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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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Costume Design

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 10th, 2011

This year’s race for Best Costume Design became mired in controversy later in the season as a dispute erupted over proper credit in “Black Swan.” Amy Westcott was listed as responsible for the threads, but fashion duo Rodarte had a significant hand in concocting the performance costumes on the film — and were denied credit, […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Analyzing the nominees

Posted by · 11:53 am · January 28th, 2011

So the 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations were finally announced this week, and I did fairly well in handicapping the nominees. Outside of Best Sound Mixing, I never missed more than one nominee in a category. Unfortunately, there were no categories where I scored 100% (apart from Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay). Oh well. […]

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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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12/21 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: 248 films up for Oscar, Franco’s reps cautioned against hosting, Gibney’s top 10

Posted by · 6:32 am · December 21st, 2010

• The Academy announces 248 feature films eligible for this year’s Best Picture Oscar. [Oscars.org] • James Franco’s reps advised him against hosting the Oscars (naturally). [Awards Campaign] • Mike Fleming, meanwhile, chats with Franco’s co-host (and “Love & Other Drugs” star) Anne Hathaway, [Deadline]

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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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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume II

Posted by · 8:19 pm · December 2nd, 2010

I find it somewhat appropriate to be ending my in-depth looks at the crafts categories with a discussion of Best Visual Effects. This is, after all, a category which awards the sort of behind-the-scenes crafts work that is often prominently displayed in advertisements and talked about with reverence after the film ends. When looking at […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 12:35 pm · November 12th, 2010

A great score can take a film from memorable to unforgettable.  Whether it be Vangelis’s synthesizer on the beach in “Chariots of Fire,” Nino Rota’s haunting waltz from “The Godfather” or John Williams’s blaring, adventurous march from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” scores can elevate amazing images to bring the director’s vision to even greater […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume II

Posted by · 9:13 am · November 4th, 2010

As I said last week (and have said several times before), no category is year-in and-year-out more perplexing than Best Makeup. Each year, this branch finds ways to turn otherwise dubious awards contenders into bona fide Oscar nominees — dubious because often nominees might be abysmal or relatively obscure.  The branch seems to have its […]

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‘Harry Potter’ designer accused of fashion plagiarism

Posted by · 4:17 am · October 27th, 2010

Way back in the mists of 2001, the very first “Harry Potter” screen outing (don’t ask me to distinguish the titles) received an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. It even managed to win the Costume Designers’ Guild award — and that was before they created a separate category for fantasy film. No subsequent entry […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Costume Design — Volume II

Posted by · 9:49 am · October 22nd, 2010

Glitz and glamor.  Period prestige.  Newbie talent and old favorites.  How is the race for Best Costume Design shaping up this year? In my opinion, Jenny Beavan is leading the way at this point in time. Beavan earned six nominations in the 1980s and 1990s for her work on Merchant-Ivory films, winning for “A Room […]

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Helen Mirren: everywhere and nowhere

Posted by · 5:43 pm · October 19th, 2010

Amid the club of stars surfacing in two or more 2010 releases — Leonardo DiCaprio, Annette Bening, Chloe Moretz, and so on — has anyone been more ineffectually ubiquitous than Helen Mirren? The 65 year-old Brit has been working steadily since her Oscar win nearly four years ago, but apparently cracked the secret of human […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Art Direction — Volume II

Posted by · 10:56 am · October 7th, 2010

Oh how things have changed since I last wrote in this space. In the past four weeks, Tech Support has taken a break, allowing the dust from the festival circuit to settle, and other titles to open. Over the next 10 weeks, we’ll take a second look at each of the crafts categories, finishing in […]

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‘The Tempest’ trailer

Posted by · 11:01 am · October 5th, 2010

Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” has been getting knocked around ever since it hit the festival circuit last month. You’ll recall Guy was no fan at Venice (to put it lightly). But now a trailer for the film has hit, and indeed, while it looks like a crafts showcase, it has more than its share of […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Venice winners, Toronto bites, ‘Network’ raves

Posted by · 7:05 pm · September 17th, 2010

• Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” surprised many by taking top honors at the Venice Film Festival; we took a closer look at the Lido winners. • Meanwhile, we were considerably less than wowed by the festival closer, Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest.” • This week’s Off the Carpet column reflected on the unusual depth of this year’s […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The year of the woman, take two?

Posted by · 9:11 am · September 13th, 2010

It wasn’t by coincidence that the three photos decorating the season’s introductory installment of this column two weeks ago represented lead actress contenders in the 2010 Oscar race. After all the talk of 2009 being “the year of the woman,” owing much to the number of female directors who found themselves in the mix (and […]

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REVIEW: “The Tempest” (*)

Posted by · 3:52 am · September 11th, 2010

Venice Film Festival If any one title in the Shakespeare library has been sufficiently fiddled about with on screen, it’s “The Tempest,” among the most tonally malleable of his comedies, and a fantasy that gifts filmmakers with obvious opportunities for spectacle. “Forbidden Planet,” a terrific 1956 sci-fi riff on the play, perhaps took this adaptability […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Commence au festival (season)!

Posted by · 2:08 pm · September 6th, 2010

Without question, the film launching full speed ahead and into the Oscar season this week is Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech.” I truly haven’t heard an unkind word about the film all weekend here in Telluride, and I imagine that goodwill will continue into the Toronto fest this week as well. I can easily see […]

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