García Bernal among names added to Cannes jury

Posted by · 9:16 am · April 7th, 2010

Just over a week away from the announcement of the official selection for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and any festival-related news is received gratefully by the blogging community. Today, those who deemed Tim Burton too “Hollywood” a choice as this year’s jury president might be appeased by a host of more arthouse-leaning names lined […]

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LONDON: ‘Chloe,’ ‘Leaving’

Posted by · 4:38 pm · October 23rd, 2009

I realize I’ve dropped the ball somewhat with my festival updates — between the to-and-fro of festival business, other writing tasks and the occasional impulse to have a personal life, a backlog longer than I care to count has accumulated of films yet to be discussed. Expect that to be partially rectified over a quieter […]

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On acting

Posted by · 10:11 am · October 2nd, 2009

What constitutes a great performance?  What makes it something that puts it head and shoulders above the rest?  What does an artist do to go to that level of art and achieve something that is both extraordinary and rare? Does the Academy, or rather the branch that nominates the actors, look as closely at performance […]

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TORONTO: ‘The Road,’ ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ ‘Chloe’

Posted by · 2:27 pm · September 14th, 2009

(Please note, as opposed to Kris and Guy, I tend to grade films on a 5-star scale.) Loads to catch up on today and some interviews still to write up. First off, I have to confess that I disagree with Kris’s review of “The Road,” respectfully of course, and I think I have a reason […]

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‘Young Victoria’ to close TIFF, Egoyan’s ‘Chloe’ added

Posted by · 5:16 pm · August 4th, 2009

Toronto is obviously digging the corsets this year. Weeks after Jon Amiel’s Charles Darwin biopic “Creation” was announced as the opening film of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, fest organizers have revealed that Jean-Marc Vallée’s “The Young Victoria” will close proceedings. This choice of bookends gives an odd symmetry to the festival schedule: both […]

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The professional

Posted by · 5:20 pm · April 27th, 2009

It’s not as if we were short of reasons to admire Liam Neeson in the first place. The man is a remarkable actor, by all accounts an intelligent, decent human being, and even in the face of his wife’s untimely passing, has always managed to keep his private life laudably, well, private. But even by […]

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Oscar nominations that made me cheer

Posted by · 3:37 pm · November 16th, 2008

Over the years I have been watching and studying the Oscars in earnest, since about 1974 (age 13).  It has always been a nice surprise when an unexpected actor, director or film made the cut to the final five.  It’s a special kind of high. I remember reacting with surprise and genuine happiness when Giancarlo […]

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Thrilling Oscar nominees…when the Academy took a chance

Posted by · 8:48 am · August 11th, 2008

I love it when the Academy steps out and provides us with a genuine shock that is so richly deserved you feel like weeping for joy that they got it…they really got it. For all the ranting I do about the Academy’s lack of vision, every so often they pull something out of the air […]

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TIFF adds Canadian titles

Posted by · 11:51 am · July 16th, 2008

If there is a single aspect to the Toronto International Film Festival I enjoy most, it is the fact that the programmers have never lost sight of the event’s original mandate: showcasing homegrown talent in this country. Alongside the films that will no doubt be in the thick of this year’s Oscar season, a number […]

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Movies that Oscar missed

Posted by · 12:12 pm · May 26th, 2008

As film junkies, we all know it happens. Usually every single year there are one or more films the Academy passes over for Best Picture consideration, in some cases because there are, after all, just five slots available, but in others because, well — they blew it. Like the rest of you, I sit and […]

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As Cannes winds down, TIFF looms…

Posted by · 9:35 am · May 23rd, 2008

With Cannes on the downswing, it becomes time to to start making preparations for the annual Toronto International Film Festival, for which screening announcements begin next month. I have been covering Toronto for more than 15 years and can safely say it is Christmas to a film critic. Each September I move into the Delta […]

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