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Posts Tagged ‘Marshall Fine’

Mark Harris on the Inanity of Early Oscar Buzz

There’s something extra special about this year’s marathon Oscar handicapping season being kick-started at Telluride and Toronto by a drama titled 12 Years a Slave. Because in recent years, the once organic and more tempered process of advance film buzz has become a slave to an endless 12 months of town-cried Academy Awards prognostication.

Not that film journalists are alone in this behavior. Tom O’Neil, the grand master of Gold Derby, rightly likes to point out that many other realms besides film awards season (ex: the 2016 U.S. presidential race) lead to early and heavy odds-making by so-called media experts.

Nevertheless, on the Oscar side, it seems to get a little worse each year, amplified by social media and the return in 2012-13 of more robust studio marketing budgets. Enter Mark Harris. In a Grantland piece titled “Is 12 Years a Slave Really a Best Picture Lock?,” he makes a number of resonating observations:

The recent compulsion to anoint a Best Picture favorite around Labor Day, a full 17 weeks before the end of the eligibility period for movies, represents the convergence of several factors… [including] an infection of festival coverage by Web-driven “First!” culture.

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Marshall Fine and the TDRK Review Heard Around the Internet

Veteran film critic Marshall Fine’s personal website is cleverly titled Hollywood & Fine. But this week, as has now been famously documented, he was also placed at the intersection of passion & anonymity after posting to Rotten Tomatoes the first negative review of The Dark Knight Rises.

Matt Singer caught up with Fine today for an IndieWire “Critic Watch” Q&A. Fine was once fired by a Mississippi newspaper for panning an Anita Bryant concert performance, so the wrath of RT commenters pales in comparison. Nevertheless, Fine is to be commended for remaining so even-tempered about it all:

“I guess to me it [reader anger] crosses a line if someone shows up on my front step. Otherwise everyone’s entitled to their opinion. People have strong feelings about this stuff.”

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A Bodaciously Bad Tourist

One of the Italian words for “rotten” is “andato.” And that’s pretty much where the great majority of the reviews for the new Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie thriller The Tourist are stacking up this fine non-Italian morning.

But which film critics are rising most adeptly to the challenge of trashing two of Hollywood’s biggest stars and their comatose Venezia intrigue? Here are our five (early) picks for the Columbia Pictures pan parade honor roll:

Eric D. Snider, Cinematical: “I urge you to say the director’s name aloud. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Did you do it? There, you just had more fun than you would if you watched The Tourist.”

Nigel Andrews, Financial Times: “Do anything. Arrange an appointment in Sumatra. Go to the moon. At all costs stay away.”

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