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barkhad abdi

Features

Do you ever get the urge to chat about pop culture news? The Water Cooler: A Weekly Pop Culture Chat is the perfect place for that!

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Aren’t we ready for next year – our own year-in-advance picks we know we’ll laugh at in several months’ time, the obvious Oscar bait that fizzles out for one reason or another, the films that catch fire at the last minute, the campaign chicanery? But we still have this Oscar

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

The top races – for picture and director – didn’t change much over the last few days, but Her thankfully made some waves with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) weighs in with its picks on Feb. 16, and that’s really

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Blu-ray and DVD

There’s almost always an awesome film coming out on Blu-Ray or DVD each month, so which ones should you pay attention to this month?

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Members of the motion-picture academy could begin voting for the Oscars as early as Dec. 27, and today marks the final day on which they can turn in their ballots. In other words, nothing that happens after today – save for some kind of technical glitch with the electronic voting

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Last week’s awards announcements suggest 12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE are the Oscar front-runners, but what about the surprises?

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Forgive me for cribbing that movie quote, a line you couldn’t escape – believe me, I tried – upon the release of Despicable Me in 2001. It aptly describes the film: not much in the way of story, little more than an excuse for androgynous yellow creatures to spew gibberish.

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Movies

The first-ever screening of David O. Russell’s American Hustle took place on Sunday. Word on the film ranges from decent to terrific, but the one aspect on which everyone seemed to agree: Jennifer Lawrence. Last year’s best actress winner apparently steals the movie with her scenes as the wife of

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

With around $36.6 million, Thor: The Dark World again won the box office, but competition for the number one spot was surprisingly heated, so there go the “hammer” and “clobber” puns I would have otherwise used. Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man Holiday, sequel to 1999’s The Best Man, more

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Awards, Fests, and Campaigns Disney will push Saving Mr. Banks, which had a great stateside debut at the AFI Fest, as a drama at the Golden Globes. Most of us thought the film, which examines Walt Disney and P.L. Travers’ disagreements about 1964’s Mary Poppins, would contend in the musical

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

The movie world is all about the actors, though the occasional director, like Peter Jackson, George Lucas, or Steven Spielberg, gets lucky every now and then. Among the cinematic minds who almost always the short end of the stick, however, are the writers, but The Hollywood Reporter gives them the

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Surprise: Another film we thought would contend for Oscars this year got bumped to next year, as Sony moved The Monuments Men to 2014. Apparently there wasn’t enough time to finish the visual effects. This move might give the distributor’s upcoming American Hustle more room to breathe. Monuments director George

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Before heading into this week’s analysis, one should note that six films we assume are Oscar contenders remain unseen: American Hustle, Lone Survivor, Out of the Furnace, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Wolf of Wall Street. (The lattermost might not arrive this year, but distributor Paramount hopes it will be

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

Cate Blanchett got a tribute on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the New York Film Festival. That and Blue Jasmine director Woody Allen’s personal shout-out surely gave more credence to her already-strong best actress campaign. Of course, Blanchett’s perceived rival for the Oscar, Sandra Bullock, got a boost of her own

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FeaturesMoviesOscar Watching

We Oscar obsessives discuss the Academy Awards throughout the year, but the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off what we refer to as the Oscar season – and with good reason, as we have lots of ground to cover this week. Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate kicked off the fest with

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