OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Song)

Posted by · 11:11 am · February 22nd, 2010

Year after year, the original song category tends to prove that something is broken in the music branch of the Academy.  But to be fair, that’s a bit of a half-truth overall, as the original score field has begun to loosen up a bit and allow for newbie talent to get a foot in the […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Animated Feature Film

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

This year’s Best Animated Feature Film race featured five nominees for just the second time in the category’s existence.  It was the result of a robust slate of qualifying contenders that reached the magic number of 16, and yet there was still quality work left lying in the also-rans pile. There was a wide open […]

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‘Up’ triumphs at Annie Awards

Posted by · 5:42 am · February 7th, 2010

Last year, the industry-voted Annie Awards appeared to have entered a peculiar grudge match with Pixar Studios, as eventual Oscar-winner “WALL-E” came away empty-handed, while “Kung Fu Panda” swept the board. Whether that curious outcome was the result of peer envy or professional preference, the Annies appear to be back on board with Pixar, as […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Darkness’ falls

Posted by · 12:54 pm · January 31st, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. The self-proclaimed King of the World wiped the floor with the self-proclaimed King of Malibu as “Avatar” spent a seventh consecutive week at the top of the box office. A cool $30 million represents a drop of only 14% from last week and again sits only […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: BFCA awards, Guilds triple, Rohmer passes

Posted by · 5:47 am · January 16th, 2010

• As you’ve just heard, “The Hurt Locker” emerged triumphant at the BFCA Critics’ Choice Awards. • Earlier this week, Éric Rohmer, sly giant of New Wave intellectualism, passed away at the age of 89. • That same day, “Avatar,” “The Hangover” and “Star Trek” were among the films nominated by the WGA. • The […]

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‘Princess and the Frog’ score DQ’d

Posted by · 2:14 pm · January 12th, 2010

The whole branch is reaching a level of farce that is unbelievable.  Reports Steve Pond: Although Randy Newman’s score to Disney’s animated film “The Princess and the Frog” was originally deemed to be eligible in the original score category at the Oscars, the Music Branch Executive Committee met on Monday and disqualified Newman’s music from […]

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Holiday film thoughts

Posted by · 8:25 pm · December 26th, 2009

It struck me that I should probably offer up some space for you all to discuss the latest releases since it’s obviously been a slow-moving week, so if you want to speak up on “It’s Complicated,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Up in the Air,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Nine” or, God bless you, “The Squeakquel,” have […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Pandora’s tops

Posted by · 12:03 pm · December 20th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. “Avatar” is the number one movie of the weekend with a $73 million gross. This is an enormous figure, there’s no two ways about it. It’s the fourth-biggest December debut of all time. It’s the 26th-biggest debut of all […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Precursor avalanche, best of 2009

Posted by · 6:57 pm · December 18th, 2009

• Kris wrapped up 2009 with his take on the year’s best films, also offering his own preferred nominees and winners in a range of categories. (I’ll chime in next week.) • “Up in the Air” led this year’s pack of Golden Globe nominees. • It also joined “Precious” and “Inglourious Basterds” at the head […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 12:04 pm · December 16th, 2009

Every year I like to keep track of personal favorites throughout the Academy’s designated categories (plus one of my own addition, Best Ensemble). At the end of the year, my “if I had a ballot” post is the result. Of course, for the most part, I follow Academy designations here. If something is ruled ineligible, […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: A little ‘Princess’

Posted by · 8:00 pm · December 13th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Disney tasted a bit of its old early-1990s magic with the number one finish of “The Princess and the Frog” this week. The hand-drawn toon grossed $25 million after two phenomenal weeks in New York and Los Angeles only. “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Avatar’ awe, ‘Bones’ defense, original songs

Posted by · 7:36 pm · December 11th, 2009

• A little movie called “Avatar” premiered. This week’s Oscar Talk tucked into the film. • As “The Lovely Bones” faces a frosty critical welcome, this week’s Off the Carpet column went to bat for the film. • We interviewed a quartet of young actors making strides this year: Abbie Cornish, Saoirse Ronan, Ben Foster […]

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Listen to Anika Noni Rose’s ‘Almost There’ from ‘The Princess and the Frog’

Posted by · 7:14 pm · December 11th, 2009

Wednesday we featured Dr. John’s “Down in New Orleans” from Disney’s traditional animation entry “The Princess and the Frog,” which is expanding considerably this weekend.  Today we’re happy to offer up what could be the second-best play at a nomination for the film in this category, “Almost There.” Singing on the Randy Newman-penned track is […]

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FRIDAY FORECAST: Freeman vs. frog

Posted by · 2:14 pm · December 11th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. We are only one week away from the day that movie-going is changed forever so why even bother seeing anything now? I can’t be hassled by anything in only TWO dimensions! I didn’t buy these designer 3D/sunglasses for nothing! Disney really emphasizes the 2D this weekend […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Song

Posted by · 3:18 pm · December 10th, 2009

Over the last five months, Gerard has diligently canvassed and re-canvassed the various crafts categories here at In Contention.  The one category we have held back on all this time, as contenders have slowly fallen into place, was Best Original Song.  Today, it’s time to dig into the field. This has turned into something of […]

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Listen to Dr. John’s ‘Down in New Orleans’ from ‘The Princess and the Frog’

Posted by · 1:14 pm · December 9th, 2009

If you take a gander at the Contenders section you’ll note that, by far, the film with the most stabs at this year’s Best Original Song category is Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” But interestingly enough (and perhaps a smart move), it seems only four of the tracks are receiving a substantial campaign.  We’re […]

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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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‘Princess’ tops TIME’s Top 10 of 2009

Posted by · 2:02 am · December 9th, 2009

I took Richard Corliss to task yesterday for his uninspired list of the year’s Top 10 performances. Fortunately, there’s a little more individual thinking (and international flavor) to be found in his TIME list of the year’s ten best films — say what you like, but “The Princess and the Frog” is an original pick […]

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