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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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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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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The five categories giving me hell

Posted by · 3:48 pm · February 25th, 2011

With a little over 48 hours until the big night, I find myself in an uncommon state of disarray — my crammed Oscar weekend “To Do” list includes viewing all 15 short nominees in order to make an informed dart-throw of a prediction (stickler that I am, I held out for a theatrical screening), preparing […]

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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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BOX OFFICE: ‘Swan,’ ‘Speech’ cross $100 million

Posted by · 10:36 am · February 20th, 2011

The headline says it all. The two films join “Toy Story 3,” “Inception” and “True Grit” as the only Best Picture nominees to reach that mark this year. “The Fighter” has slowed too much to get there and a re-release of “The Social Network” didn’t go as well as planned in that regard. (Courtesy: Exhibitor […]

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‘Social,’ ‘Alice’ win ACE awards

Posted by · 9:31 pm · February 19th, 2011

Alright, so I should have gone with what I said was the safe bet for the ACE drama Eddie.  Rather than making history by awarding a film not nominated for the editing Oscar and giving it to the truly deserving contender, “Inception,” the editors decided to rethink it and go with “The Social Network” instead.  […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘Toy Story 3’ composer and songwriter Randy Newman

Posted by · 11:29 am · February 17th, 2011

When the Oscar nominations were announced last month, composer Alan Menken almost tied Randy Newman for third-most nominations among living artists.  But Newman inched away, nabbing his own nomination for the song “We Belong Together” (listen) from “Toy Story 3” and thereby maintaining a firm grip on the designation. It was Newman’s 20th nomination to […]

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Bingham wins a Grammy, set for Bonnaroo

Posted by · 10:37 am · February 15th, 2011

I didn’t see the Grammys this weekend.  In fact, I tend to avoid them like the plague.  But it was nevertheless an impressive slate of winners, so that’s a unique start. In any case, it’s worth pointing out that Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett’s “The Weary Kind” wrapped up a long awards march by […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Sound Editing

Posted by · 9:57 am · February 11th, 2011

A few years back the sound branch did away with the bake-off process of determining its nominees for Best Sound Editing and the field was expanded to five. The visual effects branch followed suit this year and, maybe some day, the makeup branch will do the same. The sound branch is unique in that it […]

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Pixar on growing up, and playing for the big Oscar

Posted by · 12:08 pm · February 10th, 2011

As Kris noted in our Oscar Guide for Best Animated Feature (and whatever the Annie Awards would have you believe), the category doesn’t promise much of a race this year — as has been the case for the last three years running, Pixar faces an obstacle-free path to the award, despite quality competition. And with […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Posted by · 10:05 am · February 7th, 2011

This year’s race for Best Adapted Screenplay has seemingly been the most predictable of the year. One script has dominated the precursor circuit and the name behind that script is as worthy as ever given his contributions to the medium over the years. I’m not particularly a fan of this slate. One script is an […]

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Clean sweep for ‘Dragon’ at Annie Awards

Posted by · 5:20 am · February 6th, 2011

(Sorry we’re a bit late getting to this — Kris had more exciting plans for the evening and I like to sleep sometimes.) It’s a shame one can’t talk about “How to Train Your Dragon”‘s success at the Annie Awards without dragging politics into it. There are those of us who think it legitimately deserves […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 51 — The new frontrunner, Santa Barbara tributes and panels, potential Oscar upsets

Posted by · 12:26 pm · February 4th, 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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Phase two campaign messages give it their best shot

Posted by · 10:38 am · February 4th, 2011

I’ve been, unintentionally, taking note of the various tactics this year’s Best Picture hopefuls have been using as phase two barrels ahead and members have ballots in hand. The smartest stroke, I think, was The Weinstein Company following up the “Some Movies You See, Others You Feel” campaign with a “Find Your Voice” push for […]

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Best Original Song performances are back

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 4th, 2011

The Academy’s Twitter feed just noted the following: You heard it 1st: Best Song performances are back for 83rd #Oscars! Gwyneth Paltrow set to sing…more on the way. To which I say: Great.  It was grossly disrespectful, I thought, to suddenly jerk them from the telecast last year (and if you heard some of the […]

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Could there be another ‘Network’ dagger lurking?

Posted by · 1:33 pm · February 3rd, 2011

I’m really not trying to drop another grenade on the season here, but I was wondering recently about surprises this year and whether there are more in store.  And one undeniable shock would be an upset in the Best Adapted Screenplay race. Some would point to “True Grit” or “Winter’s Bone” as the likely runner-ups […]

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