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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TELLURIDE: Michael Fassbender and a tale of two movies

Posted by · 11:54 pm · September 4th, 2011

Today’s screening of “Shame” was the big note of anticipation for me at this year’s Telluride fest. After bowing in Venice earlier this morning to generally positive praise, my hopes were still high that Steve McQueen made good on the promise of “Hunger” three years ago. And did he ever. I’m tired, at the end […]

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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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OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

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The Great Performances: 2005

Posted by · 5:07 pm · December 18th, 2009

2005 was the year of Heath Ledger’s beautiful, moving performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” which I saw for the first time in Toronto.  It instantly became the talk of the festival, and the film became the one to beat for the Academy Award. Ledger was astonishing as the taciturn cowboy who is more surprised than anybody […]

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The actor as auteur

Posted by · 5:27 am · December 10th, 2009

One of my current favorite film writers, Ryan Gilbey, has written an excellent New Statesman piece reflecting on the past decade in film acting. In it, he argues that the 2000s have gone some way towards blurring the definitions of ‘star’ and ‘character actor,’ and singling out the achievements of three actors in particular: Unconsciously […]

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Don’t you clean up nice?

Posted by · 9:23 am · December 9th, 2009

After the widely criticized “de-gaying” of “A Single Man,” The Weinstein Company’s next marketing project appears to be the “de-gritting” of “The Road.” How else to explain the choice of a tidily mustachioed Viggo Mortensen and a radiantly smiling Charlize Theron as the largest images in this FYC ad? Never mind that they appear in […]

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The Great Performances: 2003

Posted by · 9:14 am · December 4th, 2009

There is little doubt in my mind I am going to take some heat this week, so let’s kick it off right away with my belief that Sean Penn deserved his Best Actor Oscar for “Mystic River,” a performance of overwhelming ferocity and staggering emotional power. Yes, I too loved Bill Murray in “Lost in […]

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11/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:12 am · November 30th, 2009

• David Poland painstakingly seeks out assumed evidence to support his theory that “The Hurt Locker” will be this year’s Best Picture victor. [Movie City News] • John Horn sits down with “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher. [Los Angeles Times] • Dave Karger chats up Viggo Mortensen and his “Road” co-star Kodi Smit-McPhee. [Oscar Watch]

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11/27 Osarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:35 am · November 27th, 2009

• The significance of “Nine” for Anthony Minghella’s legacy. [The Guardian] • Steven Zeitchik catches on to the year’s thin original screenplay race and bangs the drum for “Sugar.” [Risky Business] • Lauren Shucker talks “Up in the Air” with director Jason Reitman. [Wall Street Journal]

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Hillcoat on ‘The Road,’ Mortensen from Telluride, featurette

Posted by · 8:16 am · November 23rd, 2009

(Courtesy: MakingOf) And while we’re at it, with the film hitting limited release this weekend, it seems only apt to point you to my interview with Viggo Mortensen out of Telluride in September.  Give that a listen here or via the player below.  Check out a featurette on the film after the jump. [display_podcast]

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David Poland’s Oscar underdogs … where are the ladies?

Posted by · 1:50 pm · November 13th, 2009

For those of you bored of reading the same ever-narrowing list of names in the assorted Oscar-speculation pieces across the web, David Poland’s latest column is a slight breath of fresh air. Decrying the fact that many pundits are making ludicrous long-shot calls like “This Is It” for Best Picture, while ignoring more deserving contenders […]

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‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Woman Without Piano,’ ‘Ajami’ honored at AFI

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

Life came calling earlier this week, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to as many AFI Fest screenings and events as I had hoped.  I did catch Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” however (a bizarre, confusing misstep with a wonderful performance from Heath Ledger) and “Everybody’s Fine” (D.O.A.). I also caught […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading gentlemen

Posted by · 10:31 am · November 2nd, 2009

We’ve taken concentrated looks at the lead actress and supporting actress categories in recent weeks.  Now let’s turn our attention over to the fellas. Behind the Best Picture race, of course, the lead actor competition is perhaps the most hotly anticipated award of a given Oscar telecast.  Movie stars are born, Hollywood staples are rewarded […]

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Enter AFI

Posted by · 9:49 am · November 2nd, 2009

I haven’t had a chance to preview/write-up AFI Fest due to some a dizzying weekend and family obligations, but I should probably do that with the festivities entering a fourth day. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” kicked things off last week and with the festival moving from the Arclight on Sunset to the historic Chinese Theatre on […]

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AFI Fest announces line-up, Mortensen and Plummer tributes, ‘Single Man’ closer

Posted by · 10:52 am · October 14th, 2009

AFI Fest is right around the corner here in Los Angeles.  Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” has already been announced as the opening night gala.  Today’s release reveals that Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” will close out the fest. Additionally, tributes have been announced for Viggo Mortensen (his second festival tribute of the season, FYI) […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Suiting up

Posted by · 12:46 pm · September 21st, 2009

You might have noticed this morning’s round-up reverted back to “Oscarweb.”  The big late-summer festival trilogy wrapped up with Toronto’s kudo-dishing over the weekend and on the other side, we face the long haul.  The season is officially here.  You ready? As punishing as it feels, I’m still excited for our weekly coverage.  Punishing because […]

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TORONTO: More on ‘The Road’

Posted by · 8:20 am · September 15th, 2009

There were some complaints in yesterday’s Toronto thread that I wasn’t specific enough as to why I enjoyed John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” so let me make it clear. The film captures, miraculously, in its performances and its images, a profound sense of loss, both for what was and for what will never be. Trees fall […]

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