Evening Standard Award nominees, take two

Posted by · 11:52 am · January 21st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the nominations for the London Evening Standard Awards — a juried critics’ honor devoted to British films and talent. As it turns out, that “nominee” list was a bit of a false alarm; rather, it was a rough longlist of names considered by the jury that the […]

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‘Never Let Me Go’ tops London Evening Standard noms

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 4th, 2011

The London Evening Standard Awards, a particularly bijou set of critics’ honors reserved for British titles and talent, tend to swerve a little left of the expected — chosen as they are by a jury of six disparate, but equally opinionated, critics. So it is this year: obviously “The King’s Speech” and “Another Year” feature […]

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Dr. Leigh and the women

Posted by · 6:50 pm · November 1st, 2010

I often hear Mike Leigh described as a great “women’s director,” though that’s really only half the truth. Vivid, probing male characters abound in Leigh films, often as vital counterpoints to female star turns (see Eddie Marsan in “Happy-Go-Lucky” or Timothy Spall in “Secrets and Lies”) but sometimes in center stage too: in “Naked,” David […]

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Brenda Blethyn angles for Oscar attention in ‘London River’

Posted by · 12:00 pm · November 14th, 2009

Amid the surfeit of underdog titles vying for Oscar glory, a special prize for maximum cojones should go to the producers of indie Brit drama “London River,” who are mounting a campaign for Brenda Blethyn’s superb lead performance — despite the obstacle of the film lacking a US distributor. The film (which was disqualified as […]

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The odd couple

Posted by · 9:30 am · November 5th, 2009

I … have no words. Let’s hope that Oscar campaign for “London River” picks up steam, shall we?

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The Great Performances: 1998

Posted by · 2:03 pm · October 30th, 2009

For all my bitching about Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor in 1998 for his incessant mugging in “Life is Beautiful,” I was also thrilled the Academy watched enough films and paid enough attention to realize that Edward Norton was deserving for his magnetic turn as a neo-Nazi who sees the light in “American History X.” […]

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10/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · October 30th, 2009

• Brian Lowry on how The Ten is an Oscarcast producer’s nightmare. [Variety] • With Hugh Jackman out, Jeff Wells thinks the Oscars need to skew younger with their host. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • The producers of “London River” launch a deserved Oscar campaign for Brenda Blethyn, despite still lacking US distribution. [Notes on a Season]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the leading ladies

Posted by · 9:24 am · October 5th, 2009

Now is the time when everyone begins assessing the race at its beginnings, and the gist I’m getting is that no one really knows what to write about.  Stabs at analysis end up being responses to other takes or rehashed arguments, and nothing really insightful is being brought to the table. And let’s face it.  […]

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TELLURIDE: ‘An Education,’ ‘Bright Star,’ ‘London River’

Posted by · 10:24 am · September 4th, 2009

This year’s Telluride fest is slowly gearing up.  There are a handful of press screenings this afternoon and the opener, Marco Bellochio’s “Vincere,” is set to play at 5:00pm.  I’ll probably miss that in order to take in “The Last Station,” which if it picks up a buyer, could make good on awards potential for […]

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EDINBURGH: ‘London River,’ ‘Spread’

Posted by · 11:06 am · June 23rd, 2009

The past day has presented me with two films that made their first appearances at high-profile festivals early in the year: Scottish auteur David Mackenzie’s first U.S. effort “Spread” — a “look ma, I can act” venture of sorts for Ashton Kutcher — played at Sundance in January, while Rachid Bouchareb’s “London River” was a […]

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