THE LONG SHOT: Post early for Christmas

Posted by · 1:35 pm · October 7th, 2009

London is in the midst of a postal strike. No mail, be it far-flung postcard or electricity bill, has popped through my front door for over a month. I recently had to stroll into Soho to pick up my London Film Festival accreditation pack by hand. And rather discouragingly, my local post office today put […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: The Long Shot

Smit-McPhee and Jenkins in ‘Let the Right One In’ remake

Posted by · 2:47 pm · October 1st, 2009

Word just in from Overture Films that Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road”), Richard Jenkins (Oscar-nominated this year for “The Visitor”) and Chloe Moretz (I profess ignorance) are to headline “Let Me In,” the forthcoming and unwelcome (in these parts, anyway) U.S. remake of last year’s arthouse sensation “Let the Right One In.” The presence of Jenkins […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘The Wrestler’ wins big at the Indie Spirits

Posted by · 2:18 pm · February 21st, 2009

Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” walked away three trophies at today’s Independent Spirit Awards, including top honors for Best Actor (Mickey Rourke) and Best Feature. In his greatest acceptance speech of the season, Rourke seemed fully uninhibited, almost as if he said, “Screw it, ballots are in,” and he cut loose.  The tough guy thing poked […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Jenkins, Cruz make the talk show rounds

Posted by · 6:50 pm · February 4th, 2009

I can’t find a clip of “The Visitor” star Richard Jenkins on Letterman last night, but here’s a look at the actor’s visit to the couch of “The View”: And Penelope Cruz doing her duty on Leno:

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The Bagger finds the meaning

Posted by · 5:05 am · January 30th, 2009

There are few journalists with as sharp an understanding of the tunnel vision that affects award-season coverage as David Carr.  So it’s with a guard of irony that, in yesterday’s ruminative NYT piece, he describes this year’s race as “somehow less frivolous than it has (been) in recent years.” While he acknowledges the comparative slightness […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SANTA BARBARA: Writers talk writing, Cruz walks the red carpet

Posted by · 11:38 am · January 25th, 2009

Yesterday was another busy event day for the Santa Barbara fest.  It was a shame the Director’s Panel was canceled, but participant Andrew Stanton switched gears to join Robert Knott (“Appaloosa”), Tom McCarthy (“The Visitor”) and Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) for an Anne Thompson-moderated discussion on their work at the keyboard this year. It was […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

After cooling off a bit…

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 23rd, 2009

Yesterday the Academy displayed just what a fractured organization they are, championing a small film like “Slumdog Millionaire,” for which I applaud them, but snubbing “The Dark Knight,” one of the best reviewed films of the year and a titan at the box office. All day I was asking, ‘How?’  All day I wondered just […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

BAFTA predictions

Posted by · 2:00 pm · January 14th, 2009

The BAFTA nominations drop tomorrow, and while I hardly covered myself in glory with my foreign film Oscar forecast yesterday, I’m going to wade into the murky waters of prediction once more. On the one hand, it’s a fool’s errand trying to predict the BAFTA nods, as they can frequently be the most perverse and contrarian awards […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WGA nominees

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 7th, 2009

Original Screenplay “Burn After Reading” (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) “Milk” (Dustin Lance Black) “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (Woody Allen) “The Visitor” (Thomas McCarthy) “The Wrestler” (Robert Siegel) Adapted Screenplay “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Eric Roth; screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald) “The Dark […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Guessing the WGA: the originals

Posted by · 7:39 pm · January 6th, 2009

I almost let this one slip by without taking a stab at it.  It’s all happening! Anyway, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) will be announcing its list of screen nominees tomorrow.  I figured I’d take an in-depth look at both categories, starting with the original scripts, which provide a much broader field than the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

1/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:58 am · January 5th, 2009

• “Che” tops David Poland’s top 10 list, which also includes…”Mamma Mia!”  That’s originality for ya. [The Hot Blog] • David Carr does some number crunching on a few Best Picture contenders. [The Carpetbagger] • Michael Cieply spends some time with the producers of this year’s Oscar telecast. [New York Times] • Lewis Beale on […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

My picks for the 10 BEST films of the year

Posted by · 11:04 am · December 29th, 2008

It’s no secret that I don’t expect 2008 to be remembered as a banner year for cinema, though with that said, there are plenty of exceptional films to be remembered. Perhaps 2007 spoiled us and got our hopes up and 2008 brought far too many let downs and disappointments from great filmmakers. Usually when I […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Sean Penn on course for Oscar #2, and he deserves it

Posted by · 7:36 am · December 14th, 2008

With two of the major critics awards won, actor Sean Penn seems to be headed for his second Academy Award for Best Actor for his brilliant work in “Milk.” Penn’s work through the 1980s and 1990s defined him as one of the greatest actors of his generation (if not the best) and certainly on the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily · Featured

Waiting on the Gotham crowd

Posted by · 6:03 am · December 10th, 2008

Alright, so last year, the NYFCC announcement came down close to 10:00 a.m. PST, so I expect in the next few hours we’ll have some answers.  You can check on the group’s official site to watch the winners clock in as announced (unless something changes this year), but for now, I’ll wager a couple of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

And the Oscar for Cutest Swag goes to…

Posted by · 7:47 am · December 4th, 2008

… Overture Films, for this miniature djembe drum sent all the way from Beverly Hills to London to promote “The Visitor.” Well, it made me smile. Incidentally, the soundtrack — by Oscar-winner Jan A.P. Kaczmarek — is really rather lovely.

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Downey, Jenkins among EW’s Entertainers of the Year

Posted by · 3:36 pm · November 13th, 2008

It’s interesting to note that, in addition to citations for the respective casts of “The Dark Knight” and “Sex and the City: The Movie,” only five film actors made EW’s recently unveiled list of the 25 Entertainers of the Year. (Six if you count their #2 pick, Tina Fey — which I don’t.) Perhaps it […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

REVIEW: “Last Chance Harvey” (***)

Posted by · 7:42 am · November 9th, 2008

Remember “Falling in Love?” I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t. A modest join-the-dots 1984 romantic drama charting the will-they-won’t-they courtship between two married New York commuters, it should never have gone beyond the dimensions of a TV screen… …but for the fact that the two commuters happened to be played by Robert De Niro […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Featured · Reviews

WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Button’ rises, ‘Torino’ surfaces, ‘Doubt’ swoops

Posted by · 6:30 am · October 25th, 2008

Apologies for the slightly delayed wrap. Much to discuss this week — here are the highlights: • With some formerly hot prospects now off the radar, this week’s Off the Carpet column surveys the landscape, and concludes that things look good for “Benjamin Button.” • “The Soloist” withdrew as the AFI fest opener; their loss […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily