Moverman’s expressive ‘Rampart’ offers tour de force performance from Woody Harrelson

Posted by · 8:26 am · September 14th, 2011

Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” is absolutely fantastic. Top to bottom, it’s a considerable directorial achievement, and an exciting, brazen departure from his excellent 2009 debut, “The Messenger.” The film — from an original screenplay by James Ellroy, re-written by Moverman — uses the 1999 Los Angeles Police Department Rampart corruption scandal as a frame, a state […]

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But now I see

Posted by · 9:44 am · October 28th, 2010

I never really noticed how beautiful the trailer for last year’s “The Messenger” was until I saw it last night promoting the film’s HBO premiere.  It might be one of my favorite trailers of the last few years.  Plenty owed to Mr. Nelson, of course.

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Posted by · 11:54 am · March 5th, 2010

Best Original Screenplay: 2009’s most difficult category to predict. Why? Certainly not because of each contender’s merits (when does that ever come into play with the Academy). No, this field is a hair-puller because you have a vibrant, likable personality up against the Best Picture frontrunner, always a recipe for a close race (and, sometimes, […]

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2/23 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:59 am · February 23rd, 2010

• Peter Knegt chats with Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner. [indieWIRE] • Oscar party kits, anyone? With bingo! [Oscars.org] • “The Messenger” writers and Oscar nominees Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon on their process. [MTV Movies Blog]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Supporting Actor

Posted by · 10:30 am · February 17th, 2010

In a slight rarity, the year’s Best Supporting Actor category reflected the Screen Actors Guild nominees 100% this season. Nominations for Alfred Molina and Alec Baldwin at the BAFTA Awards weren’t enough to generate enough cross-over support, while Christian McKay’s late surge couldn’t get him there, either. What we’re left with is a sleepwalking performance […]

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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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The bright side

Posted by · 7:36 am · February 2nd, 2010

Well, I’ll start the good news selfishly, by noting that I didn’t entirely embarrass myself with my predictions: not counting the short categories (which I was too cowardly and uninformed to predict) I nailed 78/106, just two points behind Kris’s round tally of 80. But while I was pleased to see at least one of […]

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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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1/14 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · January 14th, 2010

• Buzz Aldrin, Willie Nelson and more comment on the accuracy of a number of the season’s contenders. [Variety] • Peter Jackson and Stanley Tucci talk “The Lovely Bones.” [FearNet] • Brooks Barnes Q&As “The Hurt Locker” writer Mark Boal. [The Carpetbagger]

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Oscars in The Times

Posted by · 1:14 am · January 10th, 2010

Fresh on the heels of a page one Mo’Nique story, The New York Times has unleashed its annual Oscar package, great stuff as always. Manohla Dargis leads the girl-power charge with an appreciation of Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.” It’s a solid piece of analysis that spends a few graphs discussing the art of the […]

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Woody Harrelson gets some quality ink

Posted by · 3:25 pm · January 9th, 2010

Of course I’ve been singing Woody Harrelson’s praises in “The Messenger” since day one, and thankfully, after a shove into the race with National Board of Review recognition, he’s been on a relatively solid track as of late.  And as I mentioned in Friday’s Oscar Talk, there is some chatter around his potential for a […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Guilds, lists and disqualifications

Posted by · 4:49 am · January 9th, 2010

• In a big week for precursor announcements, the DGA nominations were the biggest — and least surprising. • The PGA, meanwhile, found room for all three of the year’s hot sci-fi titles in its nominee slate. • “The Hurt Locker” triumphed at the National Society of Film Critics Awards, the first film in 12 […]

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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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OFF THE CARPET: Why it should be ‘The Messenger’

Posted by · 9:46 am · January 4th, 2010

The writing is on the wall. “Nine” is on the precipice, teetering, on the brink of falling from the Best Picture ranks, 10 nominees or not. Speculation flies as to which film will be the beneficiary (as most concede this is the only slot in flux, though there are certainly compelling arguments against a secure […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Avatar’ leads, ‘Nine’ falls, more lists

Posted by · 6:53 pm · January 1st, 2010

There was no wrap last Friday, what with Christmas capping a dead calm news week. So here are the highlights of the last fortnight: • Off the Carpet returned from its Christmas vacation to survey the current state of the race — advantage “Avatar.” • The Long Shot considered the varying fortunes of the quartet […]

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Karger goes out on a limb for ‘The Messenger’

Posted by · 9:52 am · December 31st, 2009

In the last week or two, the buzz for Rob Marshall’s “Nine” has, undeniably, plummeted.  It took a while for it to get to that point.  The first screening was held nearly a month and a half ago in New York, after all.  But enough goodwill and a certain lazy expectation that the below-the-line elements […]

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OFF THE CARPET: A spade is a spade

Posted by · 11:10 am · December 28th, 2009

Oscar ballots are being mailed to AMPAS members today.  So now is the time to pay attention to the buzz, as most ballots are returned within the first couple of weeks (which says everything you need to know about how much time and care is put into the process by voters). However, it’s somewhat amazing […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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