THE LISTS: Top 10 pet peeves of the 2008-2009 Oscar season

Posted by · 9:41 am · February 17th, 2009

The season is winding down this week.  The slow President’s Day holiday yesterday seemed to be more of a harbinger than a lull in the excitement.  This time next week, we’ll probably be over the fallout of the circuit and on to debating the contenders we’re likely to see a year from now. It’s a […]

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It’s all about the actors

Posted by · 7:00 am · February 17th, 2009

Over at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna has come to the conclusion that, in a fairly weak year for film with a less-than-competitive Best Picture slate to show for it, the performance categories are where it’s at this year: The real action this year is in the acting. Sets were chewed with delicious relish and scenes […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Virtuosos on the march

Posted by · 11:55 pm · January 28th, 2009

Unfortunately, “Happy-Go-Lucky” star couldn’t make it to tonight’s presentation of the Virtuoso Awards at the Lobero Theatre due to surgery recovery, but Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins, Rosemarie DeWitt, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon were on hand to talk their roles in five of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.  James Cromwell did the […]

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A word of advice

Posted by · 4:14 pm · January 22nd, 2009

To any actors who might find themselves in the hunt for an Oscar nod next year: don’t let me interview you. Seriously. It appears that the mere act of shaking my hand, or even greeting me over the phone, placed an immediate hex on the Oscar chances of several deserving thesps this season. If your […]

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All in the family: a note on the SAG nods

Posted by · 7:00 pm · December 18th, 2008

I know I shouldn’t get upset. As Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily repeatedly intones, when it comes to awards analysis, “the trick is not minding.” You should coolly observe the trends, learn from them and be guided always by your head rather than your heart. But damn it, I’m only human. I can’t help […]

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Six Virtuosos chosen for Santa Barbara Fest

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 16th, 2008

The press release, in part (happy for Shannon, one of the good guys): The Santa Barbara International Film Festival continues its tradition of honoring the year’s standout performers by presenting The 2009 Virtuosos Award to Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo and Michael Shannon.  The Award presentation will take place Wednesday, […]

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D.C. critics chime in, ‘Slumdog’ reigns

Posted by · 10:11 pm · December 7th, 2008

I was totally out to lunch on this today.  “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to dominate while Heath Ledger wins his second award (after that AFI gong earlier in the week).  “Doubt” pulls down another ensemble win while truly astounding group performances from films such as “Synecdoche, New York,” “Gomorrah” and, indeed, “Slumdog Millionaire” continue to be […]

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11/26 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:34 am · November 26th, 2008

• Jeff Wells is beside himself because Oscar prognosticators understand “Che” has a snowball’s chance in hell at a best Picture nomination. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Noah Forrest podcasts “Changeling” screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. [Movie City News] • Anne Thompson gets the “Australia” goods from Hugh Jackman. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Tom O’Neil, meanwhile, wonders if […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Big guns unveiled, docs shortlisted, Saviano speaks

Posted by · 5:50 am · November 22nd, 2008

A big week, this, in which the covers were finally lifted off some heavyweight titles. Here’s what we were talking about: • And speaking of those heavyweights, Kris ran hot on “Revolutionary Road,” but cool on “Australia” … • … while being offered a frustratingly truncated glimpse of “Benjamin Button.” • The Academy announced their […]

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INTERVIEW: Rosemarie DeWitt

Posted by · 10:01 am · November 18th, 2008

Rosemarie DeWitt is excited. It can be difficult to gauge emotion in the formal, slightly removed context of a phone interview, but DeWitt’s warm, clear voice betrays an eagerness right from the get-go, articulating thoughts at a pace that occasionally exceeds my shorthand. Only when addressing the heady buzz of awards season does she finally […]

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Does ‘Rachel’ have Oscar legs?

Posted by · 9:00 am · November 1st, 2008

One advantage of the hectic festival environment is that, while seeing more movies in a month than is medically advisable, it offers a pretty ruthless method of separating the wheat from the chaff. If a film still sticks in your mind after seeing a million others in such a compressed timeframe, it clearly has something […]

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10/31 Oscarweb Round-up — HALLOWEEN EDITION!

Posted by · 5:51 am · October 31st, 2008

• Tom O’Neil podcasts it with Rosemarie DeWitt. [Gold Derby] • Jeffrey Wells comes back to the “Valkyrie” poster with admiration a few weeks later. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • John Campea is excited about the “WALL-E” Best Picture campaign. [The Movie Blog] • Debuting the new “Valkyrie” trailer. [Yahoo! Movies] • Anne Thompson takes her first […]

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‘Ballast’ tops list of Gotham Indie award nominees

Posted by · 8:00 am · October 20th, 2008

The Gotham Independent Film Award nominees have been announced (note the change in moniker this year), and Lance Hammer’s Mississippi drama “Ballast” leads the pack with four nominations.  Six films received two nominations apiece, including Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York,” Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” and Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” One film that might […]

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10/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:02 am · October 2nd, 2008

• Jeffrey Wells reports that Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers” has been pushed to 2009. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Patrick Goldstein hypothesizes that the year-end Oscar glut is detrimental to quality films and, in a round about way, that studios should forgo the Oscar spending.  Gasp! [The Big Picture] • David Poland apparently missed the qualifier “largely” in […]

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TORONTO: ‘Rachel Getting Married,’ ‘Flash of Genius’

Posted by · 1:56 am · September 7th, 2008

Woke up dog tired this morning, yesterday’s marathon of screenings wore me out. Getting old. Do the usual pre-screening intake of food and coffee (a festival staple) before getting ready to head off to the first screening, “Flash of Genius” which I am looking to seeing. Greg Kinnear convinced me he was the real deal […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Rachel Getting Married” (***)

Posted by · 12:02 am · September 4th, 2008

Jonathan Demme and Jenny Lumet’s menagerie of characterization, “Rachel Getting Married,” will have a diversity of followers. Some will be drawn to the angst and closeted guilt of Anne Hathaway’s Kym, a portrayal with layers that announces new talent in the starlet.  Others will be delighted and taken by Bill Irwin’s equal doses of authenticity […]

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‘Che’ = ‘Havana’s Gate’

Posted by · 4:59 pm · September 1st, 2008

Ouch: Call it Havana’s Gate. Steven Soderbergh’s elephantine account of the rise and deification of revolutionary icon Ernesto (Che) Guevara could prove as deadly to the director’s career as Heaven’s Gate was to Michael Cimino’s. Running a bladder-bursting 4 hours and 22 minutes (split over two parts), it reeks of authenticity but also self-indulgence. A […]

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‘Rachel’ not just about the women?

Posted by · 6:47 am · August 27th, 2008

In his autumn preview, Noah Forrest at Movie City News briefly kinda-reviews Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married,” which will make its official bow at Venice next week. Having seen an unfinished cut, he gives it the thumbs-up, citing “beautiful music, excellent performances and a few surprises I didn’t see coming.” Most excitingly, he compares it […]

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