‘The Help’ and the year’s best ensemble performance…so far

Posted by · 2:49 pm · August 3rd, 2011

Now that I’m done crying my eyes out, a few words on Tate Taylor’s “The Help,” which I caught this afternoon. It’s a beautiful film, safe, sure, but it knows where to lay the emotional hammer down and where to let the rock keep skipping on the surface. Most striking is the ensemble, as there […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 performances in Terrence Malick films

Posted by · 9:40 am · May 24th, 2011

If you can believe it, it’s been since Halloween that we kicked the dust off this feature at In Contention. We made it all the way through the Oscar season without feeling compelled to go there. Odd. So, with Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” opening in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, before […]

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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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11/10 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: ‘Biutiful’ crew on the circuit, Hooper’s Hollywood education, Weinstein v. Rudin II

Posted by · 9:54 am · November 10th, 2010

• Anne Thompson ponders how the year’s mainstream studio pics might fare with Oscar. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Patrick Goldstein catches up with Tom Hooper and the director’s Hollywood education. [The Big Picture] • Steve Pond dutifully reports from a “Biutiful” post-screening Q&A with members of the crew. [The Odds]

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EDINBURGH: ‘Get Low,’ ‘Restrepo,’ ‘Vacation!’

Posted by · 5:02 pm · June 24th, 2010

My third day in the ‘Burgh (shut up, I have legitimately heard people call it that) wasn’t as film-heavy as the previous one: social commitments and a certain football match between Slovenia and some other country got in the way. Under these circumstances, three screenings — taken together, as disparate a cross-section of the U.S. […]

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The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

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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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The evolution of the actress, part two

Posted by · 9:04 am · October 3rd, 2008

This is the second of a two-part study of legendary screen actresses through the years.  Click here for part one. Diane Keaton and Sally Field emerged at the end of the 1970s with strong performances that defined them as actresses of the future. Keaton won an Oscar for her kooky “Annie Hall” and became a […]

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