OFF THE CARPET: Strong year for double-dippers

Posted by · 8:58 am · September 12th, 2011

We find ourselves right in the middle of the big Toronto press junket, er, film festival, where 200-plus films are landing, many of them as world premieres, and the landscape of this year’s Oscar race is really beginning to take shape. As I looked out at the various films in play this year, it suddenly […]

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Filed in: Off the Carpet

‘Contagion’ keeps you at arm’s length — by design

Posted by · 11:02 pm · September 2nd, 2011

Spinning off of comments made in the podcast this morning, I liked Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” quite a bit. It doesn’t reinvent the outbreak movie wheel per se, but it manifests a unique cross-section of characters and dissects them clinically, perhaps the film’s (and screenplay’s) biggest stroke of genius. There isn’t a lot of heart to […]

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Filed in: Daily · Reviews

Meirelles’s ‘360’ to open London fest

Posted by · 9:20 am · August 24th, 2011

I’m trying not to think too much about my hometown film festival right now — with the chaos of Venice only a week away, the idea of diving into another five-films-a-day fortnight shortly afterwards seems somewhat deadly. Still, with this week essentially amounting to the calm before the storm, now is as good a time […]

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Cannes jury includes Law, Thurman, Assayas

Posted by · 6:54 am · April 20th, 2011

[NOTE: We’re kicking off our daily Cannes preview series later today — stay tuned.] We knew months ago that Robert De Niro was presiding over this year’s Cannes jury, but the eight people joining him on the bench were finally named yesterday. Red-carpet stargazers should be pretty happy with this year’s crop: joining De Niro […]

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An open letter to James Franco

Posted by · 4:32 pm · February 28th, 2011

Dear James, So you don’t think much of the Academy. That’s okay. A lot of us don’t. And after the outcome of last night’s awards — in which capping an inevitable Best Picture Oscar for the safe, stolid stylings of “The King’s Speech” with that extraneous Best Director win for a worried-looking Tom Hooper was […]

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FRIDAY FORECAST: ‘Bounty’ soft

Posted by · 5:13 pm · March 19th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Forgive me if this entry seems a little rushed, but I’ve been flying most of the day and detoxing from South by Southwest. It was my first time attending since 2006 and the growth in scope, prestige and attendance since then was staggering. The quality and […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

THE LISTS: Top 10 Oscar nominee fields

Posted by · 12:47 pm · January 26th, 2010

In exactly one week’s time, we’ll have a brand new list of Oscar nominations to pore over, pick apart and eventually file away in our subconscious with the other 81 editions of this annual collective. For Oscar geeks, nomination day is in many ways more exciting than the ceremony itself, celebrating a broader spectrum of […]

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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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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Looking at the supporting gentlemen

Posted by · 9:10 am · November 9th, 2009

In recent weeks we’ve been covering the performance categories in this space.  With little else of tangible interest, what else can we possibly discuss?  It’s as good a time as any to take note of what we have on our hands.  Be sure to check out our looks at Best Actor, Best Actress and Best […]

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A.O. Scott revisits ‘Gattaca’

Posted by · 11:53 am · August 26th, 2009

I must say I’m really enjoying the New York Times’s Critics’ Picks video series — the clips are short, sweet and to the point, the discussion in them lucid, and the selections impeccable. Occasionally rather imaginative, too, as with A.O. Scott’s latest pick of Andrew Niccol’s 1997 masterpiece “Gattaca.” The film was sadly neglected on […]

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Gilliam talks completing ‘Parnassus’ without Ledger and his defining film moment

Posted by · 11:45 am · August 5th, 2009

At Comic-Con last month, Motion/Captured’s Drew McWeeny was fortunate enough to sit down with director Terry Gilliam for a solid 60 minutes, allowing the conversation to drift from actors like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt to the Criterion Collection to Gilliam’s latest, the still domestic distributor-less “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and everything in between. […]

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‘Sherlock Holmes’ trailer

Posted by · 4:56 pm · May 18th, 2009

I have to say, this looks sillier than I anticipated.  It’s comical (not in the way intended) and leans a bit too heavy on the farce throttle.  When the title screen came up, I chuckled.  It’s not to say that the film doesn’t look fun, because clearly it does.  But it has a rather unwelcome […]

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Berlin fest gets under way

Posted by · 6:25 am · February 6th, 2009

As far as press coverage goes, the Berlin Film Festival tends to get a bit drowned in the flurry of Oscar season, so you could be forgiven for failing to notice that it actually kicked off last night, with the world premiere of Tom Tykwer’s corporate thriller “The International.” Sadly, as I suspected, the film […]

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Depp as the Riddler? Hoffman as the Penguin?

Posted by · 6:32 pm · July 30th, 2008

Yeah, consider the source: the National Enquirer.  But apparently these two names are swirling around the casting debate for the sequel to the box office shattering “Dark Knight.” (Actually…there’s no source on the Depp bit.) Thanks to reader Ronn for passing in the information.  You all know my Bat allegiance, so I’ll use just about […]

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REVIEW: “Breaking and Entering” (***1/2)

Posted by · 1:52 am · September 10th, 2006

Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering” is one of the most sincerely penetrating films of the year.  It’s most unique quality is the sense of legroom it provides, a healthy stretch of a film with deep breaths and drawn out considerations, as opposed to the typical anxiety of temperamental manipulation (which all film tends to be […]

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Filed in: Reviews