Guardian does the ‘all-time greatest’ meme

Posted by · 6:05 pm · October 21st, 2010

Ah, lists. The gift that keeps giving — particularly in the world of film blogging, where they provide snappy short-form content, invite numerous comments and generate multiple hits when spread across a zillion pages. Last year’s flood of end-of-decade countdowns surely satisfied even the most ardent list fanatic for a good few months, but with […]

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‘White Ribbon,’ Bertolucci win BBC World Cinema Awards

Posted by · 2:49 pm · October 11th, 2010

Fear not, you haven’t entered a very somber Tardis and woken up in December 2009. The BBC World Cinema Award is a small but creditable gong dished out annually to honor the best in foreign-language film — but due to a significant change in the show’s calendar, this year’s award effectively spanned the last two […]

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Was that so hard?

Posted by · 11:30 am · March 15th, 2010

As a film-poster enthusiast, one of my bigger headscratchers from last year was why, with so many vivid stills to work with, the publicity team behind “The White Ribbon” couldn’t devise a one-sheet that didn’t look either fan-made or positively medicinal. Leave it to Australia’s Jeremy Saunders to finally cobble together a real poster — […]

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If YOU had a ballot

Posted by · 11:52 am · March 7th, 2010

Tonight’s the big night, and as we close in on the final hours of the 2009-2010 film awards season, I thought I’d offer up this list (another one!), which reflects how you, the readership, would like the night’s festivities to go.  These are the results of the daily polls that accompanied our Oscar Guide series […]

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Ranking the categories

Posted by · 5:51 am · March 7th, 2010

Ah, Oscar lists — the gift that keeps giving. I’m not going to ape Kris’s impressive ranking of all the nominated features: we’d have the same #1, for starters, and we’re agreeing on far too many things these days. So here’s something else to play with. I’ve had a number of emails asking me how […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 12:01 pm · March 4th, 2010

Welcome to the first of two (and the only two) categories that have me pulling my hair out. The cinematography race is a strange breed this year. There isn’t the usual one or two “pretty” films that turn the Academy on at large, nothing with sweeping vistas and postcard composition, all the stuff that allows […]

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Stumping for (or against) Mauro Fiore

Posted by · 8:32 am · March 2nd, 2010

This year, one of the biggest trip hazards for those filling out their office Oscar pool sheets is the Best Cinematography awards. A race with four potential victors (sorry, “Harry Potter” fans) and wildly mixed signals from the precursors, there’s less consensus over this one than any of the feature categories. We’ll put the debate […]

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‘The White Ribbon’ wins the ASC award

Posted by · 10:12 pm · February 27th, 2010

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Stunning fluid master

Posted by · 11:16 am · February 25th, 2010

I was reading through this Awards Daily post concerning the foreign language film race (wherein Sasha Stone is quite flattering) and a link in one of the comments caught my attention. I love fluid master shots.  “Touch of Evil,” “The Player,” “Boogie Nights,” I love them.  Sometimes they’re thematically relevant, other times they’re just a […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 18th, 2010

The foreign Language film category has been marred in controversy for the last few years. When films like “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” and “Persepolis” were unceremoniously nixed from the field a few years ago, a special new “executive committee” was established to have final say on the fallen, hopefully saving the committee […]

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S&S slams awards “xenophobia”

Posted by · 2:04 pm · February 6th, 2010

Being a fairly highbrow cineastes’ mag, Sight & Sound tends to keep a safe distance from awards season — which is probably just as well, if Nick James’s grim-faced editorial on the subject is anything to go by. Like many British journalists, James’s analysis of the Oscar race is a little wobbly: he states that […]

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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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Calling the longshots

Posted by · 5:47 pm · February 1st, 2010

So this Steve Pond piece, titled “How Oscar Could Surprise — and Scare — Us,” is what we like to call hedging our bets.  It’s a chance to address some bubble matters so that we have something to point to and say, “Look, I toldja!” (Is that officially trademarked by Nikki Finke yet?) Anyway, I […]

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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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My dream ballot: part one

Posted by · 7:32 pm · January 31st, 2010

As I did last year, I’m preparing for Tuesday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations by running through my own favorites in each category — following on from the ideal ballots posted by Kris and Chad in the past few weeks. “Preparing” isn’t quite the word: it implies a link between the processes of predicting and […]

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Foreign notes

Posted by · 12:08 pm · January 20th, 2010

Well, as I suspected, my predictions for the Academy’s foreign film shortlist were mainly off the mark, though I maintained my 4-from-9 strike rate from last year … so, yay for consistency. That said, I’m not terribly surprised by the films that did make the cut. As I wrote earlier today, I knew one of […]

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Academy’s foreign shortlist unveiled

Posted by · 10:18 am · January 20th, 2010

Well, Guy nailed down four of them.  But you just never know what this controversial branch is going to do.  I’d love to know what the secondary committee had to re-institute (probably “A Prophet”), but nevertheless, we have our nine. The only films I was predicting that didn’t make the cut are “Backyard” from Mexico […]

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Waiting on Oscar’s foreign language shortlist

Posted by · 8:29 am · January 20th, 2010

Last Saturday, the Academy concluded four months of screenings of the 65 films in contention for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film award. Today, that tall pile of titles will be culled to a shortlist of just nine contenders, from which the eventual five nominees will be chosen. Making predictions here is a pretty thankless […]

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