OFF THE CARPET: Sun came up

Posted by · 9:11 am · February 28th, 2011

Steven Spielberg couldn’t have put it more concisely during his presentation of the Best Picture category last night.  To paraphrase, he noted that whichever films did not happen to win Best Picture this year would join the ranks of numerous classics of the medium. Was it preemptive damage control?  I hope not.  Why be apologetic?  […]

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Filed in: Off the Carpet

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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Filed in: Daily

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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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Twas the week before Oscar

Posted by · 7:00 pm · February 25th, 2011

• We made you wait for it this year, but finally: Kris’s Top 10 Shots of 2010, parts one and two. • This week’s Off the Carpet column surveyed where the season has brought us thus far, and began tying the loose ends… • …culminating later in Kris’s final Oscar predictions of the 2010 season. […]

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How ‘Salt’ could surprise and win Best Sound Mixing

Posted by · 10:21 am · February 25th, 2011

I stopped researching somewhere in the 1970s, but as far as I can tell going back that far, the Best Sound Mixing (formerly Best Sound) category has never included more than three Best Picture nominees. In a number of cases there were two, a great many years saw one and often enough, there were none. […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Directing

Posted by · 9:36 am · February 25th, 2011

Coming down to the wire, the race for Best Directing remains a very close one. Earlier in the year the prevailing wisdom was that a split could be in the cards, with the Oscar-bait frontrunner more likely to win Best Picture and the zeitgeisty competition likely to see its talented helmer finally noticed. Then things […]

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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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INTERVIEW: Talking westerns and only westerns with ‘True Grit’ actor Jeff Bridges

Posted by · 1:26 pm · February 24th, 2011

Last year was the best opportunity to do the career retrospective thing with Jeff Bridges, right at the starting gun of an Oscar-winning steamroll through the film awards season. This time around, the actor is nominated for his sixth Academy Award, for his work in the Coen brothers’ “True Grit,” and it seemed a conversation […]

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Filed in: Interviews

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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2/24 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Hanks to present two off the bat, Elton John on Best Actress, Twitter Best Pic reviews

Posted by · 9:07 am · February 24th, 2011

• Pete Hammond reports that Tom Hanks will present Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography to start the show, so we’ll know very quickly if a sweep for “The King’s Speech” is afoot. [Deadline] • Glenn Kenny talks up the underrated “Shutter Island” a year after its release. [The Film Talk] • It’s been a […]

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Filed in: Daily

The top 10 shots of 2010: part two

Posted by · 10:49 am · February 23rd, 2011

In case you missed part one of this year’s top shots column, be sure to catch up before digging into the final five selections today. As I mentioned yesterday, it wasn’t exactly a banner year for singular images from films in 2010. And that’s certainly not a crime. But more to the point, what I […]

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Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Actor

Posted by · 9:52 am · February 23rd, 2011

The 2010 Best Actor race looks to end up exactly where it started, making it the most predictable category of the evening. In fact, as of late (save for the two Oscars Sean Penn won), this has consistently been one of the easier categories to call. Generally it seems that there is a clear favorite […]

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2/23 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Leo speaks again on Adgate, hosts speak out on show, Burwell on ‘Grit’ score

Posted by · 8:14 am · February 23rd, 2011

• Melissa Leo tells a different story on Adgate: She was doing what Parmount told her to do. [Daily Beast] • Telecast hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway in their first interview on the upcoming festivities. [Hollywood Reporter] • Meanwhile, Tom Sherak tells Susan Wloszczyna we’ll like the style of the show. [USA Today]

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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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Filed in: Box Office

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 10:19 am · February 15th, 2011

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) dished out its annual kudos this weekend, which makes for a nice segue into a discussion of the year’s nominees for Best Cinematography. But it’s important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to guessing what the Academy at large will spring for in this field. […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Sound Mixing

Posted by · 9:59 am · February 14th, 2011

I feel like we’ve done a pretty decent job of educating some of our readership on the difference between Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing over the last five years here at In Contention. It struck me that we haven’t really covered it in a focused way this season, and the Oscar Guide seems […]

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BOX OFFICE: Bieber fever

Posted by · 11:13 am · February 13th, 2011

All four at the top are new releases, but “Black Swan” will cross $100 million tomorrow or Tuesday, “The King’s Speech” will get there next weekend, and “True Grit” is at $160 million and climbing. (Courtesy: Exhibitor Relations)

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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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Filed in: Oscar Guide