Scorsese and Herzog venture into 3D

Posted by · 7:52 am · April 14th, 2010

If you can’t fix it, you’ve got to stand it. And so it is, apparently, with me and 3D. As I’ve written before, I’m not a big fan of Hollywood’s favorite rediscovered gimmick. As a gee-whiz novelty — expertly embellishing the odd genuine event film like “Avatar” — it works a treat. As a now-regular […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 Oscar nominee fields

Posted by · 12:47 pm · January 26th, 2010

In exactly one week’s time, we’ll have a brand new list of Oscar nominations to pore over, pick apart and eventually file away in our subconscious with the other 81 editions of this annual collective. For Oscar geeks, nomination day is in many ways more exciting than the ceremony itself, celebrating a broader spectrum of […]

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The Great Performances: 2003

Posted by · 9:14 am · December 4th, 2009

There is little doubt in my mind I am going to take some heat this week, so let’s kick it off right away with my belief that Sean Penn deserved his Best Actor Oscar for “Mystic River,” a performance of overwhelming ferocity and staggering emotional power. Yes, I too loved Bill Murray in “Lost in […]

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The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

Posted by · 1:20 pm · July 9th, 2009

Deep into Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel noir “Shutter Island,” there’s a wonderfully telling exchange between the two central characters. Reflecting on the gothic heights to which their situation has spiralled, one observes, “It’s all a bit Grand Guignol, don’t you think?” His partner’s reply: “I don’t know what the fuck that means.” Ostensibly a nod […]

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SANTA BARBARA: Writers talk writing, Cruz walks the red carpet

Posted by · 11:38 am · January 25th, 2009

Yesterday was another busy event day for the Santa Barbara fest.  It was a shame the Director’s Panel was canceled, but participant Andrew Stanton switched gears to join Robert Knott (“Appaloosa”), Tom McCarthy (“The Visitor”) and Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) for an Anne Thompson-moderated discussion on their work at the keyboard this year. It was […]

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12/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:52 am · December 3rd, 2008

• Jeff Wells senses the “push back” against certain contenders, steps up to bat for “Revolutionary Road.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Yours truly chats it up podcast style with John Campea to dish on how early favorites are shaping up. [The Movie Blog] • David Poland reports on the BFCA’s newest category: Best Action Film. [The […]

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Looking for comedy in the awards world

Posted by · 4:12 pm · November 16th, 2008

Over at his OscarWatch column, Dave Karger recently asked a question that has been bothering me for some time regarding this year’s awards race. Namely, how the hell are the Golden Globes going to fill out the ballot in the Comedy/Musical races? Best Actress looks solid enough. So far, we have two clear-cut frontrunners — […]

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INTERVIEW: Dennis Hopper

Posted by · 10:39 am · November 6th, 2008

The voice on other end of the line sounds nothing like the many wild and somewhat insane characters Dennis Hopper has portrayed throughout his career, which now spans more than 50 years. This is a man who has walked with James Dean (his mentor), John Wayne (who affectionately labeled him a “pinko”) and Francis Ford […]

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Adapting Philip Roth

Posted by · 10:05 am · October 7th, 2008

The author’s novels have suffered a tough road to the screen.

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‘Elegy’ the second film to go out to AMPAS

Posted by · 2:05 pm · October 1st, 2008

Screeners of Isabel Coixet’s “Elegy” are set to go out to Academy members this week, fresh on the heels of Sony Pictures Classics’ “Frozen River,” which went out over the weekend. Key pushes for the film are Best Actor (Ben Kingsley),  Penélope Cruz (Best Actress), Dennis Hopper (Best Supporting Actor), Patricia Clarkson (Best Supporting Actress) […]

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Beyond the biopic

Posted by · 6:10 pm · August 24th, 2008

Halfway through watching the recently uncovered trailer for Ron Howard’s “Frost/Nixon,” I felt my stomach sinking with involuntary dread, and it took me a beat or two to figure out why. The problem didn’t appear to be the film itself; in fact, the relatively zippy trailer promises something somewhat tighter and wittier than I’ve been […]

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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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‘The Road’ on page and screen

Posted by · 7:55 am · July 15th, 2008

This weekend I opened Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel “The Road.” For whatever reason –- fright perhaps -– I’d hadn’t read it before now despite accolades from critics and friends. In June, Guy Lodge wrote a thoughtful entry about Dennis Lehane and how his books have easily transitioned to the screen. He likened him to […]

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OFF THE CARPET: 2008, a year in advance

Posted by · 3:20 pm · February 26th, 2008

Another year, another set of wins…and another look ahead at what’s in store NEXT year. It’s never too late to take a long gander at what we might see dominating the film awards landscape in 365 days, and with that in mind, I’ve been doing my usual mulling over the possibilities for a few weeks […]

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REVIEW: “The Departed” (****)

Posted by · 1:53 am · September 20th, 2006

One of the most artistically ruthless films to be produced in decades, “The Departed” is a spike of adrenaline straight to the heart of an audience desperately in need of such rambunctious filmmaking.  A loose but paradoxically loyal remake of the Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs,” the film is doused with a cast of familiar […]

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Filed in: Reviews