OFF THE CARPET: Dolla billz, y’all!

Posted by · 10:15 am · November 8th, 2010

A reader comment got me thinking on box office and Oscar as the usual blockbuster and genre fare led the way in ticket sales this weekend.  It dawned on me that pickins might be extra slim when it comes to representing populist filmmaking in 2010’s Best Picture crop. Box office and finding room for ratings-friendly […]

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Looking back on Oscar’s Old Left leanings

Posted by · 4:59 pm · October 11th, 2010

Its installments come all too infrequently these days, but Best Pictures From The Outside In — a collaborative project between The Film Experience’s Nathaniel Rogers and his learned pals — is one of the best sources of Oscar discussion and analysis on the web. That’s not only because it provides ample opportunity for kvetching over […]

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Oren Moverman, Kurt Cobain and the biopic

Posted by · 12:42 pm · July 19th, 2010

One of my favorite current film writers, Ryan Gilbey, has an excellent piece in today’s Guardian on the subject of biopics — in particular, on the rise of the postmodern biopic in the face of Hollywood’s increasingly tepid stabs at the form. It’s a good read, but far better is the unabridged version of the […]

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Bullock calls for real comedy

Posted by · 10:55 am · March 22nd, 2010

It’s not like one needed a further reason to hop on the “We Love Sandra Bullock” train in this of all weeks, but the actress obligingly provides one anyway in this highly enjoyable Guardian interview with John Patterson. Speaking of the genre that has become her bread and butter over the years, she offers these […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: A very important date

Posted by · 11:43 am · March 7th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. May I introduce the film with the 14th biggest debut of all time, “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s also the biggest March debut, biggest 3D debut and third biggest non-sequel debut of all time. If your goal was to ensure that Tim Burton continues to lazily adapt […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

Nut up or shut up: final predictions

Posted by · 11:36 am · March 6th, 2010

As I look over my final predictions for tomorrow night’s Oscar ceremony, I notice that I’ve made only one change — in the Best Live Action Short category — since taking my initial stab the day of the nominations.  And I haven’t made a single change since I started the Oscar Guide series. Am I […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Picture

Posted by · 9:37 am · March 6th, 2010

And here we are. With one day until the Oscar ceremony, we wrap up our Oscar Guide series with a look at the 10 nominations for Best Picture. Yes, 10. The Academy decided to pump up the intrigue by expanding its Best Picture field this year in an attempt at securing some love for more […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Actress

Posted by · 10:22 am · February 24th, 2010

This year’s Best Actress race is easily the most debated of the major categories. Though one can’t help but wonder why that is, as the writing has seemingly been on the wall for a number of weeks now, stretching back to before the nominations were announced. It was also one of the easiest fields to […]

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Taking it to church

Posted by · 5:37 am · February 8th, 2010

In the wake of last week’s semi-surprise Best Picture nomination, the New York Times has rather an interesting piece on the sly marketing strategies that propelled “The Blind Side” to phenomenon status in the first place — tactics a Hollywood marketing consultant likens to “the regional marketings approach of the 50s, 60s and 70s.” What […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Bullock receives the American Riviera Award

Posted by · 9:42 am · February 6th, 2010

“It” girl of the year, Sandra Bullock, was feted here in Santa Barbara last night.  The two-hour celebration of her career, a Q&A moderated by Pete Hammond with clips of her work thrown in here and there, was, to be perfectly honest, one of the better tributes I’ve seen, culminating with Forest Whitaker’s presentation of […]

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Four producer nominees for ‘The Hurt Locker’

Posted by · 7:54 pm · February 4th, 2010

Glad to see this has been sorted out. You might recall that when the Best Picture nominations were read out on Tuesday morning, “The Hurt Locker” and “The Blind Side” were both slapped with the vague “nominees to be determined” tag — a stopgap the Academy issues wen there are admin issues to be ironed […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Now what?

Posted by · 4:59 pm · February 4th, 2010

A whole 31 days ahead of the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, the race already feels like it’s winding down. Of the precursors, only BAFTA and the lesser guilds (sorry, WGA, but you brought irrelevance upon yourself) lie in wait to distract us from a month of wafty speculation and idle editorializing. Trust me, you’re going […]

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February winner predictions

Posted by · 10:18 am · February 3rd, 2010

These appeared at Movie City News’s Gurus o’ Gold page this morning, so you probably already saw them.  Here they are in any case, since, you know, I guess it’s about that time: Best Picture: “The Hurt Locker” Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart” Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, […]

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In the trenches with AMPAS

Posted by · 9:57 am · February 3rd, 2010

I must admit that when I found out Monday night that our friend Anthony Breznican was embedded with AMPAS brass and nominations co-announcer Anne Hathaway for this USA Today feature story (and, therefore, knew the nominees at 9:00 that night), I was incredibly jealous.  But that it yielded such an insightful little piece, well, fine […]

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The bright side

Posted by · 7:36 am · February 2nd, 2010

Well, I’ll start the good news selfishly, by noting that I didn’t entirely embarrass myself with my predictions: not counting the short categories (which I was too cowardly and uninformed to predict) I nailed 78/106, just two points behind Kris’s round tally of 80. But while I was pleased to see at least one of […]

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Ebert joins the predictions scramble

Posted by · 3:12 pm · January 30th, 2010

With less than 72 hours until Oscar nominations are announced, prediction lists are coming through thick and fast. Kris and I will have our final predictions up on Monday, while Gerard’s technical picks will be scattered throughout the weekend. (I’ll also enter dreamland for a while and offer up my fantasy ballot at some point.) […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Fairy’ bust

Posted by · 10:55 am · January 24th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Blah blah blah blah “Avatar” blah blah number one blah blah blah $36 million. Second biggest sixth weekend ever, behind “Titanic.” $550 million+ in the bank, passing “The Dark Knight” and entering the top 10 highest grossing films of the modern era (1980 onward). The drop […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

SAG wins for ‘Basterds,’ Bullock, Bridges

Posted by · 3:53 pm · January 23rd, 2010

Gotta love all those B’s, right? Overall, no real surprises — we knew Best Actress was going to be a close-fought contest between Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock, and it’s entirely likely that Streep’s win last year tipped it towards Hollywood’s new golden girl. While the widely anticipated ensemble win for “Inglourious Basterds” makes no […]

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