · October 25th, 2010

About a year ago I took to examining the 2009 Best Actor race.  The frontrunners for five slots seemed to be, in order, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Jeremy Renner, Morgan Freeman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Viggo Mortensen and Robert De Niro. A day later press members received their first invites to “Crazy Heart” screenings and were notified […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Can the ladies get some support?

Posted by · 9:05 am · October 11th, 2010

A number of people wanted Anne and I to discuss the seemingly thin Best Supporting Actress category on the podcast Friday, but we didn’t get to it. So it seemed an opportune time to dedicate this space to the discussion. One should keep in mind that the race is still in its early days. This […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Once more into the breach

Posted by · 8:11 am · August 30th, 2010

So nine years ago yesterday I started a crappy, embarrassing little amateur site on Yahoo!’s now defunct Geocities platform and called it Oscar Central. It was a way to blow off steam in film school, maybe fold an offline hobby (Oscar-watching, predicting, obsessing) into an online community that seemed to already have healthy numbers. Plus, […]

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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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