OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 58 — Wrapping up the summer, fall festival preview, ‘Warrior’ and ‘50/50’

Posted by · 10:00 am · August 26th, 2011

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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‘Coriolanus’ poster

Posted by · 3:10 pm · August 17th, 2011

Another day, another poster. Interesting that they’re selling this one less as The Ralph Fiennes Show (he is Coriolanus, after all) and more as a two-hander. It’s worth playing up Gerard Butler’s contribution — his performance here is a career highlight — but I maintain my broken-record position that Vanessa Redgrave is the real story here. […]

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‘Coriolanus’ UK trailer

Posted by · 7:03 am · August 11th, 2011

I stuck my neck out back in February at the Berlin Film Festival and said that Vanessa Redgrave will snag a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination (at least) for her galvanizing interpretation of Volumnia in Ralph Fiennes’s hopped-up take on Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus.” I’m sticking to my guns — and I imagine more voices will join […]

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My only friend, the end

Posted by · 10:41 am · July 12th, 2011

I’ll make this brief. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” hits this weekend. It will be massive. The devoted will turn out and love it. The sense of grand closure will settle for many. But I’ll just have to cop here at the beginning to the fact that I cannot connect the dots […]

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BERLIN: ‘Coriolanus,’ Redgrave and an early Oscar bet

Posted by · 6:58 pm · February 14th, 2011

The cavernous Berlinale Palast theatre was packed to the gills for today’s noontime press screening of “Coriolanus” (***), and small wonder — in a Competition lineup heavy on oatmeal fare boasting comparatively unfamiliar names, Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut is one of the few entries that affords viewers a little star-gazing. Fiennes, of course, takes the title […]

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Off to the Berlinale

Posted by · 7:50 pm · February 10th, 2011

In a couple of hours, I’m jumping on a crack-of-dawn flight to one of the coolest cities on earth for a week at the Berlin International Film Festival — or, to use the name that rolls more luxuriously off the tongue, the Berlinale. I probably should have mentioned this earlier and posted some sort of […]

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First Berlinale selections revealed, ‘True Grit’ to open fest

Posted by · 3:43 am · December 15th, 2010

Of all the festivals I attended this year, Berlin was perhaps the one with the most covert significance. At the time, it seemed critics were foraging for scraps amid a dismal competition lineup and a confusingly scattered selection of sidebars — and yet so many of the films I caught there (and some that I […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Oscar nominee fields

Posted by · 12:47 pm · January 26th, 2010

In exactly one week’s time, we’ll have a brand new list of Oscar nominations to pore over, pick apart and eventually file away in our subconscious with the other 81 editions of this annual collective. For Oscar geeks, nomination day is in many ways more exciting than the ceremony itself, celebrating a broader spectrum of […]

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The Great Performances: 2005

Posted by · 5:07 pm · December 18th, 2009

2005 was the year of Heath Ledger’s beautiful, moving performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” which I saw for the first time in Toronto.  It instantly became the talk of the festival, and the film became the one to beat for the Academy Award. Ledger was astonishing as the taciturn cowboy who is more surprised than anybody […]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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Danny Huston to play Poseidon in ‘Clash of the Titans’

Posted by · 10:13 am · April 29th, 2009

Boy, Danny Huston sure does seem to be going for the cash grab lately.  He’s a talented actor, so I sure wish he’d try to expand beyond the creative rut he’s in right now.  First “30 Days of Night,” then “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” now this?  We’re a long way from “The Proposition.” All that said, […]

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Liam Neeson = Hollywood’s go-to mentor

Posted by · 10:39 am · April 9th, 2009

Can we just assume that whenever the Hollywood moguls in all their infinite, maniacl wisdom decide to actually film an unending epic based on the Bible, Liam Neeson is likely to get the role of God? We’re already talking about the guy who mentored both Batman and Obi Wan Kenobi, who starred as the magical […]

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SANTA BARBARA: ‘Fallujah’ soars, Thomas Vanguarded

Posted by · 11:41 pm · January 27th, 2009

Something of a slow day today at the festival — well, I purposely put the breaks on in favor of some quality time with you guys throughout the day and to put my feet up for a spell at the ole’ homestead. Anyway, I was really taken with Mark Manning’s “The Road to Fallujah,” an […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: the crafts of ‘The Reader’

Posted by · 3:49 pm · January 17th, 2009

The past week has been exceptionally good to Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader” on the awards circuit.  The film followed up its five Golden Globe nominations with the same number from BAFTA, not to mention Kate Winslet’s BFCA and Globe awards for her performance as Hanna Schmitz. I recently had the chance to speak to several […]

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BAFTA predictions

Posted by · 2:00 pm · January 14th, 2009

The BAFTA nominations drop tomorrow, and while I hardly covered myself in glory with my foreign film Oscar forecast yesterday, I’m going to wade into the murky waters of prediction once more. On the one hand, it’s a fool’s errand trying to predict the BAFTA nods, as they can frequently be the most perverse and contrarian awards […]

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1/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:07 am · January 3rd, 2009

• Patrick Goldstein responds to that B.S. Daily Beast Penn/Rourke thing.  Probably a little too lax but at leat he somewhat lays into the “journalist” responsible for the piece. [The Big Picture] • Michael Cieply scopes out tobacco use in the year’s Oscar contenders. [The Carpetbagger] • Andrea Hubert catches up with “Slumdog Millionaire” star […]

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Globe cheers, jeers and predictions

Posted by · 6:56 pm · December 11th, 2008

As ever, this morning’s Golden Globe announcement provided a mixed bag of talking points, with some pleasantly zany curveballs at one end of the scale, and a couple of yawnsome autopilot nominees at the other. Like most awards bodies, they’re never going to get it completely right: for every inspired inclusion or omission there’s an […]

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