Archive for the ‘Oscar Watch’ category

Wrestler flashback: choice quotes from the New York Film Festival

January 23, 2009

Last fall, the Film Society was thrilled to host the cast and crew of The Wrestler during the New York Film Festival. Now that Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei have racked up well-deserved Oscar nods, we’d like to bring you these quotes from their festival press conference.

Mickey Rourke, Darren Aronofsky, Marisa Tomei, Scott Franklin

“There have been so many boxing movies–it’s become its own genre–and yet no one had made a serious film about wrestling.”

-Darren Aronofsky

Mickey Rourke

“Darren had a ring put in his office, and every day for two hours Darren made go practice with these guys…Wrestling and boxing are like ping pong and rugby. With wrestling, everything is choreographed like a dance and you work with another person to achieve something that looks magical…These guys really put their ass on the line working off the adrenaline of the crowd.”

-Mickey Rourke on training for his starring role the The Wrestler

Marisa Tomei

“Darren did not put a strip pole in his office.”

-Marisa Tomei on preparing for her role as a stripper in The Wrestler

Our first poll! Weigh in on Oscar’s most tragic shut-outs

January 22, 2009

And the nominees are…

January 22, 2009

The nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards are in! Below, in bold, films that have shown at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in the past year.

Stay tuned to the filmlinc blog for ace Oscar handicapping. With our tips, this is the year you win that office pool!

What do you think of the nominees this year? Sound off in the comments!


* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
* “Milk” (Focus Features)
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight)


* Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
* Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
* Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)


* Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
* Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
* Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)


* Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
* Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)


* Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
* Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)


* “Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
* “The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
* “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt


* “Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda

* “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle


* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle


* “The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production, Germany
* “The Class” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France
* “Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
* “Revanche” (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria
* “Waltz with Bashir” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel


* “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
* “Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
* “The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
* “Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
* “Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal


* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
* “Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
* “Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
* “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy


* “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
* “Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
* “In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
* “Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

The Ram’s gearing up for his biggest match yet…the Oscars

January 20, 2009


Allow us a blast from the past for a moment: The Wrestler closed the 46th annual New York Film Festival last October, but it’s generating a lot of Oscar buzz. And if you’re checking it out in theaters now, you may enjoy some of our past coverage:

Read NYFF festival correspondent Tom Treanor’s review.

Watch one of FilmCatcher’s excellent video interviews, this one with Darren Arronofsky.

Heck, checkout New York Mag’s hilarious “Ten Things You Need to Know About The Wrestler”

See all of our Wrestler coverage

More from the Eastwood Roundatable: Visualizing the “Eastwood Look”

January 8, 2009

A great series of videos from Kevin Lee that help further put the career of Clint Eastwood in perspective. Above, the roundtable begins with a comparison of Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby, and then branches out into a full discussion of what is inimitably the Eastwood aesthetic, with plenty of illuminating video examples.

Check out Kevin Lee’s other videos from the critical roundtable:

Roundtable on Changeling

Roundtable on Gran Torino

Are you feeling lucky, punks? See the orginal post and download the full podcast

Do you feel lucky, punks? Then download this critical roundtable podcast on Clint Eastwood

December 30, 2008


In the spirit of Changeling being this year’s Centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival–and that Clint Eastwood will most likely gain a bunch of Oscar nominations for Gran Torino–Film Comment decided to host some of New York’s leading critics in a discussion about Eastwood’s career as a director. Film Comment’s Evan Davis led a distinguished panel that included:

The wide-ranging discussion covers such topics as the (de)merits of Changeling, the reckoning of Eastwood the director with Eastwood the icon, Eastwood and class, the racial complexities of Gran Torino, Eastwood’s relationship to music and structure, and the director’s ultimate place within American cinema.

[Download the MP3 podcast now]

Many thanks to Glenn Raucher, Paul Brunick, and our sound man, Don Schul!

The 20 Best Films of 2008: a sneak peak at Film Comment’s year-end list!

