Apparition adopts Sundance pic ‘Rileys’

Posted by · 5:32 am · March 15th, 2010

Fresh off their first Oscar win (Best Costume Design for “The Young Victoria”), fledgling distributor Apparition has picked up a well-regarded Sundance indie that could end up buttressing their 2010 awards campaign for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” “Welcome to the Rileys,” a domestic drama starring James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo as bereaved parents […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Hurt Locker’ BAFTA sweep, minor fracas

Posted by · 6:06 pm · February 26th, 2010

• “The Hurt Locker” continued its cruise through the precursors, taking six awards at the BAFTAS. • The pile of guild awards grew as the writers, costume designers and sound editors all picked their winners. • In our ongoing Oscar Guide series, we broke down the lead actress, documentary feature, documentary short, original score and […]

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BERLIN: ‘The Killer Inside Me,’ final notes

Posted by · 6:02 pm · February 21st, 2010

Having named its prizewinners yesterday, the Berlinale officially wraps today. I meant to file my last post on the festival once I arrived home on Friday night, but assorted tasks and distractions kept it on the back burner. Too many things, too many things, as Amber Waves would say. My last day in Berlin served […]

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Berlinale prizes for ‘Honey,’ Polanski

Posted by · 11:34 am · February 20th, 2010

Well, I warned you I wasn’t keeping up with the Competition films at Berlin. I’d love to give you some first-hand perspective on the winners that have just been named by Werner Herzog and his jury, but the truth is, I haven’t seen a number of them. That includes the top prizewinner, Semih Kaplanogu’s “Honey,” […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Top shots, Berlin coverage and more

Posted by · 5:44 pm · February 19th, 2010

• You asked for it, you eventually got it: our annual list of the Top 10 shots of the year, part one and part two. • In our ongoing Oscar Guide series, we dug into the supporting actor, foreign language film, art direction, makeup and sound editing races. • Guy’s Berlinale coverage continued, with “The […]

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Seconded

Posted by · 5:49 am · February 19th, 2010

From Telegraph critic (and Berlinale buddy par excellence) Tim Robey’s neat festival roundup: Maybe they’ll bestow a specially bonkers Golden Bear to mark the occasion [of their 60th anniversary] – for instance, to the one film I walked out of, the Japanese hopeful, Caterpillar, in which a mute war veteran with no arms or legs […]

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BERLIN: Competition blues

Posted by · 11:35 am · February 18th, 2010

Looking over my Berlinale coverage so far, the thing that surprises me is what a benevolent mood I seem to be in for much of it. By focusing principally on the titles that have impressed (or at least engaged) me, I’ve rather given the impression of a festival packed with delights. As good a time […]

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REVIEW: “The Kids Are All Right” (***1/2)

Posted by · 11:04 am · February 17th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival A spry, sun-bleached and often rather sexy study of what makes a family in modern America, “The Kids Are All Right” breezes by so pleasurably it’s easy to forget what a daring and very necessary film it is. Gift-wrapping its smart sexual politics with kicky dialogue, bright visuals and a pleasingly […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Illusionist” (****)

Posted by · 6:33 pm · February 16th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival It took six days and an awful lot of films, but the Berlinale has finally turned up a masterpiece. Moreover, it’s a rare case of one of the fest’s most eagerly awaited titles managing to meet, and even subvert, expectations. “The Illusionist,” French animator Sylvain Chomet long-gestating follow-up the 2003 Oscar […]

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BERLIN: ‘Please Give,’ ‘Red Hill,’ ‘Submarino’

Posted by · 10:00 am · February 16th, 2010

Film festivals have a curious way of either dulling one’s critical faculties or provoking them to an impolite degree. I almost never walk out of a screening under normal circumstances; at a festival, while compressing five-odd films into one day, it’s almost life-affirming to do so. Such was the case yesterday, halfway through “Caterpillar,” a […]

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“Chevalier…”

Posted by · 11:38 am · February 15th, 2010

The film is history across the pond, but having just seen Jared Hess’s “Gentlemen Broncos” in the Generation strand of the Berlinale, I feel obliged to briefly counter the thoroughly undeserved critical and commercial kicking the film received back in fall 2009. Because I’m astonished to find Hess’s creatively chaotic stew of literature, movies-within-movies and […]

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BERLIN: ‘Winter’s Bone,’ ‘Greenberg,’ ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’

Posted by · 1:58 am · February 15th, 2010

Yesterday’s viewing roster just about had me double-checking whether I was at the right festival, as I was treated to a pair of Sundance hits, in addition to a brand-new Amerindie feature from a Sundance alumnus. The copious snow still smothering the sidewalks of Berlin only aided the comparison. Perhaps it was Valentine’s Day spirit […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Festival coverage, celebrating The Dude and more

Posted by · 3:21 pm · February 14th, 2010

• This week’s installments of the Oscar Guide covered the animated feature, sound mixing, lead actor, live action short and film editing categories. • Kris toasted the career of Jeff bridges with his list of the actor’s top 10 performances (off-site). • We caught up with “Red Riding: 1974” director Julian Jarrold as well as […]

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REVIEW: “Shutter Island” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:54 pm · February 13th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival (EDIT: Star rating adjusted upon consideration.) To filch an aphorism from Mike Skinner, “Shutter Island” represents of continuation of Martin Scorsese’s decade-long quest to find the hardest way to make an easy living. If that sounds like a jab, it’s not. Since the self-amusing personal statements of “Kundun” and “Bringing Out […]

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BERLIN: Arrivals and complications

Posted by · 6:51 am · February 13th, 2010

Okay, so that was a long silence. I apologize. But in addition to the usual trials of settling in, my first day at the Berlinale threw up some added obstacles that made for a day that was curiously both hectic and thin on matters worth reporting. Frankly, one needs an entire day just to process […]

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‘Metropolis’ at Berlinale

Posted by · 12:18 pm · February 12th, 2010

Guy is either en route or settling in at the Berlin fest presently, but I came across this live stream of a screening of Fritz Lang’s original cut of “Metropolis,” happening right now.  Go check it out.  One of my top three films of all time.

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Berlin bound

Posted by · 7:17 pm · February 11th, 2010

In a couple of hours, I’ll be packing my bags, donning my warmest and most ridiculous-looking puffa jacket and catching a crack-of-dawn flight to the German capital. The occasion, of course: the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. I’ve been to Berlin before — and was thoroughly enamored of it — though this will be my […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Precursor avalanche, best of 2009

Posted by · 6:57 pm · December 18th, 2009

• Kris wrapped up 2009 with his take on the year’s best films, also offering his own preferred nominees and winners in a range of categories. (I’ll chime in next week.) • “Up in the Air” led this year’s pack of Golden Globe nominees. • It also joined “Precious” and “Inglourious Basterds” at the head […]

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