10 snubs that sting

Posted by · 5:40 pm · February 2nd, 2010

I’ve already highlighted my favorite aspects of this morning’s Oscar nominations. Still, before we move into Phase Two, I’d like to give one final respectful nod to the could-have-beens — the names that we sadly won’t be talking about anymore in the next five weeks of speculation. I listed my true favorites in my dream […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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Karger goes out on a limb for ‘The Messenger’

Posted by · 9:52 am · December 31st, 2009

In the last week or two, the buzz for Rob Marshall’s “Nine” has, undeniably, plummeted.  It took a while for it to get to that point.  The first screening was held nearly a month and a half ago in New York, after all.  But enough goodwill and a certain lazy expectation that the below-the-line elements […]

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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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11/27 Osarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:35 am · November 27th, 2009

• The significance of “Nine” for Anthony Minghella’s legacy. [The Guardian] • Steven Zeitchik catches on to the year’s thin original screenplay race and bangs the drum for “Sugar.” [Risky Business] • Lauren Shucker talks “Up in the Air” with director Jason Reitman. [Wall Street Journal]

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The Great Performances: 1999

Posted by · 9:18 pm · November 7th, 2009

1999 was a strange year.  And it’s hard to believe a full decade has slipped past since.  There were some great award-winning performances, to be sure, but there seemed to be just as many not nominated that certainly should have been. Ten years later, I remain stunned that Reese Witherspoon was not nominated for her […]

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11/6 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:47 am · November 6th, 2009

• Celebrating 20 years of “Wallace and Gromit,” Google style. [Deadline Hollywood Daily] • Jeffrey Wells says believe the hype on Helen Mirren’s performance in “The Last Station.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • “The Cove” receives a record-tying seven Cinema Eye nominations. [Cinema Eye Honors 2010]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting ladies

Posted by · 9:37 am · October 26th, 2009

A few weeks ago in this space I took a dedicated look at the lead actress category.  With little in the way of actual development (this season is curiously divided on the timeline as we’ve got maybe another month before more major titles begin screening), I figured it would be a good idea to keep […]

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REVIEW: “The Messenger” (***1/2)

Posted by · 3:38 pm · October 9th, 2009

There is a film that succeeds as a cerebral drama, concerned with the impact of war on the individual, free of the genre’s typical tropes and remarkably fresh as a result.  And believe it or not, I’m not talking about “The Hurt Locker.” Of course, it is unfair to Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger” to so […]

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The Brits get it

Posted by · 8:43 am · May 15th, 2009

Of course, the film is very old news to all of you Stateside, but allow me a moment to say how proud I am that my fellow Englishmen — well, the critics among them, at least — have embraced Charlie Kaufman’s stunning “Synecdoche, New York” with open arms. The film opens today in the UK […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 10:22 am · December 19th, 2008

The year is slowly coming to a close, and after this week’s year-in-review pieces, I’m happy to see so much healthy and spirited discussion on my humble picks for the year’s best films.  Today I’m wrapping all of that up with a list of superlatives, some of them in your usual categories, the staples, some […]

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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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Festival-goers file out of ‘Synecdoche’

Posted by · 3:32 am · May 23rd, 2008

UPDATE (5:38 a.m.): Allan Hunter of Screen International has written the first full review out of the fest I’ve come across. He raves the effort as follows: Synecdoche is about one man’s lifelong struggle to understand the meaning of his existence. Unadventurous audiences may feel the film is a two hour struggle to understand the […]

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