Césars for Polanski, ‘Gods,’ ‘Illusionist’… and Fincher

Posted by · 4:35 pm · February 25th, 2011

When the nominations for the César Awards — known in glib terms as the French Oscars — were announced last month, I wrote that I anticipated a tight race between Roman Polanski’s widely acclaimed Euro thriller “The Ghost Writer” and Xavier Beauvois’s lofty Cannes prizewinner “Of Gods and Men,” with the latter just winning out. […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A toast to the douchebags

Posted by · 5:34 pm · February 24th, 2011

(Not-quite-final predictions here.) 176 days from the unofficial opening of my Oscar season — a breakfast-hour press screening of “Black Swan” on the first day of the Venice Film Festival — it’s fair to say I’m ready for the endgame. Aren’t we all? Whether you’re delighted or disappointed by where the awards trail has led […]

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Evening Standard Awards go their own way

Posted by · 8:20 am · February 8th, 2011

“What is it about the British?” a reader asked in one of last week’s comment threads. “They can’t quite make a film of current topical interest or [sic] lacks some historical or classical literary backdrop to give it a sense of importance.” The comment is one of many “typical British film” jabs I’ve read since […]

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Not one pundit?

Posted by · 5:28 am · January 28th, 2011

Thanks to reader Graysmith for pointing out this Hollywood Reporter piece, in which Tim Appelo poses the semi-annual small-beats-big argument about the Oscar nominees. To this end, he points to the Best Animated Feature category, where bijou art film “The Illusionist” beat out major money-spinners “Tangled” and “Despicable Me,” and gets this quote from understandably […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Animated Feature Film

Posted by · 9:36 am · January 27th, 2011

The animated feature field unfortunately fell one film short of the required 16 eligible contenders to expand the category to five nominees this year. As a result of this bewildering and arbitrary “rule,” some great work was left off the list in this, a pretty decent year for animation in general. Nevertheless, the animators proved […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 50 — Special Edition! — Nod postmortem with Guy Lodge and Peter Knegt

Posted by · 12:18 pm · January 25th, 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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Oscar nominations: the good, the good and the good

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 25th, 2011

Even when they aren’t being read out with gale-force enthusiasm by Mo’Nique, the Oscar nominations tend to attack you with breathless speed that you need at least half an hour to decide how you feel about them at all. As usual, this morning’s announcement found me bouncing from one split-second reaction to another: Yay! No! […]

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My dream Oscar ballot, part two

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 23rd, 2011

Yesterday, I began my very far-fetched (and in some cases, frankly impossible) wishlist for Tuesday’s Oscar nominations with my favorite achievements in the technical categories. Today, I offer up my picks in the top races, and I don’t mind telling you things got pretty agonizing in some categories. “Why can’t I have 15 nominees for […]

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My dream Oscar ballot, part one

Posted by · 1:22 pm · January 22nd, 2011

For the past two years running, I’ve celebrated Oscar Nomination Eve by assembling my own ideal (and, usually, incredibly far-fetched) ballot, so here we go again. As well as a kind of last-ditch prayer to the Oscar gods, I also look on it as a salute to the worthy contenders who haven’t a hope in […]

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Evening Standard Award nominees, take two

Posted by · 11:52 am · January 21st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the nominations for the London Evening Standard Awards — a juried critics’ honor devoted to British films and talent. As it turns out, that “nominee” list was a bit of a false alarm; rather, it was a rough longlist of names considered by the jury that the […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 49 — Final pre-nod discussion

Posted by · 9:00 am · January 21st, 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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THE LONG SHOT: Don’t let ’em catch you caring

Posted by · 12:35 pm · January 20th, 2011

(Updated Oscar predictions here. They’ll likely be tweaked once more before Tuesday.) Following the Academy Award season is a little like watching a particularly low-rent TV soap: just as the mindlessness and predictability of the enterprise escalates to a point where quitting seems the only credible option, some or other narrative curveball will lure you […]

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In praise of Reznor/Ross

Posted by · 8:44 am · January 19th, 2011

This year’s Best Original Score race really has me at a loss.  I freely admit that I have no idea what will happen there.  Some days I think we’ll get a small surprise like Alexandre Desplat sliding in for his best work this year in “The Ghost Writer,” others I think we could just get […]

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Watching and waiting: Guy’s best and worst of 2010

Posted by · 10:00 am · January 5th, 2011

What kind of year was 2010 at the movies? You tell me. It’s virtually impossible to find one yardstick to measure 365 days of cinema for a collective audience whose interests seem ever more segregated. If your film interests are covered largely by the multiplex, chances are 2010 was an unusually unrewarding year for you, […]

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‘Never Let Me Go’ tops London Evening Standard noms

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 4th, 2011

The London Evening Standard Awards, a particularly bijou set of critics’ honors reserved for British titles and talent, tend to swerve a little left of the expected — chosen as they are by a jury of six disparate, but equally opinionated, critics. So it is this year: obviously “The King’s Speech” and “Another Year” feature […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A new year wishlist

Posted by · 6:55 pm · December 30th, 2010

[Guy’s updated predictions here.] Okay, I won’t lie to you: I initially conceived this column in my head last week as a Christmas Eve wishlist, but then got too busy mulling wine and Christmas shopping in Dublin snowdrifts to actually write it. So a New Year’s Eve wishlist it is, then. Under either name, with […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Illusionist’ producer Bob Last

Posted by · 6:44 pm · December 24th, 2010

It’s been over 10 months since I first reviewed Sylvain Chomet’s dazzling new animated feature “The Illusionist” at the Berlinale, and yet it only finds its way to US theaters tomorrow. A more appropriate film to unwrap on Christmas morning, however, you could not ask for.  Both a loving tribute to the creative legacy of […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 8:56 am · December 15th, 2010

The year is winding down.  Today, as part of the week’s on-going year-in-review specials, I’m offering up my annual “if I had a ballot” post. In years past I’ve tended to defer to studio campaigns for category placement, but this year I figured, “Screw it.”  After all, if I actually had a ballot I could […]

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