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Category : State of the Race


The State of the Race: Fruitvale Station Poised to Make Oscar History

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As of this moment, only two films look poised to enter the Best Picture race with a golden ticket. Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. Already a champ at Sundance, an impressive reception at the Cannes Film Fest, with rave reviews from the critics who matter, and a director who is poised to make film and Oscar history becoming only the second black filmmaker to earn Best Director…


The State of the Race: Oscar’s Best Picture Road Map Thus Far

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In one sense, the Oscars continue to matter as much, maybe more, than they ever have. For the past ten or twenty years, the number of films that are good enough to get awards attention has been shrinking. If it weren’t for the Oscars and the additional money they generate, would the incentive to make prestige films be vanishing even faster? The Oscar race is virtually an industry unto itself….

Saying Goodbye to Oscars 2012 and Thanks

Saying Goodbye to Oscars 2012 and Thanks

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My Oscar year started on the French riviera. It was cold and raining. Without the sunshine glimmering off the pavement we were instead teased by all of that sunlight in Rust and Bone, one of the more memorable films from Cannes. When you leave the cloistered confines of Los Angeles, you are no longer obligated to follow the rules we all live by unquestionably. Movie stars are pretty here, and…


The State of the Race: Who Controls the Academy Awards?

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It’s been a rough year for Zero Dark Thirty fans, a rougher year for Lincoln fans. Starting as far back as October with the systemic and relentless takedown over at, Lincoln could not catch a break. The top pundits in the field like Steve Pond and Dave Karger knew in their bones Lincoln was “too boring” to win, that too many people “didn’t like it.” It didn’t pass the…


The State of the Race: Out from the Grizzly Maze

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“If you are losing a tug of war with a tiger, give him the rope before he gets to your arm. You can always buy a new rope.” – Max Gunther A quick timeline: January 10th – Oscar nominations, Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow left off January 10th – Ben Affleck wins Best Picture and Director at the BFCA January 13th – Ben Affleck wins Best Picture and Best Director…


The State of the Race: “Movies Now More than Ever”

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“Old endgame lost of old, play and lose and have done with losing.” –Samuel Beckett The Oscar race is all over but the shouting.  History will be made one way or another. History already has been made once the Academy pushed their ballot deadline to occur before the big guilds announced.  That one little move forever altered the race, throwing it into complete chaos.  The truth is we think we…

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The State of the Race: Searching for Soderbergh — Baby Let Me Follow You Down

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“There are a lot of people to thank. Rather than thank some of them publicly, I think I’ll thank all of them privately. What I want to say is — I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music… Anybody who spends part of their day…

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The State of the Race: Do the Guilds Tell Oscar What to Do?

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“People will think…” “What I tell them to think.” — Citizen Kane This year has set up a situation where it really does test the influence of the growing guilds. So much so that you have to wonder whether there is any point to having an Academy at all.  Why bother inviting members or creating an exclusivity when anyone can basically join these other large guilds if they work in…

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The State of the Race: Ruminating on Argo as The Frontrunner

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Before I begin, let me explain. It’s true that we’ve reached the moment in every Oscar year where the pundits and the bloggers have thrown up their hands and decided, the Oscar race is over.  Argo will win Best Picture and for the win to make sense it has to take Screenplay, Editing and perhaps one other award — score? Supporting Actor? Sound? Something in me prevents me from being…


The State of the Race: The Winners Circle

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  “Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The stealthy Oscar campaign behind this year’s stunning victory lap by Ben Affleck and his Argo-movie-that-could are the same folks, not too surprisingly, who were behind Crash’s victory against Brokeback. This is a stealthy crew who don’t want you…