In Contention

In praise of the modern movie soundtrack

Posted by · 7:41 am · August 5th, 2011

I generally try to ignore film opinion pieces I think are fundamentally misguided — à chacun son goût and all that, plus the fact that fighting one mind is generally more trouble than it’s worth — but Ben Walsh’s idle article in The Independent today on the supposed demise of the movie soundtrack does such […]

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WTF with the giant fireball thing??

Posted by · 11:05 am · July 4th, 2011

With “The Social Network” picking up yet another award last week (for Best in Show at the Golden Trailer Awards), Ryan Adams at Awards Daily asked for personal picks for favorite trailers. There are a number that spring to mind for me. I maintain that the first “Pearl Harbor” trailer (link), with the score from […]

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An open letter to James Franco

Posted by · 4:32 pm · February 28th, 2011

Dear James, So you don’t think much of the Academy. That’s okay. A lot of us don’t. And after the outcome of last night’s awards — in which capping an inevitable Best Picture Oscar for the safe, stolid stylings of “The King’s Speech” with that extraneous Best Director win for a worried-looking Tom Hooper was […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 55 — Special Edition! — Oscars postmortem

Posted by · 1:03 pm · February 28th, 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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OFF THE CARPET: Sun came up

Posted by · 9:11 am · February 28th, 2011

Steven Spielberg couldn’t have put it more concisely during his presentation of the Best Picture category last night.  To paraphrase, he noted that whichever films did not happen to win Best Picture this year would join the ranks of numerous classics of the medium. Was it preemptive damage control?  I hope not.  Why be apologetic?  […]

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TECH SUPPORT: ‘Inception’ dominates below the line

Posted by · 8:47 am · February 28th, 2011

So, the morning after a terrible prediction record at this year’s Oscars, I’ll try to make some sense of what the Academy told us, and what it means for the crafts artists we got to know along the circuit this year. As the evening went on, many people began to wonder if “The Social Network” […]

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Indie Spirits, HBO and Weinstein party down on Oscar eve

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 27th, 2011

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind.  The Indie Spirits was a lovely affair, though they really need to figure out the show aspect because it kind of fell apart this year.  I didn’t see it on television so maybe it was edited into shape, but in the room, it just felt like chaos. I […]

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Guess again: final predictions and preferences

Posted by · 10:23 am · February 27th, 2011

“Oh Sister, I have such doubts!” I’m not given to quoting overwrought (if Oscar-nominated) ecclesiastical dramas at the best of times, but let’s face it, this is not the best of times. There comes a time in every Oscar-watcher’s life when he has to accept the things he cannot change — or simply stop changing […]

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The In Contention Readership Ballot

Posted by · 10:20 am · February 27th, 2011

Today’s the big day. No more Oscar Guide, no more polls, just a few choice hours left in the season and then, the 83rd annual. (And not a moment too soon.) I appreciate everyone participating in the daily polls this month and last, which accompanied each of our Oscar Guide entries. It offers us a […]

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CINEJABBER: The light bulb’s getting dim

Posted by · 9:12 am · February 26th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here. Well.  Here we are.  It’s probably going to be kind of difficult to use this weekly open thread for anything other than Oscar chatter, given tomorrow’s festivities, but here’s the space nevertheless. The Oscar Guide has been another lovely success this year and I thank […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Picture

Posted by · 8:11 am · February 26th, 2011

And so we come to the end of this year’s Oscar Guide, and the category that has been the cause of more conversation than ever this year: Best Picture. And that can’t be overstated. I can’t recall the last time the debate around a Best Picture winner was so heated, and I’m tempted to say […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Twas the week before Oscar

Posted by · 7:00 pm · February 25th, 2011

• We made you wait for it this year, but finally: Kris’s Top 10 Shots of 2010, parts one and two. • This week’s Off the Carpet column surveyed where the season has brought us thus far, and began tying the loose ends… • …culminating later in Kris’s final Oscar predictions of the 2010 season. […]

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Just walk away: final predictions

Posted by · 4:45 pm · February 25th, 2011

While Guy is pulling his hair out (I know the feeling), I’m backing off.  At some point you have to put your pencil down and step away, and so I am. For me, the most difficult categories to pick — and the ones I found myself flip-flopping on down the stretch — were Best Supporting […]

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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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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Directing

Posted by · 9:36 am · February 25th, 2011

Coming down to the wire, the race for Best Directing remains a very close one. Earlier in the year the prevailing wisdom was that a split could be in the cards, with the Oscar-bait frontrunner more likely to win Best Picture and the zeitgeisty competition likely to see its talented helmer finally noticed. Then things […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 8:40 am · February 25th, 2011

Yesterday we began our final look at the 10 crafts categories.  Check out part one here.  Today, the conclusion.  Meanwhile, you can find my final predictions in all categories here. Best Music (Original Score) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite their atypical approach to film music composition, are very much contenders in this race. Having […]

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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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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 10:35 am · February 24th, 2011

So this is it. Over the last seven-plus months here at Tech Support, we have tried to illuminate and analyze the craft races as they unfolded. On Sunday, the winners will be revealed, ushering some new faces into Oscar’s club.  And indeed, I expect the vast majority of the winners to make their first trip […]

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