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Awards

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    Julie & Julia Targets Women, G.I. Joe Goes for Guys

    Am I the only one who feels bombarded by too much PR on Julie & Julia? It’s worth seeing for the incandescent performance of Meryl Streep as the big, bubbly, adorable chef Julia Child, who was very much a product of her time. Stanley Tucci is equally charming as her mousy, adoring husband. Both shou...

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    Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer

    A while back, DreamWorks showed me some footage from Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones ; I was knocked out by what I saw. The film looked strong, different, unusual. The images popped. Saoirse Ronin (Atonement) plays the 14-yea...

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    Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker

    Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, where I interviewed the director at the start of her long road to the Oscars (below). Jeremy Renner breaks out with this movie, which drew raves when it opened June 26 in limited release. Finally, The...

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    An Education Poised for Awards Contention

    Lone Scherfig and Nick Hornby's An Education emerged from Sundance as a serious awards contender. Anyone who saw the film there witnessed a remarkable debut: Carey Mulligan boasts Audrey Hepburn-style class, charisma and smarts. In the film, she's well-cast as a sharp and sexy 60s high schooler burs...

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    Fox Searchlight's Crazy Heart Acquisition Marks Changing Market

    In one of the first acquisitions since Peter Rice left Fox Searchlight to run Fox TV, Searchlight co-presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula acquired worldwide rights to rookie director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart, which stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country star and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a young rep...

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    Oscar Watch: Summer Crop Could Go All the Way

    With the field for the best picture Oscar broadened to ten, a batch of summer movies are now positioned for possible inclusion. Yes, year-end movies still have the advantage. It used to be that a summer movie had to be strong and the late-season weak for it to make the top five (think Sea Biscuit, A...

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    Oscar Watch: Summer Crop Could Go All the Way

    With the field for the best picture Oscar broadened to ten, a batch of summer movies are now positioned for possible inclusion. Yes, year-end movies still have the advantage. It used to be that a summer movie had to be strong and the late-season weak for it to make the top five (think Sea Biscuit, A...

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    Oscar Rule Change: Ten Best Lists

    A film historian of the 60s and 70s sent me his best guesses at what ten best Oscar lists would have been between 1967 and 1979. What's fascinating, assuming he's making reasonably inside-ballpark calls here, is that adding five sometimes improves the choices, and often does not. But while my write-in academic knows a lot about the period he's writing about, we can't help but see these movies now as their standing has changed over time. As examples, Cool Hand Luke, The Battle of Algiers, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all boast more stature now than they did when they came out. Bottom line though, the Academy ha...

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    Academy Invites New Members, Oscar Host Jackman

    The Academy has invited 134 new members, many of them long overdue, from actor Hugh Jackman--who wasn't a member when he hosted the Oscars on February 22--and producer Paula Wagner to directors Danny Boyle and Henry Selick, execs Daniel Battsek and Joe Drake, and writers John August and Howard A. Ro...

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    Oscar Rule Change Follow-ups

    The changing Oscar rules are still a hot topic these days. At an Academy screening of Cheri last weekend (more on that anon), some members wanted to be consulted, while others feel that the Board of Governors did its job. One member who sees everything and votes with the foreign branch doesn't care ...

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