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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9/16 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Scientists vouch for ‘Contagion,’ Refn breaks down ‘Drive,’ Toronto takeaways

Posted by · 7:46 am · September 16th, 2011

• Scientists say “Contagion” is for real. [Associated Press] • James Rocchi talks “The Ides of March” with Best Supporting Actress hopeful Evan Rachel Wood. [MSN Movies] • Nicolas Winding Refn breaks down a scene from “Drive.” [Arts Beat]

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Why there’s no Gosling “dilemma”

Posted by · 6:40 am · September 13th, 2011

Kris wrote a thorough piece yesterday on the vast number of hard-working actors this year who seem to have two or more dogs in the Oscar hunt — one to which many of you responded with even more names to add to the conversation. In many cases, talk drifted away from serious awards potential and […]

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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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Naïveté you can believe in

Posted by · 8:54 am · September 9th, 2011

Guy has already covered George Clooney’s  “The Ides of March” for us out of Venice. It’s too bad I couldn’t get into any pre-Toronto screenings (due to not attending the festival), since I was anticipating liking it more than Guy and it could have been nice counter-balance. But then again, maybe not. I’ve been reading […]

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Oscar hopes for Venice flicks

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 6th, 2011

I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far. I was going to use it for today’s Off the Carpet column, but I published before he got around to it. Nevertheless, it’s worth boiling things down (from his perspective), so here’s what he’s thinking […]

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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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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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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 59 — Venice thoughts from Guy Lodge, debating ‘The Artist’, Telluride musings and Soderbergh’s stripped-down ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:04 am · September 2nd, 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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9/1 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: “It” girl Chastain still on the circuit, Lindelof hearts ‘Raiders,’ ‘Ides’ first slam-dunk?

Posted by · 5:42 am · September 1st, 2011

• He puts a question mark on it but Dave Karger nevertheless calls “The Ides of March” the year’s first slam-dunk Best Picture nominee. [Entertainment Weekly] • Steve Pond talks to 2011 “it” girl Jessica Chastain. [The Odds] • S.T. VanAirsdale gets a bunch of us awards blowhards on the record for a little early […]

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REVIEW: “The Ides of March” (***)

Posted by · 7:14 am · August 31st, 2011

Venice Film Festival “I’m not a Christian. I’m not an atheist. I’m not a Muslim. I’m not Jewish. I believe in the American constitution,” intones a spiffily-suited and even fresher-faced-than-usual Ryan Gosling as the opening line of “The Ides of March,” George Clooney’s crisp, diverting and typically (even overly) studious political thriller. Standing at the […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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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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‘The Ides of March’ poster

Posted by · 7:55 am · August 30th, 2011

Some weeks back we posted the intriguing banner-style poster for George Clooney’s “The Ides of March.” I’ve been waiting on a typical one-sheet to make its way here and now, it has, fit with a dry tagline and more of that double imagery, given the placement of Clooney and Ryan Gosling’s heads. The film is […]

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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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‘The Ides of March’ banner poster

Posted by · 9:02 am · July 28th, 2011

Hitting the internet simultaneously with that well-received trailer yesterday was this unusual poster for George Clooney’s Venice curtain-raiser “The Ides of March.” It’s always nice to see designers attempting something a little more conceptual than the norm — indeed, the simple split-face gimmick here could almost be taken as an ironic rebuttal to floating-head convention. […]

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Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

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