Evening Standard Awards go their own way

Posted by · 8:20 am · February 8th, 2011

“What is it about the British?” a reader asked in one of last week’s comment threads. “They can’t quite make a film of current topical interest or [sic] lacks some historical or classical literary backdrop to give it a sense of importance.” The comment is one of many “typical British film” jabs I’ve read since […]

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Evening Standard Award nominees, take two

Posted by · 11:52 am · January 21st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the nominations for the London Evening Standard Awards — a juried critics’ honor devoted to British films and talent. As it turns out, that “nominee” list was a bit of a false alarm; rather, it was a rough longlist of names considered by the jury that the […]

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‘Never Let Me Go’ tops London Evening Standard noms

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 4th, 2011

The London Evening Standard Awards, a particularly bijou set of critics’ honors reserved for British titles and talent, tend to swerve a little left of the expected — chosen as they are by a jury of six disparate, but equally opinionated, critics. So it is this year: obviously “The King’s Speech” and “Another Year” feature […]

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LONDON: French femmes on form

Posted by · 5:54 pm · October 26th, 2010

“I think the French have always enjoyed older women, and they’re right to do so,” Kristin Scott Thomas told me in an interview nearly two years ago, when asked about the range of opportunities for actresses over 40 in the French film industry. “A life has been lived. There’s so much more at stake. The […]

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Why we should be watching Kristin Scott Thomas

Posted by · 5:55 pm · October 7th, 2010

Hey, did you know I’m something of a Kristin Scott Thomas fan? If you didn’t, chances are you only just met me. Welcome. The precis version is that I think she’s one of the few great contemporary actresses currently working on career-peak form, and in two languages to boot. The non-precis version — well, dig […]

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James Cameron tops Guardian’s “most powerful” list

Posted by · 8:55 am · September 24th, 2010

There has been some debate this morning in the British corner of the Twitterverse about the merits of The Guardian’s inaugural Film Power 100 list, which claims to represent the 100 industry figures current wielding the most power over, and influence on, UK filmgoers. It’s an ungainly and frequently baffling collection of names, mashing together […]

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‘A Prophet’ tops César nominations

Posted by · 7:02 am · January 23rd, 2010

What a shocker, right? In the nominations for France’s premier film awards, Jacques Audiard’s Oscar contender leads the field with a massive 13 bids. (Look out for my interview with Audiard, coming soon.) It’s nice to finally see some love for Niels Arestrup’s astonishing work in the film, but when a contemporary prison drama can […]

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10/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · October 30th, 2009

• Brian Lowry on how The Ten is an Oscarcast producer’s nightmare. [Variety] • With Hugh Jackman out, Jeff Wells thinks the Oscars need to skew younger with their host. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • The producers of “London River” launch a deserved Oscar campaign for Brenda Blethyn, despite still lacking US distribution. [Notes on a Season]

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SHORT TAKE: “Nowhere Boy” (**1/2)

Posted by · 5:17 pm · October 29th, 2009

London Film Festival A bright, slight, mostly enjoyable portrait of the formative years of John Lennon, artist-turned-filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy” opens with a nudge-nudge tease, as the singular opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night” reverberates through the theater over a shot of the 18 year-old Lennon running to school. That single-second strum, however, […]

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LONDON: ‘Chloe,’ ‘Leaving’

Posted by · 4:38 pm · October 23rd, 2009

I realize I’ve dropped the ball somewhat with my festival updates — between the to-and-fro of festival business, other writing tasks and the occasional impulse to have a personal life, a backlog longer than I care to count has accumulated of films yet to be discussed. Expect that to be partially rectified over a quieter […]

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The Great Performances: 1996

Posted by · 10:15 am · October 16th, 2009

1996 was an odd year, a year when the independent cinema dominated the weak product emerging out of Hollywood. I am going to confess right off the top of this article (as I have numerous times before) that I was not a fan of “The English Patient,” which for me remains one of the most […]

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‘Seagull’ film going ahead with Mulligan and Scott Thomas

Posted by · 4:49 pm · October 8th, 2009

In Carey Mulligan’s entry on Tuesday’s “best actors under 30” list, I mentioned her stunning turn on stage in the recent revival of Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” writing that “if/when anyone commits that to film, Mulligan will be unbeatable for Best Supporting Actress.” What I didn’t know is that “if” has definitely become a “when” in […]

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Aaron Johnson as John Lennon in ‘Nowhere Boy’

Posted by · 12:03 pm · August 30th, 2009

Hat tip to The Playlist for digging up this newish still from one of my most anticipated films of the year, Sam Taylor-Wood’s “Nowhere Boy.” The film, a study of John Lennon’s early years, will premiere on the closing night of the London Film Festival in October. As Lennon, 19 year-old Aaron Johnson faces a […]

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Lennon biopic ‘Nowhere Boy’ to close London fest

Posted by · 1:32 am · July 31st, 2009

UPDATE: “Nowhere Boy” producer, Kevin Loader, addresses Jeff Wells’s concerns about the film’s non-appearance at earlier autumn festivals quite reasonably. He explains that the post-production schedule means the film simply won’t be complete in time for Venice or Toronto. I thought as much. This is an interesting development. Lately, the London Film Festival has chosen […]

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All in good taste

Posted by · 10:32 am · March 24th, 2009

There’s no real reason to pay attention to the Chlotrudis Awards,which took place on Sunday. After all, they’re a casually organised set of honours determined by an enthusiastic group of Boston-based film lovers — that apparently get mentioned on IMDB and precisely nowhere else. But hey, when their taste is this exemplary, they deserve a […]

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Five reasons to pay attention to ‘Nowhere Boy’

Posted by · 6:29 pm · March 16th, 2009

1. It’s a biopic chronicling the formative years of one of popular music’s most gifted and fascinating icons. (How has it taken this long for a John Lennon project of any significance to come to fruition?) 2. It’s the feature film debut of Sam Taylor Wood — the British conceptual artist, musician, photographer, Anthony Minghella […]

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‘Wrestler’ rules London crix awards

Posted by · 3:15 pm · February 4th, 2009

The London Film Critics’ Circle have just announced their winners, and I have to say they’ve done a pretty terrific job. (I discussed the nominations here.) The really heartening news is that “The Wrestler” finally has another Best Picture award to its credit, five months after taking the Golden Lion at Venice — who would […]

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Class act

Posted by · 4:07 pm · January 28th, 2009

Jeff Wells has captured some of last night’s Kristin Scott Thomas Q&A at the Santa Barbara festival, and it’s well worth a look — as I found when I interviewed her back in December, she’s immensely forthright, considered and witty in her discussion of her craft. Truly one of the best in the game. Wells […]

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