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February 2009

Clint Eastwood Receives Special Palme d’Or

Clint Eastwood Receives Special Palme d’Or

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This award was presented to Eastwood a few months before the Cannes Film Fest launches. The statement about Eastwood said was “the talent of a grand master at the summit of his craft.” Jacob said it also was a “testimony of my admiration and a quarter-century of complicity.” Eastwood will next bring the Nelson Mandela story to the big screen with Morgan Freeman in the lead. Freeman is starring with…

Nick Hornby Calls Out the Slumdog Haters

Nick Hornby Calls Out the Slumdog Haters

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Thanks to reader Fer for pointing us to this slamdunk response and perspective from Nick Hornby on Slumdog Millionaire, the intent of its filmmakers, and its odd position of now being on top: There‚Äôs a lot packed in here: the snobbery, the smug and unexamined assumptions, the writer‚Äôs apparent pride in his utter ignorance of the independent film-making process, the nonsensical contradictions (can something be both ‚Äúgarish‚Äù and ‚Äúgaggingly photogenic‚Äù?)…

Oscar Trivia – Take Your Best Shot

Oscar Trivia – Take Your Best Shot

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Alden Michaels sent this in from his site, Iconoclast Entertainment, Can you do it without googling? I know at least one of the first one. Best Picture SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE… is the first best picture winner to be set exclusively in Asia since the 1980s when there were THREE such films. Name the films Best Director DANNY BOYLE…. is the first director winner from the UK for some time. Who was…

2009′s Films of Note

2009′s Films of Note

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There are only two I can think of off the bat — The first is in wide release – Coraline for Animated Feature. The other was An Education, which spring-boarded out of Sundance thanks to the raves for its star, Carey Mulligan. In many ways, you have to appreciate the Oscar race for landing one good film in the top ten at the box office: 1. Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes…

The seeds of Slumdog’s sweep

The seeds of Slumdog’s sweep

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9-13-2008, 3:00pm, ladylurks calls it for Slumdog Millionaire Can I take a minute to reflect on the past year and the truly amazing predictive powers of our readers? One of the things Sasha does that nobody really knows about or appreciates but me is keep our vast archives active. At great effort and in spite of huge tech headaches, Sasha listens to me beg to preserve the enormous files of…

Gone but Not Forgotten

Gone but Not Forgotten

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Jon Pace writes in the comments section that we should start to look at those actors who could use a comeback a la Mickey Rourke about now. He suggests: 3. Ally Sheedy – She got nice reviews in High Art, 10+ years ago. Was never a bad actress, still looks great, and think if she got a decent supporting role directed by a talented Aronofsky-type director she would do wonders….

The Dark Knight Continues to Generate Talk

The Dark Knight Continues to Generate Talk

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I’m trying to drop it but others keep bringing it up and if they’re going to bring it up, well, what can do but go back on the offense. Sorry, readers, guilty. David Poland writes this: One of the blog commenters can’t seem to separate why Slumdog won from why The Dark Knight was not nominated. In response, I found myself explaining my TDK issues ‚Äì which are not nearly…

Films with the Best Chance of Early Hype Ruination

Films with the Best Chance of Early Hype Ruination

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I wrote a preview piece for the Oscars 2009 way back on February 9 for Variety. Here are the films that seem to have a great potential to be good, whether or not they trip the light fantastic at the Kodak or not. The names attached, the subject matter, the stars, the release date and the studio are the ingredients that often make a sight-unseen premature Oscar contender. The best…

Foundas Eviscerates The Voters over Bashir

Foundas Eviscerates The Voters over Bashir

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I was waiting to hear something from Scott Foundas at the LA Weekly, as he seems to be the one critic lately who can be counted upon to call out the Academy for their safe choices. The thing I’ve realized about the Academy is that when it comes to judging films themselves, not actors, they go by the “I just liked it” rule. They have no other criteria for judging…

The State of the Race: And So it Begins…Again

The State of the Race: And So it Begins…Again

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The day the Oscar ceremony was held, I had come down with a pretty bad cold. The season had taken its toll on me at last.¬† That made me slightly funny in the head so that I forgot to, for instance, thank Dora, who single-handedly kept the FYC gallery running this entire year. I also forgot to thank Daniel Kenealy, who wrote many articles for the site. And Nancy. And…