‘Due Date’ trailer

Posted by · 3:50 pm · July 14th, 2010

Hey, two Zach Galifianakis trailers in a row.  This one is for “Due Date,” the new film from “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips.  The southern boy in me LOVES the Waffle House shout-out, but anyway, the film looks like a great tandem comedy for Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr.  Check out the trailer from Yahoo! […]

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‘Hurt Locker,’ ‘Hangover’ win with ACE

Posted by · 10:08 pm · February 14th, 2010

Friday we spotlighted the film editing category in our daily Oscar Guide feature.  Tonight at the Beverly Hilton, the editors themselves had their say at the 60th annual ACE Eddies ceremony. Bob Murawski and Chris Innis were the big winners in the drama category for “The Hurt Locker” (my prediction for the Oscar win), while […]

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Calling the longshots

Posted by · 5:47 pm · February 1st, 2010

So this Steve Pond piece, titled “How Oscar Could Surprise — and Scare — Us,” is what we like to call hedging our bets.  It’s a chance to address some bubble matters so that we have something to point to and say, “Look, I toldja!” (Is that officially trademarked by Nikki Finke yet?) Anyway, I […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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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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THE LONG SHOT: The pre-nomination shuffle

Posted by · 6:53 pm · January 27th, 2010

This, ladies and gentlemen, will be the last Long Shot column I write before the 2009 Academy Award nominations are announced, and it’s not just because it’s the column’s 17th week that the well of subject matter is looking rather dry. I have followed longer awards seasons than this one (the awards used to take […]

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The year in FYCs

Posted by · 4:39 pm · January 27th, 2010

One of the best parts of the film awards season, for me, has always been the print advertising artwork of “For Your Consideration” ads in trade publications.  They feature a studio advertising department’s best foot forward on creatively reaching the AMPAS audience and generally make for some striking imagery. Though I have to say, I […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Globe awards, BAFTA noms, foreign shortlist

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 22nd, 2010

• “Avatar” and “The Hangover” took top honors at a very populist Golden Globes ceremony — Off the Carpet reported from the party circuit. • The Academy revealed the nine films shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film; we sized up the race. • BAFTA announced their nominations, with “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” […]

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Ed Helms stumps for ‘Stu’s Song’ on Conan

Posted by · 10:31 am · January 21st, 2010

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Things I learned from the Globes

Posted by · 10:22 am · January 18th, 2010

Last January, I wrote an especially effusive review of the previous night’s Golden Globe awards, commending the usually much-derided HFPA for looking beyond star power and box-office grosses. Instead, they assembled an international and rather indie-minded winners slate that included such titles as “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “The Wrestler,” “In Bruges,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and eventual Oscar-sweeper “Slumdog […]

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ACE nominees

Posted by · 7:23 pm · January 11th, 2010

For me, “District 9” is the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me in this morning’s American Cinema Editors announcement.  If ever the film looked like a lock for a Best Picture nomination, now is that time, I have to say.  Getting in over presumed Oscar frontrunners “Precious” and, most especially, “Inglourious Basterds,” that’s a […]

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‘Avatar,’ ‘Star Trek’ among WGA nominees

Posted by · 11:07 am · January 11th, 2010

And, there we are. “Avatar” gets a nomination for best writing from a 10,000 member-strong guild and plenty will find reason to argue with it. But let’s look at the rest. “The Hangover” managed to get a nomination in the original screenplay field in the wake of a number of eligibility rulings on some top […]

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Art Directors Guild nominees

Posted by · 10:32 am · January 8th, 2010

I’ve had my eye on these because I’ve always felt that, if “Avatar” could slide in here, it might be able to get over any weird bias against the way it was designed (largely in computer, etc.). But after sitting down with Robert Stromberg yesterday, and with these nominations in mind, I feel better about […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 movie-related moments of 2009

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 29th, 2009

As the year (and decade) slowly winds down, I thought it would be a pretty good time to revive our long-slumbering Lists feature here at In Contention.  And what better way to do so and salute the year at hand than to lay out the most significant movie-related moments of 2009? The American Film Institute […]

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12/18 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:52 am · December 18th, 2009

• Anne Thompson reports that there is no “official” costume designer on “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” so anyone holding out longshot hope for its Oscar chances in that field can go ahead and focus elsewhere. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Melena Ryzik gets Ivan Reitman to admit “The Hangover” would be on his top 10 list. [The […]

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AFI announce Top 10 American films of 2009

Posted by · 4:32 pm · December 13th, 2009

Jeez, give us some breathing room. Anyway, the American Film Institute has revealed their annual selection of the year’s best U.S. titles, and as usual, it’s a pleasingly diverse, idiosyncratic list. My heart sings to see Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s marvelous “Sugar” make the cut, at the expense of heavily-hyped titles like “Invictus” and […]

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10/14 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:46 am · October 14th, 2009

• Dave Karger, in a slow news week, digs up the old “‘Hangover’ for Best Pic” notion.  No. [Oscar Watch] • Jeff Wells face-to-face with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” director Wes Anderson. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Susan King talks to editing legend Anne V. Coates, whose career was showcased at the Academy last night. [Los Angeles Times]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 highest grossing films of the decade derived from original material

Posted by · 11:45 am · September 1st, 2009

Behold! I give to you the very first edition of The Lists to be based on fact and not opinion — unless you count box office data as the ultimate opinion of the masses. The decade is drawing to a close and unless something miraculous happens, the top 10 highest grossing films of the aughts […]

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