“We’re going to be fine.”

Posted by · 9:10 pm · October 28th, 2009

Those of you who enjoy it when Kris and I butt heads over one film or another — as on the two occasions this past week alone that I’ve been unceremoniously fired — will be disappointed to hear that an entente cordiale has arrived in the shape of “A Serious Man.” (Ironic, really — since […]

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10/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:48 am · October 5th, 2009

• Lee Daniels and his cast and crew had a blast making “Precious,” despite the gut-wrenching display on screen. [Movieline] • Hugo Rifkind sits down with Wes Anderson to talk “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which is set to open the London Film Festival. [The Times] • Dennis Lim talks to Nicolas Winding Refn about his film […]

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Corliss on the Coens’ latest

Posted by · 9:12 am · September 17th, 2009

Today we’re pointed, via Awards Daily, to Richard Corliss’s review of the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man” in Time magazine with this thoughtful closer: As Fate keeps stomping him, he embraces Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. What he tells his class about the theory — “Even if you can’t figure it out, you’re still responsible for it […]

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9/14 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:49 am · September 14th, 2009

• Overture angles for the domestic rights to Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest,” perhaps giving a leg up to Ethan Hawke in the Best Actor race. [Variety] • Is Charles Darwin too controversial for American multiplexes? [CHUD] • Christopher Plummer at 80, busy as ever. [The Toronto Star]

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The Coens abide

Posted by · 3:44 pm · September 12th, 2009

I’ve been chewing on the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man” like a thick piece of spiritual jerky ever since I walked out of the Clariety screening room in Beverly Hills yesterday evening.  I’ve retweeted other perspectives, exchanged emails with industry types equally leveled by it and, in my own way, started banging the drum for […]

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The Coens’ ‘A Serious Man’ is a miracle movie

Posted by · 8:01 pm · September 11th, 2009

I wanted to sit down and write a full review of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “A Serious Man,” but structuring my thoughts around a paradigm such as that seems folly at this stage.  I need to see it again — and will certainly do so many more times — before any sort of authoritative personal […]

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‘A Serious Man’ gets a serious poster

Posted by · 3:58 pm · August 7th, 2009

And, in its deliberately, obtusely mundane glory, it’s as starkly unsettling as the terrific trailer we saw last week. I absolutely love the marketing approach Focus have taken with this one, giving away as little as humanly possible. In fact, the film seems to get more tauntingly unreadable the closer we get to it. Is […]

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‘A Serious Man’ trailer

Posted by · 8:52 am · July 30th, 2009

It’s seldom these days that you get a trailer constructed with such care and wit — this does a bang-up job of sharply conveying tone and essence, while leaving the gift-wrap on the plot for a change. As for the film, I’m sensing a hybrid of the sober bleakness and self-reflexive zaniness that (respectively) characterized […]

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Herzog, Moore, Coens plan a stop at TIFF

Posted by · 11:05 am · July 28th, 2009

Some exciting announcements out of Toronto today (still no “Road”).  The festival is shaping up to be very, very cool this year. The film I am most excited about, announced today, is Werner Herzog’s remake “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” with Nicolas Cage in the role that Harvey Keitel made legendary. No in […]

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Mendes hiccup

Posted by · 12:04 pm · May 23rd, 2009

I’ve been on board for most every Sam Mendes film since the director made his heralded debut in 1999.  Even “Jarhead,” which was a big disappointment, had a lot of interesting ideas concerning the alienation of war and its effects on soldiers. I still think  last year’s “Revolutionary Road” (DVD coverage from John here) was […]

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Helmers of the English language, the best and why: part one

Posted by · 1:00 pm · November 1st, 2008

My recent article on Clint Eastwood drew an excellent response from Nathaniel Rogers (a regular commenter) that led me to this article. In that piece, I make clear my admiration for Eastwood, his artistry and the fact I believe him to be among the three finest directors working in movies. I stand by that, because […]

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10/6 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:28 am · October 6th, 2008

• Choire Sicha talks to Ellen Burstyn about “W.” and her new memoir. [Los Angeles Times] • A year later, Jeffrey Wells still very much hearts “Things We Lost in the Fire.” [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Peter Knegt profiles “Rachel Getting Married” screenwriter Jenny Lumet. [indieWIRE] • David Gritten corners the Coen brothers across the pond. […]

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9/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:58 am · September 16th, 2008

• Sasha Stone rounds up a few of the foreign language film submissions coming in. [Awards Daily] • Peter Bart seems to think the Coen brothers’ best opening weekend yet for “Burn After Reading” has more to do with turning “cold” into “hot” than with Brad Pitt extracting laugh after laugh in trailers for the […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Burn After Reading” (*1/2)

Posted by · 12:26 pm · September 6th, 2008

I really didn’t like “Burn After Reading,” but I laughed.  A LOT. I think the Coen brothers are probably the only filmmakers who can generate such a reaction.  The entire film is expendable.  It doesn’t even work on the grounds of slapstick, really.  It’s a series of events strung together, no point, no thematic ingenuity, […]

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TORONTO: ‘Burn After Reading,’ ‘Appaloosa,’ ‘Miracle at St. Anna’

Posted by · 11:55 am · September 6th, 2008

Rough day on the legs yesterday, a lot of walking.  Five films. One of them I will watch on DVD in the luxury of my room tonight, so four that I am running to, but hey, these are films I want to see, which always helps, right? I scanned the local papers for reaction to […]

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Finally an American digs the Coens’ ‘Burn’

Posted by · 10:20 am · September 5th, 2008

It seems Jeff Wells is one of the few to walk out of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Burn After Reading” with a big smile on his face. Here’s what he had to say, in part: I didn’t laugh all that much, but I loved every minute of this thing. Relished it, and mainly I sat […]

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The Brits feeling ‘Burn’

Posted by · 4:35 am · August 28th, 2008

You’ve surely heard by now that the US trade papers aren’t exactly crazy for the Coen Brothers’ latest, “Burn After Reading,” which bowed in Venice last night. “Arch and ungainly” was one of the less damning descriptions in Todd McCarthy’s review, while Kirk Honeycutt was moderately kinder in calling the film “a minor piece of […]

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The Guardian fires the starting gun

Posted by · 1:39 am · July 31st, 2008

No particularly new insights to be gleaned from this, but when a Limey paper declares awards season to be officially on, you know it’s here. Guardian writer Jeremy Kay glosses over the upcoming Venice and Toronto festivals, picking out some awards potential from the lineup. He begins by trumpeting the Best Actor chances of Mickey […]

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