<p>Cate Blanchett in &quot;Blue Jasmine&quot;</p>

Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine"

Credit: Sony Classics

Cate Blanchett is on fire in Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'

The best performance in an Allen film in over a decade?

I think it's fair to go ahead and stand out here and say Cate Blanchett gives a tour de force performance in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." It's definitely the best thing she's done since "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" if not "The Aviator" or "Notes on a Scandal." She takes a shallow concept of a character, really, and injects it with so much withered spirit, flighty contempt and horrified dissatisfaction that you can't help but expect her name will be in the conversation for awards at the end of the year.

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<p>Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in &quot;Saving Mr Banks.&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr Banks."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in first official still from 'Saving Mr Banks'

Stars enact some frosty body language between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers

You may have noticed a healthy showing for "Saving Mr. Banks" in Kris' updated sidebar predictions, and he's hardly out in the wilderness there. Sight-unseen buzz is strong for John Lee Hancock's first directorial effort since 2009 Best Picture nominee "The Blind Side," largely on the strength of good word (and a Black List mention) for Kelly Marcel's first feature script, which chronicles the brittle relationship between P.L. Travers, the Australian author of "Mary Poppins," and Walt Disney himself, as they sparred over his blockbuster adaptation of her children's novel.

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<p>Dustin&nbsp;Hoffman</p>

Dustin Hoffman

Credit: AFI

Dustin Hoffman nearly cries explaining the epiphany that made 'Tootsie' so meaningful to him

Archival interview reveals misogyny's impact on the film's development

Everyone has their reasons for making movies. Those reasons are different on a case-by-case basis and run the spectrum from superficial to profound, but you kind of live for this level of insight into a project and dedication to a deep, complex idea that really needs a medium like the cinema to fully explore it.

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<p>Angelina Jolie promotes her 2011 directorial debut &quot;In the Land of Blood and Honey.&quot;</p>

Angelina Jolie promotes her 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar Bait: Universal sets Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' for Christmas 2014

Young British star Jack O'Connell to headline the Coens-scripted WWII drama

Welcome back to our long-dormant Oscar Bait column, in which we muse on the awards potential of a yet-to-be-produced project.

I'm afraid to say I've still not seen Angelina Jolie's 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey," which never landed a UK distributor. The Bosnian War romance, shot in both Bosnian/Serbo-Croat and English-language versions, wasn't exactly a success, but it was no embarrassment either: it received some sympathetic reviews, played the Berlin Film Festival and nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. (Okay, I think we all know why, but still.)

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<p>Luminita Gheorghiu in &quot;Child's Pose.&quot;</p>

Luminita Gheorghiu in "Child's Pose."

Credit: Parada Film

Karlovy Vary Film Festival: 'Child's Pose,' 'Concussion,' 'Miele'

Catching up with highlights from Berlin, Sundance and Cannes

The 48th Karlovy Vary Film Festival closed over the weekend with a handful of juried awards for its premieres. I'm afraid I didn't see the winner of the festival's crowning Crystal Globe prize, Hungarian director Janos Szasz's WWII drama "The Notebook." I can, however, endorse the shared Best Actress award for the strong female ensemble of Lance Edmunds's painterly but ponderous US indie "Bluebird": Amy Morton, Louisa Krause, Emily Meade and Margo Martindale. Less so: a Special Jury Prize for British director Ben Wheatley's vastly disappointing "A Field in England." I caught up with the film in the UK on its unconventional multi-platform release (cinemas, DVD, VOD and terrestrial TV, all on the same day) last Friday, and will discuss it further at a later point.

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<p>Does the apocalypse of &quot;This is the End&quot; deserve some serious consideration?</p>

Does the apocalypse of "This is the End" deserve some serious consideration?

Credit: Sony Pictures

Taking stock of the Best Visual Effects race during the summer blockbuster season

How will films like 'Pacific Rim,' 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Great Gatsby' fare?

We're right in the middle of the blockbuster movie season. Some think it's been a lackluster summer slate. I haven't had major expectations for much of anything so I guess I'm okay with merely being satisfied so far, but with Guillermo del Toro's massive-scale "Pacific Rim" hitting theaters this coming weekend, it seems now would be a nice opportunity to look at the race for Best Visual Effects.

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<p>George Clooney at the BAFTA Awards earlier this year.</p>

George Clooney at the BAFTA Awards earlier this year.

Credit: AP Photo

George Clooney to receive BAFTA LA's Stanley Kubrick Award

The honor will be presented at the Britannia Awards ceremony on November 9

Between "Gravity" and his directorial effort "The Monuments Men," George Clooney -- who, lest we forget, shared the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo" a few months back -- has what may be another busy awards season lying ahead of him. Even if his on-paper prospects don't pan out, however, he'll be accepting at least one award before the year is out, as BAFTA's Los Angeles division has named him the recipient of their Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.

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<p>Harvey Weinstein on CBS This Morning. Also, nice touch on that chyron, guys.</p>

Harvey Weinstein on CBS This Morning. Also, nice touch on that chyron, guys.

Credit: CBS

Harvey Weinstein airs out dirty 'Butler' laundry on CBS

TWC honcho suggests the dispute is over rights to 'The Hobbit'

Hand it to Harvey Weinstein. He's using this whole controversy over the title of "The Butler" to drum up tons of publicity for the film, which hits theaters next month. But this circus is nevertheless ridiculous and I feel silly even writing about it.

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<p>Rooney Mara</p>

Rooney Mara

Credit: AP Photo

Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen join the cast of Stephen Daldry's 'Trash'

Richard Curtis writing the adaptation of Andy Mulligan's children's novel

British director Stephen Daldry currently holds what I believe is a unique record: all four of his films to date have received Oscar nominations for either Best Picture, Best Director or both. That he's managed to maintain this Academy favor even when his last two films -- "The Reader" and, in particular, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" -- ran into some critical opposition means any new project of his will be regarded in some quarters, however blindly or cynically, as a prestige player.

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<p>Josh Brolin in &quot;Oldboy.&quot;</p>

Josh Brolin in "Oldboy."

Credit: FilmDistrict

Poster for Spike Lee's 'Oldboy' remake is something a little out of the box

Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley star in the October release

As I've already written, 2013 would appear to be the year that South Korea and Hollywood have become formally acquainted. Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon made their US debuts with "Stoker" and "The Last Stand" respectively, while Bong Joon-ho has "Snowpiercer" coming our way. And in a tidy coincidence, one of Park's most well-regarded films, 2004's Cannes Grand Prix winner "Oldboy," is getting the remake treatment this year courtesy of Spike Lee. 

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