REVIEW: “Midnight in Paris” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:30 am · May 11th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival Opening Night “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Nobody actually quotes L.P. Hartley in “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen’s often charming if largely over-explicated ode to the healing and deceiving properties of nostalgia. If they don’t, however, that could just be because a spring breeze stole the […]

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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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As Ganis prepares to exit, AMPAS searches for a new president

Posted by · 9:12 am · May 27th, 2009

As you know, Sid Ganis will close out his fourth-straight one-year stint as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a matter of months (he’ll be packing up his stuff in August).  “If history is any guide,” Michael Cieply writes in this Carpetbagger item, “some deeply internal glad-handing and politicking will […]

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REVIEW: “Chéri” (***)

Posted by · 11:12 am · May 9th, 2009

My first thought on leaving the theatre after watching Stephen Frears’ crisp, elegantly turned new effort is that it is, in many ways, a consummate Frears film. My second thought, however, ran counter to the first: it has, over the years, become increasingly difficult to define what “a Stephen Frears film” might be. We are […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Chéri” by Colette

Posted by · 8:52 am · May 6th, 2009

Merely casual acquaintances of French literature will likely associate the name Colette with her short story “Gigi” – or rather, the flouncy musical film adaptation thereof that swept the board at the 1958 Academy Awards. A sunny, sanitized interpretation of an intricate study in sexual politics, it captured the author’s sensibility in its lavish set-dressing, […]

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A promising start for ‘Chéri’

Posted by · 6:18 am · February 11th, 2009

If it isn’t quite the unanimous chorus of approval one might have hoped for, there’s still enough praise for Stephen Frears’ latest film “Chéri,” which premiered in Berlin last night, to mark it as a potential 2009 contender in several areas — among them, Best Actress for Michelle Pfeiffer’s much-anticipated return to dramatic roles. (Thanks, […]

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A film that sticks — why ‘Revolutionary Road’ is a masterwork

Posted by · 2:26 pm · January 15th, 2009

GENTLE SPOILERS WITHIN — READ WITH CAUTION Fear of change, fear of risk. “If you don’t try anything, you can’t fail,” she tells him, striking at the heart of what has him so afraid of uprooting their family to Paris in the hopes of a better way of life.  Frank Wheeler is terrified of change, […]

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How about some SAG predictions?

Posted by · 11:14 am · December 17th, 2008

With tomorrow’s SAG announcement hovering, waiting to be the first true litmus test of what the industry thinks of the year’s product (being the first guild out of the gate), I thought I’d take a stab at predictions, fit with alternates for old times’ sake. I think this will be the first real trial for […]

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Oops…sorry Kathy

Posted by · 6:13 pm · November 17th, 2008

I just realized that in this morning’s chart update, I forgot to add Kathy Bates to the list for her performance in “Revolutionary Road.”  She is most definitely in the running.  Next week.

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OFF THE CARPET: Getting to know you

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 17th, 2008

This is the first season I can think of, at least since I’ve been covering this crazy beat on the west coast, that studios have become so terrified by the media that guild screenings are preempting press screenings with such consistency. Some have whined about “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” screening for SAG 10 […]

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Filed in: Featured · Off the Carpet