REVIEW: “Carnage” (**1/2)

Posted by · 7:50 am · September 1st, 2011

Venice Film Festival When the title of Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed 2006 play “God of Carnage” was given a haircut in its transition to the screen, it was hard to read what — if anything — the change implied about the film to come. On the one hand, “Carnage” sounds pithier and more aggressive, removing the […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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‘Carnage’ trailer

Posted by · 12:11 pm · August 19th, 2011

I’ve been somewhat reserved on Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” for a while now, mainly because the cast doesn’t really seem all that right to me. I caught the play on Broadway a few years back, and it’s an amazing piece of work. You might recall I was particularly impressed with (and totally crushing on) Hope Davis […]

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Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

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Césars for Polanski, ‘Gods,’ ‘Illusionist’… and Fincher

Posted by · 4:35 pm · February 25th, 2011

When the nominations for the César Awards — known in glib terms as the French Oscars — were announced last month, I wrote that I anticipated a tight race between Roman Polanski’s widely acclaimed Euro thriller “The Ghost Writer” and Xavier Beauvois’s lofty Cannes prizewinner “Of Gods and Men,” with the latter just winning out. […]

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‘Of Gods and Men,’ ‘Ghost Writer’ lead César nominations

Posted by · 2:34 pm · January 21st, 2011

The film may be smarting from its widely (if not, ahem, entirely) unexpected omission from the Oscar foreign-language shortlist earlier this week, but Xavier Beauvois’s sombre religious drama “Of Gods and Men” found more love in its home country, where it scooped a leading 11 nominations for the César Awards. The so-called “French Oscars” also […]

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‘King’s Speech’ rules BIFAs, ‘Ghost Writer’ sweeps EFAs

Posted by · 5:03 pm · December 6th, 2010

Apologies for getting to both these announcement so late: my laptop is currently (perhaps terminally) hospitalized, so posting is rather spotty on my end. The timing is particularly bad, since this past weekend’s awards activity included two major European ceremonies that I should have been all over. That said, if you paid even vague attention […]

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THE LONG SHOT: When you’re strange

Posted by · 8:05 pm · November 24th, 2010

(Updated predictions available here.) I shan’t often find room for Gaspar Noé’s name in a space ostensibly dedicated to the Oscar race, so bear with me if this seems an unlikely opening gambit, but inspiration for this week’s column began with a conversation about his fluorescent, drug-addled ghost story “Enter the Void.” A friend had […]

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‘The Ghost Writer’ leads European Film Award noms

Posted by · 10:17 am · November 6th, 2010

Dear European Film Award nominating members, You seem to have suffered some form of collective amnesia in recalling the last 12 months of European cinema. So much so that you had to resort to nominating an Argentinian-Spanish co-production (that, let’s face it, everyone thinks of as Argentinian) as one of the continent’s finest this year, […]

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FIPRESCI names ‘Ghost Writer’ Film of the Year

Posted by · 6:20 am · September 20th, 2010

This news actually dropped a few weeks ago, but I neglected to mention it while I was distracted with Venice goings-on. Anyway, since the award was presented at the San Sebastián Film Festival this past weekend, it seems appropriate to bring it up now. FIPRESCI, the international critics’ association, is best known for the independent […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 1965 and 1966

Posted by · 4:54 pm · August 11th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. I’m back guys. Sorry for taking a week off but my older brother got hitched and I had a drunken Best Man speech that needed attending to. I trust you spent the week watching all the wonderful movies being highlighted in this column. We’re halfway through […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Hurt Locker’ BAFTA sweep, minor fracas

Posted by · 6:06 pm · February 26th, 2010

• “The Hurt Locker” continued its cruise through the precursors, taking six awards at the BAFTAS. • The pile of guild awards grew as the writers, costume designers and sound editors all picked their winners. • In our ongoing Oscar Guide series, we broke down the lead actress, documentary feature, documentary short, original score and […]

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Berlinale prizes for ‘Honey,’ Polanski

Posted by · 11:34 am · February 20th, 2010

Well, I warned you I wasn’t keeping up with the Competition films at Berlin. I’d love to give you some first-hand perspective on the winners that have just been named by Werner Herzog and his jury, but the truth is, I haven’t seen a number of them. That includes the top prizewinner, Semih Kaplanogu’s “Honey,” […]

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Berlin bound

Posted by · 7:17 pm · February 11th, 2010

In a couple of hours, I’ll be packing my bags, donning my warmest and most ridiculous-looking puffa jacket and catching a crack-of-dawn flight to the German capital. The occasion, of course: the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. I’ve been to Berlin before — and was thoroughly enamored of it — though this will be my […]

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‘Shutter Island’ to premiere at Berlin fest

Posted by · 1:26 pm · December 15th, 2009

Doesn’t it feel like an eternity ago that we were talking about the possibilities for “Shutter Island” in this year’s Oscar race? I’m still sulking, frankly. Still, compensation for the delay arrives in the shape of some European festival prestige: Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Gothic thriller will play out of competition at the […]

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In a nutshell

Posted by · 9:55 am · October 7th, 2009

Onward… (Ill Doctrine via Women & Hollywood)

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10/1 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:13 am · October 1st, 2009

• “Up in the Air” gets a December release date to avoid Clooney vs. Clooney at the November box office. [Variety] • Karen O channels Daniel Johnston for “Wild Things” soundtrack. [The Playlist] • Steve Pond on the forthcoming Oscar short deadline. [The Wrap]

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9/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 7:50 am · September 29th, 2009

• Arguing that “Public Enemies” looks “cheap” due to HD nearly three months after release. [The Huffington Post] • Dave Karger wonders if a bona fide left-field Best Picture nominee is in the cards in a 10-nominee paradigm. [Oscar Watch] • Getting the 70s bush right for “A Serious Man” (Amy Landecker officially rocks). [Vulture]

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