In Contention

Alfredon’s ‘Tinker, Tailor’ smolders on screen

Posted by · 5:23 pm · September 19th, 2011

I don’t want to write too much about “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” right now because, point blank, I want to see it again and digest and — gasp! — consider. For now, though, I’ll start with this: It’s an impeccably made, satisfyingly dense piece of work from director Tomas Alfredson. It’s the rare film that […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set […]

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REVIEW: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (***1/2)

Posted by · 8:22 am · September 5th, 2011

Venice Film Festival An uncharacteristically dark Venetian downpour greeted this morning’s premiere screening of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and if some flashbulbs of lightning last night hadn’t already previewed the turn in weather, I’d suspect the pervasively, necessarily drab atmospherics of Tomas Alfredson’s artful John le Carré adaptation of bleeding out from the screen and […]

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8/31 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Social media boost ‘The Help,’ actress Oscar plays, Bird Flu back ahead of ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:16 am · August 31st, 2011

• Anne Thompson talks to “Warrior” stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy and director Gavin O’Connor. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Lucas Kavner on the debt “The Help” owes to social media for its box office staying power. [Huffington Post] • Louis Virtel looks shines a light on five female roles that seem to have the […]

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‘Warrior’ pulls its punches

Posted by · 10:57 pm · August 19th, 2011

I have to say, even though the pieces were there and I tend to respond overwhelmingly to father/son dramas, I was really surprised at how little I felt emotionally while watching Gavin O’Connor’s “Warrior.” And O’Connor really excels at this stuff, in general, for me. But it didn’t come together this time. I feel pretty […]

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“You don’t want to be trapped inside with me, sunshine.”

Posted by · 3:12 am · July 22nd, 2011

So I was sitting down for a casual interview with Nicolas Winding Refn this evening, after seeing his ABSOLUTELY AMAZING OMFG FILM “Drive” at a special screening. Guy Pearce walks up with Tom Hardy in tow, so I couldn’t pass up the photo op. As you know, “Bronson” was comfortably one of my top 10 […]

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Bane

Posted by · 11:40 am · May 20th, 2011

Since a reader already tried to veer off-topic in another thread with this, I might as well get it out of the way. A shot of Tom Hardy as Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises,” revealed through viral marketing that will no doubt be as annoying (if not more so) as it was during the […]

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‘King’s Speech’ nabs seven BAFTA Awards

Posted by · 5:28 pm · February 13th, 2011

I had more interesting things to do at the Berlinale this evening than watch the BAFTAs, so the only commentary I can offer is on the winners list itself. And, well, it doesn’t make for terribly exciting reading. To the surprise of precisely no one, “The King’s Speech” ruled the night with seven trophies, though […]

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Hathaway set for Catwoman in ‘Dark Knight Rises,’ Hardy confirmed as Bane

Posted by · 10:24 am · January 19th, 2011

I feel compelled to pass this along in the midst of the usual Oscar talk because, well, you know me. I looks like Anne Hathaway has been confirmed for the role of Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in Christopher Nolan’s final Batman chapter, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Tom Hardy, meanwhile, who was cast in an unnamed […]

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BAFTA names Rising Star nominees

Posted by · 4:47 am · January 10th, 2011

As you know, BAFTA likes to trickle out a few awards announcements ahead of their nominations, which will be revealed next Tuesday. Last week, we had the Best Foreign Language Film nominees and general category longlists — today, we have the five finalists for their Rising Star Award. Perhaps the most unique category in a […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Supporting ladies gather, London opens, Hardy goes to Gotham

Posted by · 8:28 pm · October 15th, 2010

• Off the Carpet picked out the likeliest runners in a highly malleable Best Supporting Actress race. • We checked in on the Best Animated Feature race, where it seems we may be looking at a three-nominee field after all. • Away from the awards beat, the week’s big news was the casting of Tom […]

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Tom Hardy cast in Nolan’s next Batman film

Posted by · 10:53 am · October 13th, 2010

I kind of don’t like calling it “Batman 3,” but in any case, Mike Fleming is reporting at Deadline that Tom Hardy, star of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” has been cast in a “lead role” in the sequel to 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” Naturally, “insiders are keeping the role secret and won’t even say if he’s […]

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Tom Hardy on ‘Inception’ and being Nolan

Posted by · 11:25 am · July 7th, 2010

In Kris’s thorough rundown of the collected performances in “Inception,” I was both pleased and unsurprised to see rising British star Tom Hardy come in for praise. From the outset, his is the name I’ve been most intrigued by in the film’s formidable ensemble. Hardy has been doing stellar, even stunning, work on stage, TV […]

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On the performances of ‘Inception’

Posted by · 2:48 pm · July 6th, 2010

As a number of people have pointed by asking, my review of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” doesn’t offer much perspective on the performances in the film.  The reason is probably a combination of a few things. For starters, I wanted to be as careful as possible to write a spoiler-free review that could be enjoyed by […]

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REVIEW: “Inception” (***1/2)

Posted by · 3:00 pm · July 5th, 2010

In reviewing 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” I wrote that director Christopher Nolan “has made a brief career of exploring characters built upon their somber, in some instances twisted pasts, however distant or immediate.” The theme continues with “Inception,” a film like nothing you have ever seen before that plays out like a two-hour therapy session, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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