OFF THE CARPET: The great, appreciated unknown

Posted by · 5:47 pm · September 19th, 2011

As we move out of the Toronto fray, Venice and Telluride already a memory, we look to the season ahead. The starting gun echo of those three early fall festivals is beginning to fade away, and with the dust settled or settling, it’s interesting to note the lack of an inarguable emerging player. In fact, […]

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VENICE: ‘Faust’ wins Golden Lion, Fassbender takes Volpi Cup for Best Actor

Posted by · 10:53 am · September 10th, 2011

Guy is currently in transit from Venice (where, once again, he offered some bang-up coverage throughout — much appreciated). I’ll let him address the bulk of this when he touches down, but for now, a big win out of the festival for “Shame” in Michael Fassbender’s Volpi Cup victory. In accepting the award, Fassbender tipped […]

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VENICE: Delicious ‘Damsels’ breaks the Closing Night curse

Posted by · 9:57 am · September 10th, 2011

“Oh, Christ, that means it’s going to be shit,” wailed a friend of mine, an ardent devotee of long-dormant American auteur Whit Stillman, when the director’s new film, “Damsels in Distress,” was announced as the Closing Night film of this year’s Venice Film Festival. I consoled him that it needn’t be the case, but only […]

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VENICE: What will win… and what should

Posted by · 2:13 pm · September 9th, 2011

This year’s Competition strand of the Venice Film comprised 23 films — a large-ish number by major festival standards, and yet it still feels remarkably thin. Admittedly, I’m viewing the field with a slight eyepatch on, having only seen 17 of the 23 films. Yet compared to last year’s lineup — where the successes ranged […]

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VENICE: ‘Texas Killing Fields,’ ‘Faust,’ competition stragglers

Posted by · 7:39 am · September 9th, 2011

After a ten-day, 23-film Venice Competition that started slowly but respectably, hit a healthy stride midway through and began wheezing with exhaustion in its closing stages, things have finally ground to a permanent halt with “Texas Killing Fields” (**), the sophomore feature from Ami Canaan Mann — daughter of Michael,  who predictably takes a producer […]

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VENICE: ‘Killer Joe,’ ‘The Exchange,’ ‘4:44: Last Day on Earth’

Posted by · 10:11 am · September 8th, 2011

With two days to go until wrap-up, and a host of journalists having defected to Toronto, one can feel the air not-so-slowly hissing out of the Venice balloon. And while this certainly has its upsides — it no longer takes half an hour to get an espresso as the festival café, for example — it’s […]

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9/8 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Pond picks Payne, Von Trier steps in it further, Waxman knocks ‘Warrior’ strategy

Posted by · 8:59 am · September 8th, 2011

• Steve Pond lays it all out for “The Descendants” winning Best Picture, trying to make good on his two-year streak (though at least he had seen the other two before making those calls). [The Odds] • At Telluride, meanwhile, Sasha Stone laid down a cool 20-spot on Viola Davis taking Best Actress. (I’m a […]

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REVIEW: “Wuthering Heights” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:41 am · September 7th, 2011

Venice Film Festival British filmmaker Andrea Arnold would have been 16 years old when Kate Bush topped the UK pop charts with “Wuthering Heights,” a swirling art-rock ballad that stripped the Emily Brontë novel for which it is named down to a few key lines and narrative details, but evoked its grand-scale tragic romance in […]

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Oscar hopes for Venice flicks

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 6th, 2011

I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far. I was going to use it for today’s Off the Carpet column, but I published before he got around to it. Nevertheless, it’s worth boiling things down (from his perspective), so here’s what he’s thinking […]

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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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9/6 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Nolte on ‘Warrior,’ southern perspective on ‘The Help,’ Oscar plays out of Telluride

Posted by · 9:50 am · September 6th, 2011

• Nick Nolte talks “Warrior.” [Making Of] • A little southern perspective on “The Help.” [Los Angeles Times] • Greg Wellwood considers who got an Oscar boost at Telluride and who didn’t. [Awards Campaign]

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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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VENICE: ‘Dark Horse,’ ‘Chicken With Plums,’ ‘Sal’

Posted by · 4:53 am · September 5th, 2011

(Review of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” landing later this morning. Hang tight.) Todd Solondz has forged a loyal friendship with the Venice Film Festival across the second half of his career: all three of his last features have premiered here. Their mutual devotion somewhat surprises me, given that both Solondz screenings I’ve now attended on […]

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REVIEW: “Shame” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:36 am · September 4th, 2011

Venice Film Festival If “Hunger,” artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen’s remarkable debut feature, was a study of a body strenuously denied its fundamental needs, his satisfyingly rigorous, explicit follow-up, “Shame,” traces the very different damage done by a body over-gifted with wants. A sternly formalist parable on the pruning and stunting of relationships both familial and carnal […]

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Jessica Chastain wins award in Venice — more to come?

Posted by · 4:38 pm · September 3rd, 2011

Nathaniel Rogers tipped me off today to the fact that Jessica Chastain has won her first (of many?) award of the season in Venice. The prize, presented by “W.E.” director Madonna, was the Gucci Award for Women in Film. And it’s a pretty good pick when you consider how prolific she is this year. Chastain […]

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VENICE: ‘Alps’ and other drugs

Posted by · 11:57 am · September 3rd, 2011

The first few days of the Venice Film Festival were so jam-packed with the big-name premieres you’ve been most restless to hear about that, between thrashing out full-length individual reviews of those and negotiating the braided Venice obstacles of crippling humidity and crippled wi-fi facilities, my usual roundups of less flashy fare got a bit […]

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REVIEW: “A Dangerous Method” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:50 am · September 2nd, 2011

Venice Film Festival “Do you think they know we’re on our way, bringing them the plague?” So asks Viggo Mortensen’s Sigmund Freud of his younger colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), as the two approach New York City to gift the untreated denizens of America with their equally grueling brands of psychoanalysis, in the closing stretch […]

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OSCAR TALK: Ep. 59 — Venice thoughts from Guy Lodge, debating ‘The Artist’, Telluride musings and Soderbergh’s stripped-down ‘Contagion’

Posted by · 8:04 am · September 2nd, 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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