In Contention

OFF THE CARPET: The great, appreciated unknown

Posted by · 5:47 pm · September 19th, 2011

As we move out of the Toronto fray, Venice and Telluride already a memory, we look to the season ahead. The starting gun echo of those three early fall festivals is beginning to fade away, and with the dust settled or settling, it’s interesting to note the lack of an inarguable emerging player. In fact, […]

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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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Clooney on ‘Descendants’ at Telluride, with clips

Posted by · 7:40 am · September 14th, 2011

Via our new partners at HitFix, specifically Greg Ellwood’s Awards Campaign blog:

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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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9/12 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Clooney on self-competition, Woodley ready for her close-up, genre movies at the Oscars

Posted by · 8:03 am · September 12th, 2011

• Bill Desowitz calls “The Lion King 3D,” which hits theaters Friday, “a noteworthy achievement for post-converting hand-drawn animation.” Agreed. He also talks to those responsible for it. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Clooney: Clooney vs. Cooney just hype. [Variety] • Shailene Woodley, meanwhile, is ready for her close-up in Toronto. [The Guardian]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 60 — A sprint Telluride recap, ‘Descendants,’ ‘Albert Nobbs,’ disagreeing on ‘Dangerous Method,’ thoughts on Eddie Murphy, Toronto preview (ish)

Posted by · 9:07 am · September 9th, 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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9/8 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Pond picks Payne, Von Trier steps in it further, Waxman knocks ‘Warrior’ strategy

Posted by · 8:59 am · September 8th, 2011

• Steve Pond lays it all out for “The Descendants” winning Best Picture, trying to make good on his two-year streak (though at least he had seen the other two before making those calls). [The Odds] • At Telluride, meanwhile, Sasha Stone laid down a cool 20-spot on Viola Davis taking Best Actress. (I’m a […]

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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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INTERVIEW: ‘The Descendants’ actress Shailene Woodley

Posted by · 2:10 pm · September 5th, 2011

Telluride Film Festival If anything or anyone is a break-out, on-the-rise element of this year’s Telluride Film Festival, it’s 19-year-old “The Descendants” star Shailene Woodley. She stars in the film opposite George Clooney as a teenager with the appropriate angst but gives a performance that has captured the attention of many in attendance here. Naturally, […]

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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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TELLURIDE: Clooney takes center stage

Posted by · 5:43 pm · September 3rd, 2011

George Clooney has been tapped this year for one of Telluride’s three big tributes, and it’s certainly the biggest of the trio. Whether it’s press and patrons schmoozing with the star at yesterday’s Patron Brunch, whispers around town (“Did you hear George Clooney is here?” “I really hope ‘The Ides of March’ is a TBA.”) […]

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TELLURIDE: ‘Descendants’ Q&A

Posted by · 9:49 am · September 3rd, 2011

Thanks to Sasha Stone at Awards Daily for grabbing video of yesterday’s post-screening Q&A with “The Descendants” stars George Clooney and Shailene Woodley and director Alexander Payne, which I had to miss:

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TELLURIDE: Payne’s ‘Descendants’ plays, but doesn’t quite reach the bar he’s set for himself

Posted by · 4:23 pm · September 2nd, 2011

Over the years Alexander Payne has been invited to Telluride to debut various films, but conflicts with other festivals have always kept that from becoming a reality. He finally attended his first SHOW here two years ago as a Guest Director for the festival. And today, he finally brought a film with him, debuting “The […]

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Filed in: Daily · Reviews

TELLURIDE: Settling in for the 38th annual

Posted by · 2:42 pm · September 1st, 2011

So here I sit in Telluride, a nice view of the mountainside gondolas out the window, a swift flight and gorgeous shuttle ride later. As always, we were greeted with the festival program upon boarding the charter this morning, which also carried filmmakers Werner Herzog and Alexander Payne, actress Tilda Swinton, etc., their presence at […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 most anticipated films of the 2011-2012 Oscar season

Posted by · 8:11 am · August 30th, 2011

If you haven’t noticed, this week has pretty much launched our 2011-2012 Oscar season coverage in earnest. Since it has been ages since we dusted of our lists feature here at In Contention, it seemed a good way to peek into the season was offering up a personal list of anticipations. I’ve seen a few […]

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Filed in: The Lists

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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Filed in: Off the Carpet

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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‘Descendants,’ ‘Moneyball,’ ‘Twixt’ among Toronto premieres

Posted by · 10:00 am · July 26th, 2011

As usual, there are few surprises in the newly unveiled lineup for September’s Toronto Film Festival — which is largely because, as usual, the lineup consists of pretty much everything. We know by now to expect a cherry-picked selection of proven successes from previous festivals, including Cannes (“The Artist,” “Drive,” “We Need to Talk About […]

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