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Category: Margin Call

Oscars 2012: Woody Allen wins for original screenplay

February 26, 2012 |  7:30 pm

Woody Allen

"Midnight in Paris" writer-director Woody Allen won the Oscar for original screenplay at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

The Paris-set film stars Owen Wilson as a successful Hollywood screenwriter who roams the streets of the French city encountering literary and artistic megaliths of the past in his present. Allen directed the love letter to Paris, which also stars Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Tom Hiddleston and Kathy Bates.

Allen's original screenplay won the Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America award and earned a nod at the BAFTA Film Awards. At the Oscars, Allen was nominated for director and the film was nominated  for best picture and art direction.

Oscars: Red Carpet | Quotes | Key Scenes Ballot | Cheat Sheet | Winners

The director previously won Oscars for "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Annie Hall."

"Midnight in Paris" bested "The Artist" writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, "Bridesmaids" writers Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, "Margin Call" writer-director J.C. Chandor and "A Separation" writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

The Academy Awards are taking place in Hollywood and are being televised live on ABC. They are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose membership was recently examined in depth by the Los Angeles Times.

For more Oscars breaking news and analysis, check back on 24 Frames.

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— Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Woody Allen in November 2011. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times


'Margin Call': Betsy Sharkey's film pick of the week

December 1, 2011 | 11:56 am

If you haven't yet, please make time to see “Margin Call,” before it slips out of theaters.

This terrific cerebral thriller, anchored by tightly wound performances from Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Penn Badgley and an exceptional Zachary Quinto, takes you inside the boardrooms and the backrooms of Wall Street in the first days of the financial meltdown that shaped our present woes.

That may sound like stuffy, depressing stuff -- and I'll grant you the depressing part. But it’s the human dynamics and moral dilemmas of suddenly discovering that you’re on a rapidly sinking ship that makes for such gripping drama. In writer-director J.C. Chandor's impressive feature debut, he takes us into the heart of darkness and exposes the darkest of hearts.

That “Margin Call” is able to humanize anyone involved in one of the most devastating cases of asset covering this country has seen is a measure of his considerable artistry. You won’t forgive them, but you will understand them -– at least marginally better.

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-– Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic


New York critics name 'The Artist' best film of the year

November 29, 2011 | 10:50 am

The artist

"The Artist," a black-and-white silent movie, was named best picture of 2011 Tuesday morning by the New York Film Critics Circle. The film's director, Michel Hazanavicius of France, also earned best director for his valentine to the early days of Hollywood.

It is the first time the critics have given its top award to a silent film. Earlier in the morning, the film earned five nominations for the Spirit Award.

Meryl Streep was named best actress for her performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," which opens in L.A. on Dec. 30. It is the fifth time the New York circle has honored Streep. The last time was two years ago for "Julie & Julia."

Brad Pitt took home best actor honors for his performances as Oakland A's manager Billy Beane in "Moneyball" and as a stern father in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." It is his first honor from the critics' group. Steve Zallian and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for "Moneyball."

This year's golden girl, Jessica Chastain, was named best supporting actress for her roles in "The Tree of LIfe," "The Help" and "Take Shelter." Albert Brooks won best supporting actor for a rare dramatic turn in the film noir "Drive."

Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams' won best nonfiction film, while "Margin Call," written and directed by J.C. Chandor, was awarded best first feature. Cinematography honors went to Emmanuel Lubezki for "Tree of Life."

Foreign-language film honors went to Iran's  "A Separation," which has already won multiple awards and is the country's submission for the foreign-language film Oscar. The Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz, who died in August, got a special posthumous award.

The awards will be handed out in a ceremony in Manhattan on Jan. 9.

The New York Film Critics Circle, which was founded in 1935, is the first major critics group to announce its picks for the best of the year. The organization, made up of critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines and online sites, traditionally voted after the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. But in October, the 33-member group announced it would move its awards selection ahead two weeks.

The voting was supposed to have happened on Monday, but the group didn't have the chance to screen David Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which opens Dec. 23, until Monday morning, so the voting was delayed until Tuesday. The film received no awards.

Over the decades, the New York critics' selections and those of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have differed. Last year, the circle chose "The Social Network" as the top film and the academy gave "The King's Speech" the best film Oscar. The two groups agreed two years ago on "The Hurt Locker."

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures announces its selections Thursday morning.

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"New York Film Critics movies awards dates to see 'Dragon Tattoo'"

-- Susan King

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.


Sundance 2011: Second big deal appears done, with 'Margin Call' to Lionsgate

January 23, 2011 |  7:48 am

4 

The weather is still frosty -- it's only 4 degrees above zero in Park City, Utah, early Sunday morning. But the sales are heating up in a hurry, with not one but two all-night negotiating sessions winding down.

In the second big deal, my colleague John Horn is reporting exclusively on our Awards Tracker blog that Lionsgate Films and partner Roadside Attractions are finalizing a deal to acquire the Wall Street financial drama "Margin Call."

That comes on the heels of Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush teaming up to buy the romantic drama "Like Crazy." There are more important screenings set for Sunday, including the first look at actor-turned-director Vera Farmiga's religious drama "Higher Ground."

-- Steven Zeitchik

Zachary Quinto in "Margin Call." Photo: Sundance Film Festival.


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