‘White Ribbon,’ Bertolucci win BBC World Cinema Awards

Posted by · 2:49 pm · October 11th, 2010

Fear not, you haven’t entered a very somber Tardis and woken up in December 2009. The BBC World Cinema Award is a small but creditable gong dished out annually to honor the best in foreign-language film — but due to a significant change in the show’s calendar, this year’s award effectively spanned the last two […]

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The making of a surprise

Posted by · 7:43 am · February 16th, 2010

I think it’s fairly inarguable that this year’s most unexpected Oscar nomination was the deserved Best Animated Feature nod for “The Secret of Kells,” the Irish festival creeper that some journos even admitted to not having heard of. If you had your money on that one, you have my respect in addition to your fortune. […]

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Predict the NSFC Awards

Posted by · 7:03 pm · January 2nd, 2010

Tomorrow my personal favorite precursor body, the National Society of Film Critics, will announce their 2009 winners. Regular awards-watchers will know that the NSFC is generally the most highbrow of the critics’ groups, as well as the most independent-minded — last year, they went wholly against the Oscar grain, giving Best Picture to “Waltz With […]

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THE LONG SHOT: What are precursors for, anyway?

Posted by · 11:00 am · September 30th, 2009

I didn’t time my holiday to coincide with the sleepiest week of awards season, but that’s how it panned out anyway. While I spent 10 days drinking my way along the canals of France’s Burgundy region, divorced from my computer screen and, I admit, any thoughts of Oscar whatsoever, the industry, too, took a collective […]

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Thoughts on Cannes, Huppert and ‘Up’

Posted by · 2:52 am · March 20th, 2009

Dull but hindering circumstances kept me offline yesterday, so I couldn’t get to the Cannes/”Up” news that Kris recently posted. By the way, before I get into that, can I just say what a great choice the Cannes organisers have made in selecting Isabelle Huppert as their jury president this year? It’s been a while […]

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More than one ‘right’ choice

Posted by · 10:47 am · February 27th, 2009

In the largely good-natured responses to a largely good-natured Oscar ceremony, only one result has been greeted with any real rancour from critics or pundits –- the “upset” (anticipated by some clever folks at the eleventh hour) in the Best Foreign Language Film category. But as much sympathy as one feels for the disappointed team […]

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A private function

Posted by · 9:08 am · February 23rd, 2009

When all is said and done, it wasn’t an awards season that deserved a fireworks finish, so perhaps last night’s muted, largely tasteful, faintly insular ceremony was an appropriate summation. It ran smoothly enough, with a handful of novel distractions and a uniformly generous, empathetic spirit running through the night’s speeches –- but I’d be […]

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2/22 Oscarweb Round-up (OSCAR DAY EDITION)

Posted by · 5:57 am · February 22nd, 2009

• David Carr tugs the heart strings with a nice write-up on “Smile Pinki” subject Pinki Kumari Sonkar. [The Carpetbagger] • Tom O’Neil warns of the kiss of death that the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor has become. [Gold Derby] • Another tired Oscar bitch-slap piece from traditional media. [New York Times] • Gideon […]

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More on ‘Departures’ and a potential foreign upset

Posted by · 4:35 pm · February 21st, 2009

UPDATE: Well, it seems Tom has pulled the post down.  Perhaps, as commenter Josh notes, he got his info a bit twisted.  I’ll leave this here for now but check Josh’s explanation of the process.  The waters were muddied there for a bit. EARLIER: Tom O’Neil writes the following over at Gold Derby: A few […]

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Going with ‘Departures’

Posted by · 11:09 am · February 21st, 2009

I said yesterday that if I got cold feet on any of my predictions I would let you know, and less than 24 hours later, I’ve decided to take the dive on “Departures.” A lot of foreign film committee members really responded to this film, and it’s easy to see why.  It is “the kind […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Taking a final stab

Posted by · 11:05 am · February 20th, 2009

Well, this is what it all boils down to.  I almost DON’T want to go on the record, but I kind of have to, right? Anyway, this is the first year I’ve actually seen every single nominated frame of film before the big night so these will either be the most educated guesses I’ve ever […]

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Could ‘Departures’ upset ‘Waltz with Bashir’ in the foreign language film category?

Posted by · 10:09 am · February 20th, 2009

Now that I’ve finally seen Japanese foreign film contender “Departures,” the last of the year’s nominees that had yet to cross my path, I thought it a good idea to go ahead and toss up a final look at the foreign language film category.  Over the last few weeks I’ve dived into the short film […]

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Is ‘The Class’ in a position to upset ‘Bashir?’

Posted by · 6:34 pm · February 12th, 2009

(UPDATE: I see Dave Karger is placing his money on “The Class” too. Interesting.) Yesterday, Kris took a look at the Best Documentary Feature category, and wondered whether the winner there is quite the foregone conclusion that most people think. Supporting his argument was the category’s unusual rule that voters have to have seen all […]

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Start from scratch, Academy

Posted by · 6:19 am · February 12th, 2009

I do love a good rant about the Academy Awards. And Ryan Gilbey is, for my money, one of the sharpest, most entertaining film writers around these days. So it figures that a Gilbey-written attack on the Oscars, in the lefty political mag the New Statesman, should make for good reading. Gilbey cheerfully admits that […]

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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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‘Wrestler’ rules London crix awards

Posted by · 3:15 pm · February 4th, 2009

The London Film Critics’ Circle have just announced their winners, and I have to say they’ve done a pretty terrific job. (I discussed the nominations here.) The really heartening news is that “The Wrestler” finally has another Best Picture award to its credit, five months after taking the Golden Lion at Venice — who would […]

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Here’s a question…

Posted by · 3:57 pm · February 1st, 2009

Okay, so I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but this just occurred to me today, after Ari Folman’s semi-surprising win at last night’s DGA awards. So I ask you: Why was “Waltz With Bashir” eligible for the DGA, but “WALL-E” wasn’t? Anybody?

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Wow, ‘Man on Wire’ lost something…

Posted by · 6:06 am · February 1st, 2009

… as “Waltz With Bashir” helmer Ari Folman beat James Marsh in the Documentary category at the DGA Awards. Not that it means anything really in the grand scheme of things but, y’know, interesting. (I’d say it seals up “Bashir”‘s probable victory in the foreign-language race, but if there’s one Oscar category that’s resistant to […]

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