THE LISTS: Top 10 actors under 30

Posted by · 10:39 am · October 6th, 2009

I wrote recently about how this year’s Best Actress race seems to ushering in a striking new wave of young talent, from the elfin throwback charm of Carey Mulligan to the rawer screen presence of Gabourey Sidibe, while a range of youthful names, from the long-hyped Abbie Cornish to the out-of-nowhere Katie Jarvis, have been […]

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Woody does Paris

Posted by · 9:53 am · June 30th, 2009

Among the many things I love about Woody Allen — his staying power, his eye for talent, more masterpieces than I can count on two hands — is the fact that whenever anyone refers to “the untitled Woody Allen project,” one usually has to ask which one they mean. His unfailing film-a-year work ethic means […]

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Mixed-to-positive notices for ‘Whatever Works’

Posted by · 5:09 pm · April 23rd, 2009

Even with the success of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” having partially righted the course of Woody Allen’s career, I can’t help holding my breath when the reviews roll in for his latest effort. Few auteurs inspire more haphazard uses of the term “return to form” (roughly applied to anything that doesn’t go completely off the rails […]

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Is Clarkson one to watch for ‘Whatever Works?’

Posted by · 3:57 am · April 3rd, 2009

As Penélope Cruz, Dianne Wiest, Mira Sorvino and assorted nominees over the years can attest, if you’re an actress hungry for some awards attention, you can do a lot worse than take a supporting role in an (at least) halfway decent Woody Allen film. (Unless, of course, you’re Scarlett Johansson, who’s still holding an IOU […]

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‘The Wrestler’ wins big at the Indie Spirits

Posted by · 2:18 pm · February 21st, 2009

Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” walked away three trophies at today’s Independent Spirit Awards, including top honors for Best Actor (Mickey Rourke) and Best Feature. In his greatest acceptance speech of the season, Rourke seemed fully uninhibited, almost as if he said, “Screw it, ballots are in,” and he cut loose.  The tough guy thing poked […]

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Who deserves it? Poll results!

Posted by · 7:09 am · February 20th, 2009

The readership of In Contention has spoken.  Here’s who you all think deserves to win across the 24 Oscar categories we polled you on.  A couple of these races were very close but we didn’t have time to revisit the couple of categories that were decided by less than 10 votes.  Anyway, it’ll be interesting […]

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‘Slumdog’ tonight, too?

Posted by · 11:27 am · February 15th, 2009

In addition to the ADG award “Slumdog Millionaire” took yesterday, the Cinema Audio Society also bestowed it with their award in something of a surprise (I’d say).  I usually go to that ceremony, but with it being Valentine’s Day, other duties beckoned. I will, however, be at tonight’s ACE Eddies ceremony, so look for a […]

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Is Amy Adams a threat after all?

Posted by · 8:43 am · February 11th, 2009

Tariq Khan thinks so. Tom O’Neil reports that the Fox News pundit is predicting a major upset by the “Doubt” star, largely on the basis of what he perceives as “soft support” for frontrunner Penelope Cruz. Before you dismiss his ideas completely, it’s worth pointing out that his track record is pretty strong — he […]

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Pedro Almodovar starts the buzz on Penelope Cruz in 2009

Posted by · 8:16 am · February 9th, 2009

Writing in the weekend’s New York Times Magazine, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar becomes one of the first to begin spitballing the efforts of an actress we’re likely to be talking about this time next year: Last year she finally came into her own in America, as she had already done in the rest of the world. […]

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Predicting BAFTA, part two — main categories

Posted by · 4:20 pm · February 7th, 2009

Continuing yesterday’s not-so-educated guesses at tomorrow’s BAFTA Awards, we move on the main categories. In many ways, they’re easier to predict than the frequently confounding technical categories, but that’s no reason to get complacent – as we saw last year with then-unexpected wins for Tilda Swinton and Marion Cotillard, BAFTA is more than capable of […]

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Jenkins, Cruz make the talk show rounds

Posted by · 6:50 pm · February 4th, 2009

I can’t find a clip of “The Visitor” star Richard Jenkins on Letterman last night, but here’s a look at the actor’s visit to the couch of “The View”: And Penelope Cruz doing her duty on Leno:

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SANTA BARBARA: Writers talk writing, Cruz walks the red carpet

Posted by · 11:38 am · January 25th, 2009

Yesterday was another busy event day for the Santa Barbara fest.  It was a shame the Director’s Panel was canceled, but participant Andrew Stanton switched gears to join Robert Knott (“Appaloosa”), Tom McCarthy (“The Visitor”) and Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) for an Anne Thompson-moderated discussion on their work at the keyboard this year. It was […]

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January winner predictions

Posted by · 8:16 am · January 22nd, 2009

Onward. I bet Fox Searchlight wants this phase two to go by as fast as possible. Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire” Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire” Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk” Best Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader” Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” Best Adapted […]

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Golden Globes: Feeling the love

Posted by · 1:06 pm · January 12th, 2009

As I curled on the couch in the wee small hours of the morning, watching last night’s Golden Globes telecast with only a hot toddy and a handful of chatty IC commenters for company, it occurred to me that I was hearing an awful lot of one word as the evening unfolded. And that word […]

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ACE nominees

Posted by · 8:59 am · January 12th, 2009

They sure cranked these out early this morning.  Thanks to N8 for posting in the comments section.  This year’s American Cinema Editors (ACE) nominees are: Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter) “The Dark Knight” (Lee Smith, A.C.E.) “Frost/Nixon” (Mike Hill, A.C.E. & Dan Hanley, A.C.E.) […]

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Guessing the Globes

Posted by · 12:01 pm · January 11th, 2009

UPDATE: That pesky Best Actor (Comedy/Musical) category has been running through my head all day, and I’m still not happy with my conclusion. So I’m making a last minute switch to Colin Farrell. I’ll probably be proved wrong in a few hours, but hey — there’s gotta be a surprise somewhere. Right? EARLIER: Well, hello there. […]

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BAFTA Orange Rising Star nominees

Posted by · 10:46 am · January 8th, 2009

Guy has already touched upon some BAFTA coverage today.  The Brits like to draw out their nominations process as long is possible, and good on ’em for it.  You gotta compete in this flurry of awards season announcements. Anyway, the nominees for the Orange Rising Star award were announced earlier today, and they are: Michael […]

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WGA nominees

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 7th, 2009

Original Screenplay “Burn After Reading” (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) “Milk” (Dustin Lance Black) “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (Woody Allen) “The Visitor” (Thomas McCarthy) “The Wrestler” (Robert Siegel) Adapted Screenplay “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Eric Roth; screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald) “The Dark […]

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