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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The Great Performances: 2005

Posted by · 5:07 pm · December 18th, 2009

2005 was the year of Heath Ledger’s beautiful, moving performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” which I saw for the first time in Toronto.  It instantly became the talk of the festival, and the film became the one to beat for the Academy Award. Ledger was astonishing as the taciturn cowboy who is more surprised than anybody […]

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The Great Performances: 1999

Posted by · 9:18 pm · November 7th, 2009

1999 was a strange year.  And it’s hard to believe a full decade has slipped past since.  There were some great award-winning performances, to be sure, but there seemed to be just as many not nominated that certainly should have been. Ten years later, I remain stunned that Reese Witherspoon was not nominated for her […]

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Older and wiser

Posted by · 1:22 pm · March 27th, 2009

Hope Davis’s recent complaint about the issue of Hollywood ageism, prompted by being offered characters well over her actual age, seems to have struck a bit of a chord this week. The Guardian’s discussion of the matter was also recently picked up on in the New York Times, while Cinematical contributed to the discussion by […]

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With love from me to you

Posted by · 9:53 am · December 2nd, 2008

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed Variety’s recent series of articles in which prominent actors champion some of their personal favourite performances of 2008, including many of the most discussed contenders of the season. It’s a simple idea, but executed with real thought and sincerity. The pieces are interesting not just because of the more […]

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LONDON: “W,” “Genova,” “Il Divo” and more

Posted by · 2:06 pm · October 23rd, 2008

We’ve reached the midway point of the London Film Festival, and today’s big event is the European premiere of “W.” As I eavesdropped on assorted critics’ reactions coming out of the press screening this morning, the dominant feeling appeared to be one of pleasant surprise; I have a feeling the film may find a rather […]

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Steve Lopez and ‘The Soloist’

Posted by · 12:26 am · April 19th, 2008

I stopped by Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena yesterday evening to hear Steve Lopez read from his new book “The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship and the Redemptive Power of Music,” fully expecting a run-of-the-mill book release PR thing. As it turns out, Lopez is a quick-on-his-heels delight of a public speaker, engaging, never […]

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