THE LONG SHOT: Critical condition

Posted by · 1:25 pm · November 4th, 2009

Ahead of its U.S. release this week, there is a wave of mild surprise in the blogosphere over the fact that “Precious,” the film deemed by some (yours truly included) to be the present Best Picture frontrunner, is currently sitting on a lowly Metacritic score of 57. Fitting neatly with the largely media-fabricated talk of […]

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8/10 Web Round-up

Posted by · 10:57 am · August 10th, 2009

• Charles Burress chats up legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. [Los Angeles Times] • John DeVore goes fly fishing in Vermont for the “A River Runs Through It” Blu-ray junket. [Premiere] • A.O. Scott wraps up the summer with a tired old argument against the dumbed down summer movie season. [New York Times]

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Back East with the ladies of ‘Julie & Julia’

Posted by · 8:05 am · July 31st, 2009

Earlier in the week I offered up my (surprisingly) positive assessment of Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia,” a shrewdly adapted narrative that features two of my favorite performances of the year from Meryl Streep (as famed chef Julia Child) and Stanley Tucci (as her loving husband, Paul). Today in the pages of USA Today, Susan […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Julie & Julia” (***1/2)

Posted by · 9:14 am · July 28th, 2009

It’s probably a little cliche to lead a review of Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia” with a phrase like “I’m not wired for movies like this.”  It ends up being a back-handed compliment to the film and doesn’t exactly illuminate why it’s a successful piece of work, but that is, nevertheless, the first thought that […]

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Warm notices for Streep in ‘Julie & Julia’

Posted by · 12:45 pm · July 24th, 2009

Even before anyone had laid eyes on Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia,” I felt fairly confident in predicting the critical response: nice, unremarkable film dominated by a broadly entertaining, larger-than-life turn from Meryl Streep. And so it has come to pass. The trade papers are united in their lukewarm feelings on the film itself, while […]

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New Yorker semi-reviews ‘Julie & Julia,’ exalts Streep

Posted by · 3:48 am · July 4th, 2009

As far as I know, Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia” is still under a reviewing embargo, but the New Yorker’s Ariel Levy has sneakily buried a brief, incisive critique of the film at the tail of a substantial profile of Ephron. (Thanks to Jeff Wells for pointing it out.) You’ll need a subscription to read […]

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Passing prettiness

Posted by · 4:04 pm · June 7th, 2009

As I’ve mentioned before, David Thomson’s trademark star profiles can exert a kind of car-crash fascination these days, the result of a once invaluable critic giving in to his shallowest impulses. Flashes of insight still show through on occasion, but the navel-gazing (and often inappropriate fawning) of his pieces can be hard to take. One […]

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2/20 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:13 am · February 20th, 2009

• Meeting The Oscar 11. [USA Today] • Jeff Wells begins spit-balling next year’s season. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Dave Karger wonders whether Amy Adams has enough fuel in the tank to pull off an upset. [Entertainment Weekly] • Anne Thompson annotates Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 25 best working directors. [Thompson on Hollywood] • For […]

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2/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 11:03 am · February 16th, 2009

• David Carr asks for your input if you ran the Academy. [The Carpetbagger] • Tom O’Neil talks to Best Supporting Actress contender Penelope Cruz. [Gold Derby] • Speaking of supporting, Betsy Sharkey writes up an appreciation of the lot. [The Envelope] • Michelle Phillips wonders which Jerry Lewis will show up at the Oscars […]

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Is this a new strategy?

Posted by · 12:36 am · February 12th, 2009

I’ve been flipping back and forth between Leno and Letterman and so far I’ve seen four Oscar TV spots: two for “The Reader,” one for “Slumdog Millionaire” and one for “The Wrestler.”  Instead of the usual 30 second trailers, there is interview footage edited in.  Rourke from “The Wrestler,” Boyle from “Slumdog” and besting the […]

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Is Amy Adams a threat after all?

Posted by · 8:43 am · February 11th, 2009

Tariq Khan thinks so. Tom O’Neil reports that the Fox News pundit is predicting a major upset by the “Doubt” star, largely on the basis of what he perceives as “soft support” for frontrunner Penelope Cruz. Before you dismiss his ideas completely, it’s worth pointing out that his track record is pretty strong — he […]

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2/11 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:45 am · February 11th, 2009

• The first Oscar promo pic of Hugh Jackman. [Just Jared] • David Steinberg writes up Johnny Carson’s Oscar hosting legacy. [Los Angeles Times Magazine] • David Carr ponders the lead actress race. [The Carpetbagger] • Tom O’Neil conveys a case for Amy Adams in “Doubt.” [Gold Derby] • Dave Karger needs Oscar campaigns to […]

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Interviews with this year’s Oscar nominees at In Contention

Posted by · 3:37 pm · January 29th, 2009

Mickey Rourke (Best Actor, “The Wrestler”) Michael Shannon (Best Supporting Actor, “Revolutionary Road”) Amy Adams (Best Supporting Actress, “Doubt”) Marisa Tomei (Best Supporting Actress, “The Wrestler”) Danny Boyle (Best Director, “Slumdog Millionaire”) (also here) James Marsh (director, “Man on Wire”) Kristi Zea, Albert Wolsky (Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, “Revolutionary Road”) Chris Menges (Best […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Globe surprises, best shots, BAFTA nods

Posted by · 6:00 pm · January 16th, 2009

Sorry the Weekly Wrap feature has been M.I.A. these past few weeks — between the holidays and various disasters, they got a bit forgotten. Anyway, it’s back this week, and what a busy week it was: • In a new annual institution at IC, Kris reviewed the top 10 shots of the year here … […]

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“Did you like the work? Buy the ticket!”

Posted by · 10:30 am · January 16th, 2009

This isn’t exactly new, but I just stumbled across this video, one of a series from the Hollywood Reporter’s actress Oscar roundtable last month. THR has had several such sessions this season, but I really liked the chemistry and empathy between these five wonderful women — Michelle Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Emma Thompson, Amy Adams […]

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‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ lead BAFTA pack with 11 nods each

Posted by · 12:20 am · January 15th, 2009

Each year, the BAFTAs never fail to find new and frustrating ways to surprise me. It wasn’t hard to guess that “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire” would come out on top here — though even as a fan of the latter film, I do wonder whether nominations for Best Production Design […]

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INTERVIEW: Amy Adams

Posted by · 11:42 am · January 14th, 2009

Amy Adams has arrived.  No “doubt” about it. Sunday she was sitting at a table with Meryl Streep, Viola Davis and John Patrick Shanley at the Hollywood Foriegn Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards where she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, one of five nods the film received. Surrounded by major artists such as Ron […]

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12/20 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:27 am · December 20th, 2008

• Darren Aronofsky interviews Danny Boyle about the technical aspects of “Slumdog Millioniare.” [/Film] • Erik Childress catches up with the season mid-way through the first phase. [eFilmCritic] • David Carr takes note of the big Universal trade spend.  Hey, if you’re going to decide against advertising with the lowly online types, you might as […]

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