In Contention

THE LONG SHOT: It was always you

Posted by · 5:52 pm · February 3rd, 2011

“Let me get this straight. The one’s about a precocious computer geek who’s also a bit of an asshole.” “Yeah.” “And the other’s about King George VI.” “Yeah.” “And King George VI has a disability.” “Well, he has a stutter. I mean, it’s not crippling or anything — ” “But it’s an obstacle that needs […]

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‘King’s Speech’ rules UK box office

Posted by · 5:27 pm · January 11th, 2011

“Tailored largely for the international audience for whom the internal politics of the Royal Family seem never to lose their mystique or fascination,” I wrote in my October review of “The King’s Speech.” I guess I have to take that back, since the film — which only opened on Friday in its home country — […]

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LIFE WITHOUT OSCAR: 2007 and 2008

Posted by · 4:07 pm · January 11th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind this series here. Welcome to the final entry in the Life Without Oscar series. Why call it a day with one, possibly two years left to consider? Well, for one thing, we won’t know which films are going to be snubbed from 2010 for another two weeks (although I’ll […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Follow the leader

Posted by · 3:56 pm · December 16th, 2010

[Updated Oscar predictions here.] Hey, have you heard of this movie called “The Social Network?” You should probably check it out. It’s about Facebook and stuff and it’s supposed to be really good. So good, in fact, that it’s managed to tame the single most argumentative species in the animal kigdom, The Lesser Spotted Film […]

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THE LONG SHOT: I’m just here for the movies

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 22nd, 2010

“You’re the Oscar guys, aren’t you?” asked the spike-heeled PR officer upon eyeing the press badge dangling from my neck, her voice exuding the steely sweetness they teach you on the first day of public relations boot camp. It was midway through the Venice Film Festival and I was too beat — or my mouth […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Happy Oscar (War Is Over)

Posted by · 8:01 am · March 4th, 2010

So this is Oscar. And what have you done? Speaking for myself, lately, not a hell of a lot. In the three weeks that this column has been on hiatus – apologies to the handful of you who missed it – it’s remarkable how little the O-word has been on my mind. Yes, I’ve been […]

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Grammys for Giacchino

Posted by · 5:33 am · February 1st, 2010

As the music world celebrated the general awesomeness that is Taylor Swift last night, Oscar-minded Hollywood couldn’t resist infringing on the proceedings slightly. When Jeff Bridges even crops up at the Grammy Awards (to introduce a Les Paul tribute), you just know that he’s this year’s chosen one. Bridges at least acquitted himself with dignity, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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1/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 10:46 am · January 19th, 2010

• Searching for meaning in Robert Downey Jr’s Stark-esque Globes beard.  Perhaps too much meaning. [CHUD] • Roger Ebert dives back into the enigma of Michael Haneke’s “Cache.” [Chicago Sun-Times] • Stretching to compare “Avatar” to “Slumdog Millionaire” because of it’s “out of the blue” success. [24 Frames]

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‘White Ribbon’ triumphs at European Film Awards

Posted by · 12:57 pm · December 12th, 2009

(UPDATE: Due to an error on the EFA’s own website, we initially reported that the technical Prix d’Excellence had been awarded to “Vincere.” This is incorrect: the sound design team behind “A Prophet” took the prize.) Foreign-language Oscar favorites “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet” have been locked in something of an awards duel since […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t look back in anger

Posted by · 2:20 pm · November 11th, 2009

For all the movement in the awards game this week – Jeff Bridges leap-frogging into contention, the animation race swelling to five nominees, “Precious” continuing to gather momentum – my head hasn’t really been in it this week. That’s partly because we’re all still making blind prognoses until four unseen juggernauts – “Nine,” “Avatar,” “The […]

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First stab at winner predictions, part 2: Yours and mine

Posted by · 9:35 am · November 10th, 2009

Seeing as Kris was (delete as appropriate) brave/stupid/psychic/smart enough to predict who will win the Oscars four months ahead of the ceremony (and three weeks earlier than he did last year), I figured I’d follow up, as I did last year, with my own foolhardy guesses too. Last year, Kris kicked my ass at this […]

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A bit of context

Posted by · 11:52 am · November 8th, 2009

From the moment it was commissioned, this was intended STRICTLY as a “defined the decade” list, regardless of qualitative considerations. Go back and re-read it in that light, recover from the horror of “Saw” and “Mamma Mia!”’s inclusion (Guy’s right to single these out, but they aren’t the only ones: I personally loathe “Slumdog”, for […]

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‘A Prophet’ dominates European Film Award nominations

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 7th, 2009

Is “A Prophet” gradually stealing awards-season momentum from “The White Ribbon?” (It’s the superior film, if you ask me.) Too soon to say, of course, but it certainly came out on top in this morning’s European Film Award nominations. Jacques Audiard’s searing chronicle of French prison gangs leads the field with six nominations, to four […]

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11/4 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:36 am · November 4th, 2009

• Gregory Ellwood slams “Everybody’s Fine,” calls last night’s AFI festivities a Miramax wake.  I’m having trouble disagreeing with him. [Awards Campaign] • Rebecca Milzoff gets some face time with “An Education” director Lone Scherfig. [Vulture] • Jim Carrey’s Scrooge rings in the holiday spirit. [Associated Press]

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THE LONG SHOT: What is an “Oscar movie” these days?

Posted by · 5:14 pm · October 21st, 2009

“God, that thing’s just going to shit Academy Awards out of its ass next year, isn’t it?,” I overheard a journo behind me remark to his companion, as I made my way out of the “Up in the Air” press screening on Sunday. “It’s such an Oscar movie.” Two things struck me as interesting about […]

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Desplat wins Composer of the Year award

Posted by · 6:02 pm · October 19th, 2009

You’d be hard pressed to disagree that Alexandre Desplat is pretty much at the top of the game in contemporary film scoring. In addition to his genius (“Birth” looks likely to remain my favorite score of the decade), his prolificity is awe-inspiring. This year alone sees the Frenchman’s name on seven features, running the gamut […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Minority report

Posted by · 5:49 pm · October 15th, 2009

When the Academy Awards roll around in March, it will have been precisely two decades since the unlikely figure of Kim Basinger blasted Academy voters’ conservatism on air at the 1989 ceremony, with specific regard to their sidelining of “Do the Right Thing,” Spike Lee’s groundbreaking study of urban interracial tension. “We’ve got five great […]

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