10 snubs that sting

Posted by · 5:40 pm · February 2nd, 2010

I’ve already highlighted my favorite aspects of this morning’s Oscar nominations. Still, before we move into Phase Two, I’d like to give one final respectful nod to the could-have-beens — the names that we sadly won’t be talking about anymore in the next five weeks of speculation. I listed my true favorites in my dream […]

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My dream ballot: part one

Posted by · 7:32 pm · January 31st, 2010

As I did last year, I’m preparing for Tuesday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations by running through my own favorites in each category — following on from the ideal ballots posted by Kris and Chad in the past few weeks. “Preparing” isn’t quite the word: it implies a link between the processes of predicting and […]

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Buried treasures: Chad’s best of 2009 (list and ballot)

Posted by · 5:32 pm · January 8th, 2010

Unlike Kris, I can’t quite come to the conclusion that 2009 was the best year of the decade. Nor can I call it the “year of the woman,” the “best year for animation” or “the year James Cameron brought a sense of wonder back to the cinema.” The only thing I can personally label 2009 […]

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WGA on the way

Posted by · 9:19 am · January 8th, 2010

With the DGA, SAG and PGA out of the way, it’s on to the fourth and final of the major guild announcements: the Writers Guild of America, which announces Monday. The WGA has seemingly instituted a slash and burn campaign on a number of the year’s hopefuls this season.  Go here, here and here for […]

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LA Times shines light on notable 2009 composers

Posted by · 6:56 am · December 9th, 2009

LA Times music critic Todd Martens has posted a useful series of short interviews with the men behind some of the year’s most distinctive film scores. Indeed, it’s group of five names that isn’t too hard to imagine mirroring the year’s eventual Oscar slate: Alexandre Desplat for “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Michael Giacchino for “Up,” Randy […]

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11/24 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:09 am · November 24th, 2009

• Pete Hammond, with box office ammunition in hand, keeps banging the gong for Sandra Bullock in a bad movie.  And it just might happen. [Notes on a Season] • Speaking of “The Blind Side,” Patrick Goldstein dedicates a great many words to the film’s director, John Lee Hancock. [The Big Picture] • “Nine,” the […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Field of adaptations

Posted by · 8:34 am · November 23rd, 2009

As always, the year’s adapted screenplay race is much more competitive than the original screenplay race. But what’s intriguing to note is that of the anticipated “big four” still to be widely screened, three of them are right in the thick of this discussion. In the case of “Nine,” there is a chance for Anthony […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 7:12 pm · November 19th, 2009

Some categories haven’t had that much renewal since I last reviewed them. Best Original Score is an exception. Principally, this is because the category is very difficult to judge before hearing the scores, not to mention last minute personnel changes (as composers always seem to be the most disposable members of film crews). As I […]

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11/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:01 am · November 19th, 2009

• Michael Cieply writes up “Crazy Heart” from the angle that Paramount has “embarrassed” itself for passing on the film once upon a time, but apparently that early cut was “unwatchable,” so, you know, cut some slack. [New York Times] • Clint Eastwood — set to grace one of five GQ covers next month — […]

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Studio FYC sites on the march

Posted by · 9:32 am · November 11th, 2009

It’s that time of year, when studios roll out their awards-centric websites for films in play.  You get screening info, news and notes, reminders of how AMAZING their films are (with critical quotes to back it up), goodies like screenplays and such, etc.  It’s a good way to see how wide the net is cast […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading gentlemen

Posted by · 10:31 am · November 2nd, 2009

We’ve taken concentrated looks at the lead actress and supporting actress categories in recent weeks.  Now let’s turn our attention over to the fellas. Behind the Best Picture race, of course, the lead actor competition is perhaps the most hotly anticipated award of a given Oscar telecast.  Movie stars are born, Hollywood staples are rewarded […]

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Matt Damon: A-list character actor

Posted by · 9:28 am · November 2nd, 2009

Over the weekend you heard Anne and I discuss Matt Damon’s Oscar prospects this year for his two films, Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus” (where he’ll be looking to land a supporting actor nomination) and Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” (lead).  Anne isn’t in the minority when she says the latter has faded somewhat from the canvas and […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 8 — ‘This Is It,’ music branch, ‘Invictus’ and ‘Avatar’ trailers, the Best Actor race and more

Posted by · 11:59 am · November 1st, 2009

We have a belated edition of Oscar Talk for you today.  We apologize for the lateness, but what better way to kick back on a Sunday afternoon than with yours truly and Anne Thompson of indieWIRE’s Thompson on Hollywood? In this eighth installment, we actually covered a lot of ground. This week’s topics: • With […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘The Informant!’ writer Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 1:26 pm · October 30th, 2009

For Scott Z. Burns, the best way to tell the story of a compulsive liar was to take some liberties with the truth himself. “I’ve always been fascinated by lies … we all are,” the cheerfully forthright screenwriter tells me of his attraction to the story behind “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s playfully comic biopic of […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Great ‘Balls’ on fire

Posted by · 10:57 am · September 27th, 2009

America lined up for seconds as “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” topped the box office for the second weekend in a row, dropping only 19% to $24.6 million. That’s a fantastic hold for the only family film out in the market and makes $100 million a very real possibility, if not a formality. It […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Festival pick-ups, the season’s fetes and the PGA’s 10

Posted by · 8:12 pm · September 25th, 2009

• We wrapped up Toronto as Lee Daniels’s “Precious” took the festival’s audience award, putting it on a solid track for Oscar. • We got a look at the first trailer for “Harry Brown,” which may or may not be an awards film for actor Michael Caine.  John, you’ll recall, isn’t feeling it. • We […]

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9/22 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 7:08 am · September 22nd, 2009

• Peter Bart takes note of two of the season’s leading ladies of the Oscar circuit, unlikely rivals Jane campion and Kathryn Bigelow. [BF Deal Memo] • Eugene Hernandez on the Oscar marathon. [indieWIRE] • Bilge Ibiri compares “The Insider” to “The Informant!” [Future of Classic]

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POLL: What did you think of Matt Damon in ‘The Informant?’

Posted by · 1:02 pm · September 21st, 2009

It’s been a LONG time since our last poll (and that “Avatar” trailer intriguingly split the readership right down the middle).  So I figured this weekend’s biggest awards-flavored release, “The Informant!,” was a good point of entry. One of our loyal readers asked in the Sunday Cents column whether Matt Damon’s performance had enough steam […]

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