December 18, 2008

It’s an annual tradition. Every year Film Comment polls its many contributors and members of the critical community for the scoop on the twenty best films of the year, and delivers the goods in their January/February issue. We’re pleased to be able to bring you this sneak peak of the aggregated critical faves (follow links for filmlinc blog coverage). So without further ado…


1. Wendy and Lucy Kelly Reichardt, U.S. 580
2. Flight of the Red Balloon Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France 564
3. A Christmas Tale Arnaud Desplechin, France 557
4. Happy-Go-Lucky Mike Leigh, U.K.  538
5. WALL·E Andrew Stanton, U.S. 534
6. Still Life Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong/China 521
7. Paranoid Park Gus Van Sant, France/U.S. 465
8. Waltz with Bashir Ari Folman, Israel/France/Germany 424
9. My Winnipeg Guy Maddin, Canada 406
10. Milk Gus Van Sant, U.S. 356
11. Let the Right One In Tomas Alfredson, Sweden 351
12. The Duchess of Langeais Jacques Rivette, France/Italy 335
13. The Class Laurence Cantet, France 334
14. Synecdoche, New York Charlie Kaufman, U.S. 297
15. Hunger Steve McQueen, U.K. 289
16. Silent Light Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands  286
17. Ballast Lance Hammer, U.S. 283
18. Man on Wire James Marsh, U.K. 282
19. The Exiles Kent Mackenzie, U.S.  257
20. Gomorrah Matteo Garrone, Italy 253


The headless woman!

1. The Headless Woman Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy 201
2. 24 City Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong/Japan 171
3. Summer Hours Olivier Assayas, France 154
4. Still Walking Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 102
5. Tulpan Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Switzerland/Kazakhstan/Russia/Poland 84
6. RR James Benning, U.S. 83
7. 35 Shots of Rum Claire Denis, France/Germany 78
8. Of Time and the City Terence Davies, U.K. 76
9. Tony Manero Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil 74
10. Liverpool Lisandro Alonso, Argentina 70
11. Sugar Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, U.S.  55
12. Tokyo Sonata Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands/Hong Kong 51
13. Birdsong Albert Serra, Spain 48
14. The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, U.S. 47
15. United Red Army Koji Wakamatsu, Japan 40
16. Night and Day Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 36
17. Four Nights with Anna Jerzy Skolimowski, France/Poland 33
18. Me and Orson Welles Richard Linklater, U.K. 31
19. Il Divo Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France 29
20. Chouga Darezhan Omirbaev, Kazakhstan/France 28

Best Films of 2008 Poll Participants:
Sam Adams, Thom Andersen, John Anderson, Melissa Anderson, David Ansen, Michael Atkinson, Saul Austerlitz, Miriam Bale, Margaret Barton-Fumo, Marjorie Baumgarten, Bruce Bennett, Nick Bradshaw, Richard Brody, John Caps, Michael Chaiken, Andrew Chan, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Travis Crawford, Gary Crowdus, Mike D’Angelo, Evan Davis, Sam Di Iorio, Lisa Dombrowski, Bilge Ebiri, Cheryl Eddy, David Edelstein, David Ehrenstein, David Fear, Paul Fileri, Scott Foundas, Patrick Friel, Graham Fuller, Susan Gerhard, Gary Giddins, Jason Gross, Larry Gross, Dennis Harvey, Molly Haskell, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Johnny Ray Huston, Harlan Jacobson, J.R. Jones, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Dave Kehr, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Stuart Klawans, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Cynthia Lucia, Scott Macaulay, Todd McCarthy, Maitland McDonagh, Don McMahon, Joe Milutis, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Jake Perlin, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Jed Rapfogel, Nicolas Rapold, Megan Ratner, Bérénice Reynaud, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Joshua Rothkopf, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gene Seymour, Gavin Smith, Vivian Sobchack, Chuck Stephens, Bob Strauss, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, José Teodoro, Kenneth Turan, Brynn White, Donald Wilson, Genevieve Yue, David Zuckerman

Agree? Disagree? Please add your own reaction in the comments!

Look for the January/February issue of Film Comment, with in-depth analysis of the year’s best films, on newsstands in early January.