Bottoming out: the debacle that was last night’s Oscars

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The Oscar telecast has been in terrible trouble — as a TV show — for quite a while now, basically because all of those other movie awards shows have stolen its thunder. 30 or 40 years ago, Oscar night was unique — it was the one time each year when television celebrated movies. The film […] [Read More]

Scenes from Judi Dench’s brilliant career

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Judi Dench sets us straight right at the start of her brisk new memoir, “And Furthermore” (St. Martin’s Press): “I do not consider this an autobiography. I have neither the time nor the skill to write one, and John Miller has covered much of my life in his 1998 biography, the seventieth birthday book from […] [Read More]

Oscar roulette: or, don’t forget the year ‘Crash’ won

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay For a few weeks every year, people who aren’t even that interested in movies get all worked up about the Oscars — hoping their favorite films and actors win. Just as the Super Bowl […] [Read More]

Best director: Can David Ficher score an upset?

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay Oscar history tells us that the winner of the Directors Guild of America award almost always wins the Academy Award in that category, so it seems likely that DGA recipient Tom Hooper’s name will […] [Read More]

Best actor: Dust off your mantle, Mr. Firth!

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay A lock, a lead pipe cinch, no contest. Choose your term for “no surprises here” and you can apply it to Colin Firth’s great performance in “The King’s Speech” (he’s also being honored for […] [Read More]

Best actress: The deranged ballerina vs. the worried lesbian

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams all gave outstanding performances that merited being nominated, but if any of those names are called out Sunday night, you will hear a collective gasp at the […] [Read More]

Best supporting actor: A second Oscar for Geoffrey Rush?

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay Most industry analysts assume Christian Bale will win here for his powerhouse work in “The Fighter” but I think a “King’s Speech” sweep might come into play. SHOULD WIN: Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech” […] [Read More]

Best supporting actress: Will a ‘King’s Speech” sweep include HBC?

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay The supporting categories have traditionally resulted in some of the most surprising Oscar wins — i.e. Marisa Tomei in “My Cousin Vinny.” The prognosticators mostly say that Melissa Leo will win in this division […] [Read More]

Best adapted screenplay: The movie of the year gets thrown a bone

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QUICK VIEW- Who will win? Best Picture | Director | Actor | Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting actress | Screenplay Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for “The Social Network” is an amazing combination of fact and fiction, the best thing of its kind since William Goldman’s work on “All the President’s Men.” SHOULD WIN: Aaron Sorkin, […] [Read More]

Amanda Knox: cold-blooded killer or victim?

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Controversy has been swirling around the made-for-Lifetime movie, “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” set to debut Monday night at 9 p.m. Knox’s parents have made legal threats to stop the airing of the dramatization, but then they faced their own crisis when it was announced last week that they will have to go […] [Read More]