Guy’s top 50 of the decade: #31-40

Posted by · 5:00 pm · January 3rd, 2010

Yesterday, I began my countdown of my 50 favorite — do note that last word, I hesitate to say “best” — films of the 2000s. Today, we creep up another ten rungs on the ladder. I wrote this in my introduction to the list yesterday, but it bears repeating: don’t read too much into the […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Post early for Christmas

Posted by · 1:35 pm · October 7th, 2009

London is in the midst of a postal strike. No mail, be it far-flung postcard or electricity bill, has popped through my front door for over a month. I recently had to stroll into Soho to pick up my London Film Festival accreditation pack by hand. And rather discouragingly, my local post office today put […]

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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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Wishing Adam Yauch a speedy recovery

Posted by · 12:27 pm · July 20th, 2009

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (aka MCA) has been diagnosed with cancer in his salivary gland.  We at In Contention wish him a fast and speedy recovery following his upcoming surgery. A lifelong Beasties fan I may be (I’ve seen them live twice here in LA), but Yauch is also a hero to the independent film […]

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Not getting it

Posted by · 10:42 am · April 6th, 2009

A little over six months ago, I saw “Goodbye Solo,” Ramin Bahrani’s highly regarded fourth feature film, at the London Film Festival. As I said in my capsule review at the time, I found several elements to like in this genial, commendably sincere work — not least a greatly moving performance from 71 year-old former […]

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My dream ballot: part two

Posted by · 12:24 pm · January 21st, 2009

OK, I explained the deal with this yesterday, when I covered the technical categories. What follows are the names and films that I, in a perfect world, would like to hear announced by Sid Ganis and Forest Whitaker bright and early tomorrow morning. (Or tomorrow afternoon, in my case … living across the Atlantic does […]

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Another gong for ‘WALL-E’

Posted by · 4:37 pm · January 19th, 2009

I must admit, I’m not really clear on what, or who, the Online Film Critics Society are — there are just so many critics’ awards these days, I can’t really keep up. I can say, however, that they have pretty commendable taste, as they became the latest group to give “WALL-E” their top honour, and […]

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For the completists

Posted by · 2:20 pm · January 4th, 2009

Over at Gold Derby, Tom O’Neil lists all the runners-up (with points tallies) from yesterday’s National Society of Film Critics awards, along with other gossipy tidbits from the days proceedings. (Most stupid/amusing nugget: Eve, the eerily Applesque female robot from “WALL-E,” garnered a lone Best Actress vote.) The full list is below the cut, but […]

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Small pleasures: Guy’s best (and worst) of 2008

Posted by · 1:14 pm · January 2nd, 2009

It’s a lovely thing when you realize, at least part of the way through adulthood, that we still possess the ability to surprise ourselves. When left to graze at leisure, the mind can stumble upon some unexpected notions, frequently overriding the conclusions we thought we had reached after twelve months of watching, writing and (occasionally […]

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INTERVIEW: Michelle Williams

Posted by · 8:27 am · December 31st, 2008

Fate can have a bittersweet sense of timing, and Michelle Williams understands this better than most. A 2008 that started bleakly with the passing of Heath Ledger, her former partner and the father of her daughter, has ended as a professional banner year for the 28 year-old actress. A triptych of startling performances in a […]

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12/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:43 am · December 29th, 2008

• Anita Singh looks at the upcoming year of the dog for British movie-goers, including “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Bolt,” “Marley and Me” and “Wendy and Lucy.” [Daily Telegraph] • “A Christmas Tale” tops Andrew O’Hehir’s list of the 10 best indie films of 2008. [Beyond the Multiplex] • Jonathan Miles talks to newly minted Oscar […]

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‘WALL-E,’ ‘Red Balloon’ head up top 10 list compilations

Posted by · 9:46 am · December 27th, 2008

Once upon a time there was a great website run by a fella named Engin that tracked top 10 lists at this time of year.  It was one hell of a comprehensive collective, but I haven’t heard from him in a few years. David Poland at Movie City News has done a nice enough job […]

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‘Slumdog’ dominates the critics awards circuit

Posted by · 9:56 am · December 22nd, 2008

It looks like the critics groups are slowly winding down this season, the annual influx finally settling in for a post-glut nap.  I believe the only organizations left to announce are the Kansas City, Vancouver and Central Ohio crowds, as well as the National Society of Film Critics, all of whom should reveal their winners […]

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Toronto loves ‘Wendy and Lucy’

Posted by · 3:17 am · December 17th, 2008

I’m not trying to keep up with the plethora of obscure critics’ awards anymore — with all due respect to the good people of Dallas or Tulsa or Albequerque or wherever, I don’t particularly care what their critics have to say. Harsh, but true. So from here on out, the only critics’ picks worth mentioning […]

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AFI list a blend of commercial and independent cinema

Posted by · 1:56 pm · December 14th, 2008

The American Film Institute has unveiled its schizophrenic list of the top 10 films of the year, and it’s a strangely delightful mixture of populist choices and more fringe contenders. The appearance of “Iron Man” is as interesting as “Wendy and Lucy” popping up, but I don’t think this collective will do much to help […]

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12/13 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:27 am · December 14th, 2008

• Rod Lurie wants to steer comparisons of “Nothing But the Truth” away from Judith Miller, evokes Susan McDougal. [Los Angeles Times] • The company behind releasing his film, meanwhile, goes into chapter 11. [Variety] • Is the Academy ready to award digital performances? [Variety] • Sasha Stone spotlights the seasons actor reunions. [Awards Daily] […]

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With love from me to you

Posted by · 9:53 am · December 2nd, 2008

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed Variety’s recent series of articles in which prominent actors champion some of their personal favourite performances of 2008, including many of the most discussed contenders of the season. It’s a simple idea, but executed with real thought and sincerity. The pieces are interesting not just because of the more […]

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Standing up for the women

Posted by · 6:43 pm · November 14th, 2008

Kim Voynar has a sharp piece up at MCN in which she decries the absence of female-focused (and female-directed) films from the top line of Oscar contenders. Of particular irritation to her is that femme-driven films like “Rachel Getting Married,” “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “I’ve Loved You So Long,” “Frozen River” and “Wendy and Lucy” — the latter […]

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