9/13 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Madonna in Toronto, SPC’s would-be ‘Shame’ plan, Clooney overexposed?

Posted by · 9:12 am · September 13th, 2011

• Michael Cieply reports from the “W.E.” press conference in Toronto, where Madonna is doing slightly better than she did over in Venice. [Arts Beat] • Speaking of Toronto, Tilda Swinton keeps hitting the press rounds at the fest. [Speakeasy] • Pete Hammond hears that Sony Classics wanted to lay the groundwork for a Michael […]

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Iran’s ‘A Separation’ latest to enter Oscar race

Posted by · 8:15 am · September 12th, 2011

I’d say this was a no-brainer, but one should never underestimate the ability of countries to shoot themselves in the foot when selecting their submissions for the foreign-language Oscar. Happily, Iran has done no such thing, picking Asghar Farhadi’s critically beloved festival sensation “A Separation” as their pony this year. It’s a choice that I […]

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‘Take Shelter’ and Jessica Chastain win in Deauville

Posted by · 12:42 am · September 11th, 2011

In the midst of early-season festival madness (and sometimes lost in the clutter) is the Deauville Film Festival, which concluded this weekend. Top honors went to Jeff Nichols’s “Take Shelter,” a film of which I’m a big proponent. To start the festival, though, one of the film’s stars, Jessica Chastain, shared the “New Hollywood” award […]

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‘Shame’ igniting pre-Toronto bidding war?

Posted by · 9:04 pm · September 7th, 2011

I first reported out of Telluride that Fox Searchlight was looking like a good possibility to pick up Steve McQueen’s brilliant, stirring — and naughty — “Shame,” and expanded my thoughts on that possibility in Tuesday’s Off the Carpet column. Well, it looks like Deadline’s Mike Fleming is hearing similar things, and not just that […]

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OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set […]

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TELLURIDE: Sony Classics, IFC and Searchlight party into the night

Posted by · 12:47 am · September 4th, 2011

I opted out of tonight’s screening of “Butter” largely because — sorry to say — the Galaxy theater is just too cramped and uncomfortable and hot to fully enjoy a film experience. For me, anyway. I tend to be a furnace regardless, but they need to pump some AC into that joint. By some accounts, […]

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Hey Academy, why not Brendan Gleeson?

Posted by · 6:12 pm · August 17th, 2011

For a series of not-entirely-connected reasons, a little Irish indie called “The Guard” has been on my mind today. For starters, a reader named Stephen asked me on Twitter when it would reach US theaters — only for me to discover that it’s been in limited release there for several weeks already. (UK audiences can […]

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Sony Classics picks up Cronenberg’s ‘Dangerous Method’

Posted by · 1:09 pm · June 16th, 2011

Anyone else ready for Michael Fassbender to have a big fat coming out party this year? The press release, in part: Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the US Rights to David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD from UK based Hanway Films. The film, produced by Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR, SEXY BEAST), […]

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CANNES CHECK: ‘The Skin I Live In’

Posted by · 10:05 am · April 20th, 2011

[This is the first in a daily series of posts, wherein I size up the 19 films–pending further additions–in the Competition at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. We’re running through them alphabetically, by director, so it just happens that we start with a biggie: the length of the entries will vary according to the availability […]

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Not one pundit?

Posted by · 5:28 am · January 28th, 2011

Thanks to reader Graysmith for pointing out this Hollywood Reporter piece, in which Tim Appelo poses the semi-annual small-beats-big argument about the Oscar nominees. To this end, he points to the Best Animated Feature category, where bijou art film “The Illusionist” beat out major money-spinners “Tangled” and “Despicable Me,” and gets this quote from understandably […]

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Predicting the foreign-language Oscar shortlist

Posted by · 5:25 pm · January 18th, 2011

Tomorrow, we get the last of the Academy’s crucial pre-nomination shortlists, as the list of 65 entries for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is slashed to just nine titles, from which the eventual nominees will be announced in a week’s time. Predicting these nine is a vague and mostly thankless task, but I am […]

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Five things I learned from the Golden Globes

Posted by · 5:37 pm · January 17th, 2011

Appropriately enough for the occasion, I watched last night’s Golden Globe awards in a celebratory alcoholic fog (the night having coincided with a friend’s birthday) so thick it took most of today to sleep it off — hence the apologetically late posting. My memory of the evening’s finer details is therefore about as clear as, […]

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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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‘Illusionist’ free to go

Posted by · 9:49 am · November 8th, 2010

Almost two weeks ago, I mentioned an unfortunate charge of “trademark infringement” being levelled against Sylvain Chomet’s animated wonder “The Illusionist” by the purported rights-holders to the 2006 Edward Norton film of the same title, who somehow felt that sharing a title and a magician protagonist amounted to a “Single White Female”-style violation. I called […]

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‘The Illusionist’ poster, featuring yours truly

Posted by · 4:01 am · November 3rd, 2010

Hey, have you heard that I kinda like a little animated picture called “The Illusionist?” I may have mentioned it once or twice here. Well, Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled a new one-sheet for the film, and while I normally get quite critical about the design aspects of posters, this one has my full approval […]

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‘Illusionist’ vs. ‘Illusionist’

Posted by · 6:03 am · October 29th, 2010

I stumbled upon this days-old THR story via Anne Thompson, and while I’m glad to see it hasn’t caught on in the blogosphere, I feel compelled to point out just what bullshit it is. (My bad: Kris alluded to the news before THR did.) It would appear that Sylvain Chomet’s probable animated Oscar contender “The […]

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Jacki Weaver gets a T-shirt (and, it seems, a campaign)

Posted by · 1:33 pm · September 30th, 2010

Fans of David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom” have been holding out hope for a campaign and maybe even a potential underdog nomination for Jacki Weaver, whose supporting performance in the film has been one of the high marks of the year thus far.  And given how thin that field continues to appear, it’s worth it to […]

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Susanne Bier’s latest in foreign Oscar hunt

Posted by · 4:15 pm · September 24th, 2010

One week from the deadline and the Best Foreign Language Film submissions are coming in thick and fast — our updated list currently boasts 44 titles. The number of those titles I’ve actually seen is, regrettably, still in the single digits, but it does include one of today’s arrivals to the race, India’s “Peepli Live” […]

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