CANNES CHECK: ‘Polisse’

Posted by · 5:08 pm · May 5th, 2011

The director: Maïwenn (France) The talent: Actress-turned-writer-director Maïwenn Le Besco (who prefers going by her first name, and whom US viewers might remember as the blue-tentacled soprano from “The Fifth Element”) takes the lead role herself, starring opposite French rapper-turned-actor Joeystarr. Supporting them, a host of familiar French faces, including Nicolas Duvauchelle (“White Material”), Frédéric Pierrot […]

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Guy’s top 50 of the decade: #21-30

Posted by · 7:01 pm · January 4th, 2010

A little late, but we’re at the halfway mark now, and I must say I couldn’t be more delighted and flattered by your warm response to the list so far. I mentioned in my intro to the first installment that I’d prefer you to view this as a loose playlist than as a rigid ordered […]

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Germany submits ‘White Ribbon’ for Oscar

Posted by · 3:44 pm · August 26th, 2009

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Germany has selected Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” (trailer here) as their official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. No foreign-language Palme d’Or winner has failed to be entered in the race since Japan’s “The Eel” in 1997, and “The White Ribbon” has both […]

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Cannes: sizing up the Competition, part one

Posted by · 7:45 am · May 11th, 2009

With the Cannes Film Festival only two days away, it’s time to take a long hard look (or just a look, if you prefer) at the 20 films in contention for the Palme d’Or, a typically eclectic bunch married by only one factor: all but one are from directors who have been in the race […]

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Better late…

Posted by · 2:22 am · March 9th, 2009

Last week’s server switch-induced hiatus prevented me from commenting on the César Awards — perhaps the ceremony I was eyeing most keenly this year given the prominence of my personal favourites in their rich pool of nominees. (I’ll say it again: France ruled 2008. End of story.) You’ve probably read the winners elsewhere by now. […]

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More than one ‘right’ choice

Posted by · 10:47 am · February 27th, 2009

In the largely good-natured responses to a largely good-natured Oscar ceremony, only one result has been greeted with any real rancour from critics or pundits –- the “upset” (anticipated by some clever folks at the eleventh hour) in the Best Foreign Language Film category. But as much sympathy as one feels for the disappointed team […]

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More on ‘Departures’ and a potential foreign upset

Posted by · 4:35 pm · February 21st, 2009

UPDATE: Well, it seems Tom has pulled the post down.  Perhaps, as commenter Josh notes, he got his info a bit twisted.  I’ll leave this here for now but check Josh’s explanation of the process.  The waters were muddied there for a bit. EARLIER: Tom O’Neil writes the following over at Gold Derby: A few […]

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You were right, I was wrong: Guy’s final predictions

Posted by · 1:24 pm · February 21st, 2009

(Expanded thoughts and reasonings on yesterday’s list of predictions.) It’s years like 2008 when I throw my hands up and admit (albeit with great reluctance) that my family and friends have been right for the last two decades. Carla, Tom, Kim, Auntie Mavis: I give up. I am insane to care as much as I […]

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Going with ‘Departures’

Posted by · 11:09 am · February 21st, 2009

I said yesterday that if I got cold feet on any of my predictions I would let you know, and less than 24 hours later, I’ve decided to take the dive on “Departures.” A lot of foreign film committee members really responded to this film, and it’s easy to see why.  It is “the kind […]

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Could ‘Departures’ upset ‘Waltz with Bashir’ in the foreign language film category?

Posted by · 10:09 am · February 20th, 2009

Now that I’ve finally seen Japanese foreign film contender “Departures,” the last of the year’s nominees that had yet to cross my path, I thought it a good idea to go ahead and toss up a final look at the foreign language film category.  Over the last few weeks I’ve dived into the short film […]

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Not so very shocking

Posted by · 5:00 am · February 18th, 2009

Dave Karger has posted a list of ten potential “shockers” that he thinks could (however faintly) foreseeably shake things up on Oscar night. Many of them have been raised before, and are suitably fanciful. Though I’ve said before that there is a logical case to be made for Melissa Leo leapfrogging both Kate Winslet and […]

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Is ‘The Class’ in a position to upset ‘Bashir?’

Posted by · 6:34 pm · February 12th, 2009

(UPDATE: I see Dave Karger is placing his money on “The Class” too. Interesting.) Yesterday, Kris took a look at the Best Documentary Feature category, and wondered whether the winner there is quite the foregone conclusion that most people think. Supporting his argument was the category’s unusual rule that voters have to have seen all […]

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Start from scratch, Academy

Posted by · 6:19 am · February 12th, 2009

I do love a good rant about the Academy Awards. And Ryan Gilbey is, for my money, one of the sharpest, most entertaining film writers around these days. So it figures that a Gilbey-written attack on the Oscars, in the lefty political mag the New Statesman, should make for good reading. Gilbey cheerfully admits that […]

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2/10 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:52 am · February 10th, 2009

• At least Ron Rosenbaum kind of gets it.  Though he apparently thinks he’s the only one a bit miffed at the redemption angle.  Do some more Googling, Ron. [Slate] • Joining the “Reader” bash, Noah Forrest pleads with the Academy not to hand the Oscar to Kate Winslet. [Movie City News] • Jeff Wells […]

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Cesar nods include ‘Class,’ ‘Loved,’ Swinton

Posted by · 7:57 am · January 24th, 2009

Now here’s a set of nominations I can get behind. As I may have mentioned before, 2008 was all about the rejuvenation of French cinema for me, with Gallic productions occupying a quarter of my year-end Top 20, including the two poll spots. So it’s hardly surprising that I’m immensely pleased by the list of […]

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Hey, it ain’t ALL bad

Posted by · 8:25 am · January 22nd, 2009

OK, looking at the bigger picture, I’m as mortified as everyone else by this morning’s Academy Award nominations. By playing it safe in numerous areas, AMPAS voters have once more failed their art form … but more surprisingly, they have failed their audience. Kris has already touched to some extent on the most glaring injustices […]

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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by · 12:24 pm · January 21st, 2009

OK, I explained the deal with this yesterday, when I covered the technical categories. What follows are the names and films that I, in a perfect world, would like to hear announced by Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker bright and early tomorrow morning. (Or tomorrow afternoon, in my case … living across the Atlantic does […]

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‘Gomorrah’ doesn’t deliver, says AMPAS

Posted by · 7:29 am · January 14th, 2009

Kris has already given the philistines on the Academy’s foreign-language film committee a deserved telling-off for sidelining Italy’s astonishing entry “Gomorrah,” but I feel compelled to add my voice to his — not least because, if I had my way, Matteo Garrone’s cinematic gut-punch about the Camorra crime syndicate would be in line for a Best […]

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