The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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DGA discrepancies with AMPAS are not uncommon

Posted by · 9:39 am · January 9th, 2009

The announcement of this year’s DGA nominees has left the sense that the races for Best Picture and Best Director are over.  Not so.  While the guild and Academy line up most of the time, and have a decent track record with the directing branch, we must not forget the years that proved otherwise.  This […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Newman remembered, Rudin/Weinstein, Foreign film race

Posted by · 10:00 pm · October 3rd, 2008

As we head into the weekend, here’s a quick overview of what we (and you) have been talking about at In Contention this week: • Kris paid tribute to the incomparable Paul Newman, as well as rounding up some of the man’s greatest performances. • As the Scott Rudin-Harvey Weinstein soap opera continues, Kris wonders […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Paul Newman performances

Posted by · 7:15 am · September 30th, 2008

Expected or not, this week’s news that screen legend Paul Newman has broken through to the other side is deeply depressing.  But as I noted over the weekend, it’s best to take moments such as this as an opportunity to celebrate the man and his work.  So it is that this week’s list reflects the […]

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Bragging about breaking the Newman news?

Posted by · 10:01 am · September 29th, 2008

What the fuck?

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9/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:39 am · September 29th, 2008

• A happy ending of sorts for Matilda Rose in the wake of Heath Ledger’s death. [Agence France-Presse] • Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct “Thor.”  Weird, but badass. [Variety] • Tom O’Neil traces Paul Newman’s frustrating quest for Oscars. [Gold Derby] • James Rocchi talks to “Miracle at St. Anna” director Spike Lee. […]

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Redford on Newman

Posted by · 1:04 pm · September 27th, 2008

There is a point where feelings go beyond words.  I have lost a real friend.  My life — and this country — is better for his being in it.

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“Only murderers” and “I’m glad it’s you”

Posted by · 12:34 pm · September 27th, 2008

These are the clips that likely assured the late Paul Newman a place alongside the supporting crop of contenders in 2002.  Stalwart, sincere, living inside the character with an eerie warmth.  Despite my spoken allegiance to “Hud,” I chose to remember Newman this morning by watching “Road to Perdition” for the first time in a […]

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“Nobody gets out of life alive.”

Posted by · 10:05 am · September 27th, 2008

I’m a younger man. The first time I felt a considerable blow when a star met his end was in April of 1994. Three and a half years later, it happened again. So I started to get used to it. As you get older, heroes fade, legends die and it all becomes a part of […]

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Newman at his best, ‘Luke’ gets a deluxe edition

Posted by · 11:59 am · September 20th, 2008

With the news some weeks back that Paul Newman had left the hospital to go home to be with his family as he approached the end, I have found myself watching more and more of his films, perhaps stunned that the world will soon be deprived of his talent. Newman, who I had the pleasure […]

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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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Paul Newman will leave us a legacy of greatness

Posted by · 12:14 pm · August 10th, 2008

It’s no secret that actor Paul Newman has been on the ropes for a few months, but with reports surfacing that the screen legend has left the hospital to return home and “die in peace” settle the issue in with a painful clarity. To me this is devastating news because Newman is truly one of […]

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James Dean: over-appreciated icon?

Posted by · 5:40 am · July 14th, 2008

Let me state that I am aware of how much trouble I am going get myself into by writing this. With all the praise for Heath Ledger and his apparently electrifying performance in “The Dark Knight,” comparisons have been drawn to 50s method actor James Dean.  Great at his trade, a troubled social life, an […]

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They’re being taken from us left and right…

Posted by · 12:29 am · June 11th, 2008

This is becoming a horrible, horrible summer.

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