In Contention

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 61 — Wrapping up Toronto, ‘Moneyball’ and Brad Pitt’s Oscar positioning, Roland Emmerich’s ‘Anonymous,’ ‘Rampart’ and turning out the lights

Posted by · 8:53 am · September 16th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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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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Jessica Chastain wins award in Venice — more to come?

Posted by · 4:38 pm · September 3rd, 2011

Nathaniel Rogers tipped me off today to the fact that Jessica Chastain has won her first (of many?) award of the season in Venice. The prize, presented by “W.E.” director Madonna, was the Gucci Award for Women in Film. And it’s a pretty good pick when you consider how prolific she is this year. Chastain […]

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Michael Shannon is a beast in the spectacular ‘Take Shelter’

Posted by · 9:22 am · August 29th, 2011

Not to overstate things, but it’s time to talk about Michael Shannon and the fact that it’ll be amazing if there is a better, more refined, more electrifying performance this year than his work in Jeff Nichols’s “Take Shelter.” This is his best work to date and it deserves a huge swell of awards support. […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Fall fests look to boost early Oscar hopes

Posted by · 9:00 am · August 29th, 2011

On a warm Saturday afternoon in Telluride last year, I sat in the crowded Chuck Jones Cinema and felt the warmth in the room as Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” screened for its first audience of the year. Six months later, at the end of a road with plenty of twists and turns, the film’s […]

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Telluride guessing game

Posted by · 10:34 am · July 28th, 2011

(UPDATED: 8/29) Now that the Toronto and Venice line-ups have been unveiled (though we have a few more Toronto announcements to come), I figured I’d take a few stabs at sussing out the Telluride crop this year. I haven’t been a good journalist and called around or anything. Just spinning my wheels. One studio that […]

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Kaurismäki, Sorrentino among early Cannes winners

Posted by · 2:59 pm · May 21st, 2011

The Cannes Film Festival closes up shop tomorrow with the announcement of the Competition awards — the final competing film, Radu Mihaileanu’s “The Source,” screened this morning to a tepid reception. Before we get to that, however, a wide array of smaller juries have their own trophies to dish out, and a number of them […]

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‘Take Shelter’ takes first award at Cannes

Posted by · 4:40 pm · May 19th, 2011

Nine days in, the Cannes Film Festival is winding down. Many of the US journos are flying home, and with Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Skin I Live In” having premiered this morning — review coming tomorrow — the superstar auteurs have all shown their hand. (That’s not to say Nuri Bilge Ceylan or Paolo Sorrentino can’t […]

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What will be this year’s Sundance story?

Posted by · 2:50 pm · January 31st, 2011

I must confess, this year’s Sundance Film Festival kind of passed me by. Admittedly, I’ve been distracted by a busy couple of weeks on the awards circuit, but the Sundance coverage I did follow suggested a high-quality if nonetheless rather quiet festival, one with fewer noisy breakout films than usual. In the last few years, […]

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