THE LONG SHOT: Critical mass

Posted by · 7:26 pm · December 9th, 2010

Guy’s updated Oscar predictions here. Just one week on from the first formal awards announcements of the season, the Oscar season may still be taking its first steps, but my personal interest in the precursor trail is nonetheless set to peak this very weekend. That, of course, is when the New York Film Critics Circle […]

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11/22 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Coen talks ‘Somewhere’ with Coppola, ‘Country Strong’ a drama, no love for Herzog

Posted by · 8:45 am · November 22nd, 2010

• Joel Coen shows up at an east coast screening of “Somewhere” to conduct a Q&A with Sofia Coppola. [Inside Movies] • Tom O’Neill reports that the HFPA has classified “Country Strong” as a drama. [Gold Derby] • Our own Guy Lodge reacts to the recently released (and apparently unauthorized) “Winnie” trailer. [The Guardian]

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11/19 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Heyman talks ‘Harry,’ Reynolds named sexiest man, Protozoa inks a Fox deal

Posted by · 8:49 am · November 19th, 2010

• How did you know you were in love?  Enter a “How Do You Know” contest to win a San Francisco trip with your story. [Yahoo!] • John Lopez talks “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” with producer David Heyman. [Little Gold Men] • Ryan Reynolds is crowned 2010’s sexiest man alive. [People]

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US ‘Made in Dagenham’ poster ups the drama

Posted by · 11:02 am · November 16th, 2010

Well, this is interesting. The newly unveiled US poster for cheery true-life Britpic “Made in Dagenham” points to a tactical turnabout as politically suggestive as its red-to-blue color shift — one that suggests Sony Pictures Classics still harbor serious awards hopes for this 1960s-set underdog story. An initial one-sheet was based directly on the jolly […]

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“I’m known for being happy… time to move away from that.”

Posted by · 4:53 pm · November 11th, 2010

Apropos of nothing — apart from the fact that she’ll be hitting US screens in “Made in Dagenham” next week — but I hadn’t seen this 2009 Sally Hawkins skit before, and it gave me yet another reason to adore the sparky Brit. Great seeing her in a more deadpan comic mode, and I love […]

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Dr. Leigh and the women

Posted by · 6:50 pm · November 1st, 2010

I often hear Mike Leigh described as a great “women’s director,” though that’s really only half the truth. Vivid, probing male characters abound in Leigh films, often as vital counterpoints to female star turns (see Eddie Marsan in “Happy-Go-Lucky” or Timothy Spall in “Secrets and Lies”) but sometimes in center stage too: in “Naked,” David […]

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TIFF: Lionsgate/Roadside grabs ‘Conspirator,’ Hawkins belle of the ball, Black’s melodramatic upbringing

Posted by · 10:26 am · September 15th, 2010

It seems Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” has become the first significant sell of Toronto (a few things have been picked up here and there already).  Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions (which is really stepping it up this year) have nailed down the domestic rights, but go ahead and strike the film from your longlists.  It won’t […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The year of the woman, take two?

Posted by · 9:11 am · September 13th, 2010

It wasn’t by coincidence that the three photos decorating the season’s introductory installment of this column two weeks ago represented lead actress contenders in the 2010 Oscar race. After all the talk of 2009 being “the year of the woman,” owing much to the number of female directors who found themselves in the mix (and […]

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TIFF: ‘Conspirator,’ ‘Everything Must Go’ bow, praise for ‘Dagenham’

Posted by · 10:44 pm · September 11th, 2010

More from Toronto tonight, so let’s dive in… Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” bowed this evening at a packed gala screening.  At Hollywood News, Sean O’Connell brings up the already-getting-tired 9/11 parallels (which started with Patrick Goldstein earlier).  He calls Redford’s casting decisions “questionable” but considers the film “a solid effort, a compelling legal drama and […]

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TIFF: ‘Passion Play’ inspires vitriol, ‘127 Hours’ keeps it steady, Estevez/Sheen back again, ‘Dagenham’ screens

Posted by · 5:25 pm · September 11th, 2010

Moving along at Toronto, it seems Mitch Glazer’s “Passion Play,” which was as much for the director since he spent 20 years trying to get it made, was hung right out to dry and that Mickey Rourke can be knocked off of anyone’s list of awards hopefuls. David Poland calls the film “epically bad” and […]

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Underdog ‘Dagenham’ may have the AMPAS touch

Posted by · 12:30 pm · September 11th, 2010

In Friday’s Oscar Talk, Anne and I pondered the Oscar potential of Sony Pictures Classics’ typically robust stable of contenders.  So far the best bet to have already hit theaters is Aaron Schneider’s “Get Low,” which could be a below-the-line play as well as a Best Actor possibility for Robert Duvall. Films from Rodrigo Garcia, […]

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Ubiquitous

Posted by · 3:24 pm · March 19th, 2010

When I heard today that Mia Wasikowska had landed the lead in Cary Fukunaga’s upcoming adaptation of “Jane Eyre” for Focus Features, my first thought was, “Well, who else?” Not that there aren’t other suitable young actresses who could ace the part. But 20 year-old Australian Wasikowska seems to have hit a sweet spot in […]

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Things I learned from the Globes

Posted by · 10:22 am · January 18th, 2010

Last January, I wrote an especially effusive review of the previous night’s Golden Globe awards, commending the usually much-derided HFPA for looking beyond star power and box-office grosses. Instead, they assembled an international and rather indie-minded winners slate that included such titles as “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “The Wrestler,” “In Bruges,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and eventual Oscar-sweeper “Slumdog […]

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THE LONG SHOT: The more you know

Posted by · 5:57 pm · December 2nd, 2009

Here’s something I’ll bet a lot of you wouldn’t have guessed: once upon a time, when my pants were short and my South African accent heavy, I was a very good Oscar pundit. I won every pool going. I beat the lame TV critics’ guesses and laughed in their televised faces. When that got old, […]

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indieWIRE lists the decade’s worst Oscar snubs

Posted by · 2:59 pm · November 12th, 2009

The end-of-decade reflective mood is obviously catching. In yesterday’s Long Shot column, I looked back on the last ten years of the Academy Awards, singling out some of their most inspired choices and positive developments. You responded in great numbers, rare goodwill towards the Academy dominating the comments thread for a change. Of course, however, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Critical condition

Posted by · 1:25 pm · November 4th, 2009

Ahead of its U.S. release this week, there is a wave of mild surprise in the blogosphere over the fact that “Precious,” the film deemed by some (yours truly included) to be the present Best Picture frontrunner, is currently sitting on a lowly Metacritic score of 57. Fitting neatly with the largely media-fabricated talk of […]

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THE LONG SHOT: What are precursors for, anyway?

Posted by · 11:00 am · September 30th, 2009

I didn’t time my holiday to coincide with the sleepiest week of awards season, but that’s how it panned out anyway. While I spent 10 days drinking my way along the canals of France’s Burgundy region, divorced from my computer screen and, I admit, any thoughts of Oscar whatsoever, the industry, too, took a collective […]

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Disconnected Venice

Posted by · 3:42 am · September 4th, 2009

I had every intention last night of bringing you a report on a couple more films, but packed-out screenings and overlapping screening schedules put paid to that idea. Moreover, filing material online is proving something of a challenge, as the festival’s wi-fi access works in fits and starts, while my hotel has helpfully decided to […]

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