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Tag : State of the Race


The State of the Race: Fumbling Towards Enlightenment

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The Oscars can be a kaleidoscope view of our world — spectacular and surreal. Or they can be a microscope, honing in with sharp perspective on matters we’re obliged to observe with crystal clarity. The themes that course through this year’s Oscar race for Best Picture will likely be far more consequential than stories of a king from the 1930s who stuttered or a silent movie star who lost his…


The State of the Oscar Race – And of These, Hope

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With two weeks before the US Presidential election, nerves are frayed. The horses are kicking in their stalls. Cumulonimbus clouds on the horizon and a country sharply divided. Oscar season had no choice but to start early this year. With ballots being turned in very early in January, there are just two months left to lay it all out. At the end of November and early December we’ll get our…


The State of the Race: Selling a True Hero in the Age of the Snark

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Some days it’s a rough go, filtering life through the waves of chatter online. Much of the time it’s even worse than high school — it’s middle school.  In all the ways people can be disappointing they rise to that occasion online every day.  And so it is into this atmosphere of pointing and laughing, hipper than thou, too cool for school and fear of not being in the hep…

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The State of the Race: Wanted – Best Picture Front-Runner, Must Love Dogs

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[buzz] As we head into Toronto, we still don’t have our presumed front-runner for Best Picture, unless it’s Argo, which it very well might be. Recent history has shown us that we’ve already seen our winner someplace by now. That makes it all the weirder that we’re headed into TIFF without one bobbing to the surface. Since 2007 when No Country for Old Men won, every BP winner has been…

The State of the Race: In Gods we Trust (and Giveaway)

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[details at the bottom of the post] “They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare. Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. ‘O brave new world!’ Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibility of transforming even the nightmare into something fine…


The State of the Race: Of Bridesmaids and Dragon Tattoos – Year of the Woman or Just Another Year?

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  It was hard not to notice Robin Wright at the Critics Choice awards, striding out onto the stage with her still impossibly youthful legs, and announcing that 2011 was the Year of the Woman.  She referenced Bridesmaids and Dragon Tattoos, probably because she couldn’t say housemaids.   Either way, Bridesmaids, The Help and The Girl with Dragon Tattoo have reinvented what defines a hit and what defines an “Oscar movie.”…

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The State of the Race: DGA Fallout – And Yeah, David Fincher

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It’s been a funny year for Oscar movies. The trial separation between critics and the industry has widened to a full blown divorce. The Artist and Moneyball are heading down the track to Oscar’s Best Picture with the most outstanding response from critics. Decent reviews have befallen most of the other top films, but only those two received near universal acclaim. It isn’t that the critics didn’t love any movies,…


The State of the Race — Rage Against the Machine

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  Reviews, like the Oscars, like your own impressions, are moments in time captured.  Some of that enthusiasm or hatred will last a long time.  You might be surprised to find, for instance, that Chicago got more scores of 100 on Metacritic than American Beauty, The English Patient, Unforgiven, and the Silence of the Lambs.  You might also find that no film ever won Best Picture since 1990 without having…

The State of the Race — Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

The State of the Race — Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

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Every year, hope springs eternal until the awards actually start being handed out. The disappointment of not seeing your favorite film remembered and awarded is probably the worst part of the year. And of course, the flipside, when you see a movie you loved honored what could be better. Last year when The Social Network swept the National Board of Review it was not only like Christmas morning for me…

The State of the Race: First out of the Gate

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The decision to move the New York Film Critics up to be announced before the National Board of Review was an interesting experiment. I don’t know if it will prove worthwhile when all is said and done; after all, one of the NBR’s biggest problems, and blessings I suppose, is that their awards seemed to always reflect the race as it stood early, before things got swinging.  It could turn…