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    Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings

    The Gurus have spoken. Post-festivals, Alexander Payne's The Descendants (1) has taken over the frontrunner spot from Steven Spielberg's unscreened period war adventure War Horse (2). Interestingly, Spielberg was considering submitting the film to Venice but decided not to do so. He usu...

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    Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers

    The trick with the fall film festivals is to gauge expectations going in vs. what was actually achieved. Various distributors launched their fall slates, and watched with pleasure or horror at how their movies were received by audiences and critics. Oscar contenders either moved forward in the award...

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    Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

    Fox Searchlight's first trailer for The Descendants made Alexander Payne's return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004's Sideways, look like a well-meaning family drama. It's far more than that. "Alexander should make more movies," said George Clooney at t...

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    Join the Hunt for Martha Marcy May Marlene Trailers; Exclusive Preview and Photo

    Fox Searchlight is releasing two chilling new trailers for writer-director Sean Durkin's Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene--which will be screened at this fall's Toronto and New York Film Festivals before its opening October 21--but it will be tough to find them. Searchlight isn't presenting the...

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    Stoker Cast Update: Kidman, Wasikowska, Mulroney & Goode; Shooting in Nashville

    You can't go back to Bram Stoker's Dracula too many times, it seems.

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    Fest Update: J. Edgar, Margaret, Marigold Hotel To Skip Fall Fests, Twixt to Deauville

    Clint Eastwood's period biopic J. Edgar (November 9), starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the famed FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, is bypassing the fall fest circuit, according to the Toronto Star's Peter Howell. Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to take the Lance Black-scripted film, whic...

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    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Early Reviews: Clumsy Mistranslation

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, adapted from Lisa See’s 2005 novel, tells parallel stories of lifelong female friendship in 19th century China and modern Shanghai. Early reviewers find that Wayne Wang’s adaptation fails both in comparison to the novel and to his 1993 hit the Joy Luck Club.

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    Oscar Talk Mid-Summer Outlook: New Rules, Midnight in Paris, Streep vs. Close

    Kris Tapley and I reconvened over Skype for a mid-summer Oscar Talk (below). We covered quite a bit of ground. New Academy rules affect the top ten best picture ballot, VFX, documentaries and animation, but not foreign eligibility. New members may tip the scale as well on a more mainstream selection...

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    Oscar Watch: Skin I Live In Gets October Date; Carnage Goes to November, Holiday Sked Shapes Up

    The earlier a high-prestige art house movie opens in the fall, the less likely that its distributor harbors serious Oscar hopes for it. In other words, if Sony Pictures Classics moves Pedro Almodovar's retitled Skin I Live In from November to October, and slates Roman Polanski's Carnage on November ...

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    Sundance, Redford and Fukunaga Tribute Satter on the 30th Anniversary of Institute Labs

    The Sundance Institute mounted an A-list fundraiser in the dark woods at Franklin Canyon last week, complete with music by Fitz and the Tantrums. Sundance founder Robert Redford gave his trademark speech--which he delivers charmingly--about how he saw the need to counteract the prevailing studio tre...

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