New AMPAS invitees include Sorkin, Hooper… and Beyoncé

Posted by · 5:17 pm · June 17th, 2011

The annual announcement of the new members invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the latest batch of industry pros we get to blame for next year’s Oscar results — is a moment that always prompts as much satisfied head-nodding as bewildered head-scratching. The latter action isn’t always in response […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Animated Feature Film

Posted by · 9:36 am · January 27th, 2011

The animated feature field unfortunately fell one film short of the required 16 eligible contenders to expand the category to five nominees this year. As a result of this bewildering and arbitrary “rule,” some great work was left off the list in this, a pretty decent year for animation in general. Nevertheless, the animators proved […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Illusionist’ producer Bob Last

Posted by · 6:44 pm · December 24th, 2010

It’s been over 10 months since I first reviewed Sylvain Chomet’s dazzling new animated feature “The Illusionist” at the Berlinale, and yet it only finds its way to US theaters tomorrow. A more appropriate film to unwrap on Christmas morning, however, you could not ask for.  Both a loving tribute to the creative legacy of […]

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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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TELLURIDE: ‘The Illusionist,’ ‘Another Year’

Posted by · 11:00 am · September 6th, 2010

The final trio of films I caught at this year’s Telluride fest, which is slowly winding down this holiday, were a bit of Cannes catch-up.  The first, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful,” I responded to yesterday.  The other two come from Sony Pictures Classics, which has a whopping five films in play here, and will have […]

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Brit critics flip for ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 7:25 am · August 23rd, 2010

Yeah, yeah, everybody loves “Toy Story 3.” Enchanting, amusing, heartbreaking… all those swell things. We hear it every year: Pixar shames every other Hollywood studio, transcends the limits of animation, etc, etc. Pencil in a second consecutive Best Picture nomination, and stick a fork in the Best Animated Feature race — for the fourth year […]

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Edinburgh fest kicks off with ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 9:18 am · June 16th, 2010

Last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival served me rather well, giving me my first look at “Antichrist,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Fish Tank,” “35 Shots of Rum,” “Mary and Max” and “London River,” all of which wound up in my Top 20 of 2009. (It was also where a little film called “The Secret of Kells” made […]

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Sony Classics adopts ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 8:16 am · April 26th, 2010

Quelle surprise. “The Illusionist,” Sylvain Chomet’s long-gestating follow-up to the Oscar-nominated “The Triplets of Belleville,” has found the US distributor we all knew it eventually would. Sony Pictures Classics today announced their acquisition of the film, which they are readying for an end-of-year release — mirroring the strategy they took with “Belleville” back in 2003. […]

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Russian trailer for ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 1:17 am · March 23rd, 2010

A tip of the hat to Twitch for digging up a Russian trailer for Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist,” which I reviewed out of Berlin last month. Calling it my favorite film of 2010 is faint praise at this stage, but I’ll be surprised if 10 more films come along to top it. Either way, it’s […]

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A glimpse of ‘The Illusionist’

Posted by · 7:43 am · February 23rd, 2010

The highlight of my Berlin trip last week, and handily my favorite film of this still-young year, Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” merits all the excruciating magic-based puns that critics will inevitably coin for it in 2010. To give you an idea of what I’m so excited about, the following Arte.tv video gives a taste of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Illusionist” (****)

Posted by · 6:33 pm · February 16th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival It took six days and an awful lot of films, but the Berlinale has finally turned up a masterpiece. Moreover, it’s a rare case of one of the fest’s most eagerly awaited titles managing to meet, and even subvert, expectations. “The Illusionist,” French animator Sylvain Chomet long-gestating follow-up the 2003 Oscar […]

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