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: 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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‘Grey Gardens’ redefines Drew Barrymore as an actress

Posted by · 2:13 pm · April 19th, 2009

In a stunning, Oscar-worthy performance that redefines her as an actress, Drew Barrymore is nothing short of miraculous as Little Edie in “Grey Gardens,” the latest knockout from HBO. Nothing the actress has shown us before will prepare you for her transformation into the eccentric character she portrays in this fine film. I remember seeing […]

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The evolution of the actress, part two

Posted by · 9:04 am · October 3rd, 2008

This is the second of a two-part study of legendary screen actresses through the years.  Click here for part one. Diane Keaton and Sally Field emerged at the end of the 1970s with strong performances that defined them as actresses of the future. Keaton won an Oscar for her kooky “Annie Hall” and became a […]

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