In Contention

OFF THE CARPET: The great, appreciated unknown

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 5:47 pm · September 19th, 2011

As we move out of the Toronto fray, Venice and Telluride already a memory, we look to the season ahead. The starting gun echo of those three early fall festivals is beginning to fade away, and with the dust settled or settling, it’s interesting to note the lack of an inarguable emerging player. In fact, [...]

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Alfredon’s ‘Tinker, Tailor’ smolders on screen

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 5:23 pm · September 19th, 2011

I don’t want to write too much about “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” right now because, point blank, I want to see it again and digest and — gasp! — consider. For now, though, I’ll start with this: It’s an impeccably made, satisfyingly dense piece of work from director Tomas Alfredson. It’s the rare film that [...]

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9/19 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Toronto Oscar bounces, threads in ‘Drive,’ adaptng le Carre

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 8:54 am · September 19th, 2011

• Anne Thompson talks “Rampart” with writer/director Oren Moverman. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Greg Ellwood ponders who got an Oscar bounce out of Toronto. [Awards Campaign] • Simon Kinnear on the clothing designs of “Drive.” [Clothes on Film]

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Gary Oldman writes up Coppola across the pond

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 12:10 pm · September 15th, 2011

Here’s a nice change of pace. On the occasion of the UK opening of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” London’s Telegraph newspaper has commissioned actor Gary Oldman for his thoughts on director Francis Ford Coppola. It’s kind of random, though. Yeah, Oldman starred in Coppola’s 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” but there’s no real connection otherwise. [...]

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Tailoring ‘Tailor’

Posted by Guy Lodge · 5:56 pm · September 12th, 2011

One craft aspect I didn’t get around to praising in last week’s review of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is the immaculate costuming by Jacqueline Durran — a designer with only 11 feature credits under her belt, yet one who already seems something of an institution. Durran is one of those rare designers capable of equal [...]

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‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ US trailer

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 11:49 am · September 12th, 2011

I’m hoping to see Tomas Alfredson’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” soon-ish. It has a solid track out of Venice for a spot as the thinking man’s Best Picture play (especially considering the British vote). The US trailer sets up the intrigue nicely for those on these shores, nevertheless opting to go back to the international [...]

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OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly [...]

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9/12 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Clooney on self-competition, Woodley ready for her close-up, genre movies at the Oscars

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 8:03 am · September 12th, 2011

• Bill Desowitz calls “The Lion King 3D,” which hits theaters Friday, “a noteworthy achievement for post-converting hand-drawn animation.” Agreed. He also talks to those responsible for it. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Clooney: Clooney vs. Cooney just hype. [Variety] • Shailene Woodley, meanwhile, is ready for her close-up in Toronto. [The Guardian]

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Venice awards make a stand

Posted by Guy Lodge · 11:05 am · September 11th, 2011

To judge from the press reaction to yesterday’s Venice Film Festival awards, you could be forgiven for thinking that Michael Fassbender won every single one of them, plus an extra certificate for full attendance. That’d hardly be surprising in any circumstances, given Fassbender’s growing celebrity and the media’s reliable aversion to world cinema. Best Actor [...]

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VENICE: What will win… and what should

Posted by Guy Lodge · 2:13 pm · September 9th, 2011

This year’s Competition strand of the Venice Film comprised 23 films — a large-ish number by major festival standards, and yet it still feels remarkably thin. Admittedly, I’m viewing the field with a slight eyepatch on, having only seen 17 of the 23 films. Yet compared to last year’s lineup — where the successes ranged [...]

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Domestic ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ poster and featurette

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:11 am · September 8th, 2011

So it looks like the visual plan for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” is keeping it similar to the international look, judging by the domestic poster that hit the net yesterday. I think the first is a little more refined, but I still dig it. Check out the full image, plus a new featurette for the [...]

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9/8 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Pond picks Payne, Von Trier steps in it further, Waxman knocks ‘Warrior’ strategy

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 8:59 am · September 8th, 2011

• Steve Pond lays it all out for “The Descendants” winning Best Picture, trying to make good on his two-year streak (though at least he had seen the other two before making those calls). [The Odds] • At Telluride, meanwhile, Sasha Stone laid down a cool 20-spot on Viola Davis taking Best Actress. (I’m a [...]

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Oscar hopes for Venice flicks

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 6:01 pm · September 6th, 2011

I had asked Guy for a quick one-off on each of the Oscar-contending films he’s seen at Venice so far. I was going to use it for today’s Off the Carpet column, but I published before he got around to it. Nevertheless, it’s worth boiling things down (from his perspective), so here’s what he’s thinking [...]

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OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set [...]

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9/6 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Nolte on ‘Warrior,’ southern perspective on ‘The Help,’ Oscar plays out of Telluride

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 9:50 am · September 6th, 2011

• Nick Nolte talks “Warrior.” [Making Of] • A little southern perspective on “The Help.” [Los Angeles Times] • Greg Wellwood considers who got an Oscar boost at Telluride and who didn’t. [Awards Campaign]

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REVIEW: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (***1/2)

Posted by Guy Lodge · 8:22 am · September 5th, 2011

Venice Film Festival An uncharacteristically dark Venetian downpour greeted this morning’s premiere screening of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and if some flashbulbs of lightning last night hadn’t already previewed the turn in weather, I’d suspect the pervasively, necessarily drab atmospherics of Tomas Alfredson’s artful John le Carré adaptation of bleeding out from the screen and [...]

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9/5 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Murphy upside, ‘The Help’ abroad, comparing two ‘Straw Dogs’

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 7:02 am · September 5th, 2011

• S.T. VanAirsdale looks for the upside in Eddie Murphy potentially hosting the Oscars. [Movieline] • Nicole Sperling writes up Tilda Swinton’s tribute track at Telluride and Toronto. [24 Frames] • Emma Stone and Viola Davis talk about “The Help”‘s appeal abroad. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by Guy Lodge · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the [...]

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