The Great Performances: 2004

Posted by · 6:35 pm · December 11th, 2009

In Alexander Payne’s “Sideways,” Paul Giamatti gave the best performance by an actor in 2004, so said the New York Film Critics Circle, and how right they were.  So why, why, why was the actor denied an Oscar nomination?  Granted, it was a strong year, but his work was at the top of that heap […]

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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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TORONTO: ‘The Road,’ ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ ‘Chloe’

Posted by · 2:27 pm · September 14th, 2009

(Please note, as opposed to Kris and Guy, I tend to grade films on a 5-star scale.) Loads to catch up on today and some interviews still to write up. First off, I have to confess that I disagree with Kris’s review of “The Road,” respectfully of course, and I think I have a reason […]

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8/12 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:32 am · August 12th, 2009

• Kevin Kelly digs into the J.J. Abrams “Dark Tower” project. [Cinematical] • In honor of “Julie & Julia,” 10 blogs that could be movies. [Film School Rejects] • Liam Neeson walks his first red carpet since the death of wife Natasha Richardson. [Associated Press]

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Bad things come to those who wait

Posted by · 1:22 am · August 1st, 2009

It’s so often these days that we see poorly cut trailers for otherwise high-pedigree films that we tend to brush them aside. “Well, it has to be better than that,” we say. Refreshingly, however, this trailer for Richard Eyre’s romantic thriller “The Other Man,” due for a late-September release after gathering dust since last year’s […]

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‘Five Minutes of Heaven’ trailer

Posted by · 4:14 am · July 3rd, 2009

I offered some very brief notes a while back on Oliver Hirschbiegel’s excellent “Five Minutes of Heaven,” which premiered on television here in the UK, but will thankfully get the theatrical release (along with VOD) it deserves Stateside in August. Thank God for IFC. (More thoughts after the cut.)

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Neeson, Connelly headline Dustin Lance Black’s directing debut

Posted by · 10:43 am · May 17th, 2009

The Liam Neeson career revival continues apace. Variety reports that the 56 year-old thesp will star opposite Jennifer Connelly in “What’s Wrong With Virginia,” the first directorial effort from “Milk” scribe Dustin Lance Black. The film, which has Gus Van Sant involved as an executive producer, which begins shooting this summer. The pitch goes as […]

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IFC nabs Sundance winner ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’

Posted by · 2:36 am · May 8th, 2009

For whatever reason, it completely slipped my mind to mention Oliver Hirschbiegel’s superb “Five Minutes of Heaven” when it premiered on UK television last month. The film, which won directing and writing honours at Sundance in January, is an exemplary return to form for the “Downfall” director, a grim but riveting account of two men […]

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Danny Huston to play Poseidon in ‘Clash of the Titans’

Posted by · 10:13 am · April 29th, 2009

Boy, Danny Huston sure does seem to be going for the cash grab lately.  He’s a talented actor, so I sure wish he’d try to expand beyond the creative rut he’s in right now.  First “30 Days of Night,” then “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” now this?  We’re a long way from “The Proposition.” All that said, […]

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The professional

Posted by · 5:20 pm · April 27th, 2009

It’s not as if we were short of reasons to admire Liam Neeson in the first place. The man is a remarkable actor, by all accounts an intelligent, decent human being, and even in the face of his wife’s untimely passing, has always managed to keep his private life laudably, well, private. But even by […]

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Liam Neeson = Hollywood’s go-to mentor

Posted by · 10:39 am · April 9th, 2009

Can we just assume that whenever the Hollywood moguls in all their infinite, maniacl wisdom decide to actually film an unending epic based on the Bible, Liam Neeson is likely to get the role of God? We’re already talking about the guy who mentored both Batman and Obi Wan Kenobi, who starred as the magical […]

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R.I.P. Natasha Richardson

Posted by · 5:51 pm · March 18th, 2009

After two days of conflicting reports, Time Out New York falling over itself to proclaim the actress dead, then brain dead, neither case properly verified, and general anxiety over her condition, Natasha Richardson has finally succumbed to the injuries she sustained during a tragic ski accident in Montreal Monday.  She was 45 years old. From […]

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Tragic news

Posted by · 11:29 am · March 17th, 2009

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here’s the latest, from the AP: A person close to the family of Natasha Richardson says the actress has arrived in New York. Richardson, the wife of Liam Neeson, was critically injured Monday during a skiing accident at Montreal‘s famed Mont Tremblant resort. She was treated at Sacre-Coeur hospital Monday night and left […]

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‘Push’ sweeps at Sundance

Posted by · 7:37 am · January 25th, 2009

It had become quite clear over the past few days that Lee Daniels’ sophomore feature “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire” was one of the few titles raising pulses at a very quiet Sundance Film Festival. The film, a hard-hitting urban tale of an African-American teenager overcoming merciless parental abuse in 1980’s Harlem, has […]

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LONDON: ‘Tony Manero,’ ‘The Other Man,’ ‘Awaydays,’ ‘Seamstresses’

Posted by · 5:39 pm · October 22nd, 2008

Before I continue my roundup of films from the last few days of the London Film Festival, I received an email asking why I haven’t mentioned such major festival titles as “Rachel Getting Married” and “Religulous.” There is little point in me reviewing titles that have already opened in the States (and which Kris has […]

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Will Spielberg turn his attentions to ‘Lincoln’ after withdrawing from ‘Chicago 7?’

Posted by · 11:50 am · August 22nd, 2008

Steven Spielberg announced quite some time ago, a year and a half at least, that he planned to make a biography of President Lincoln with Liam Neeson as the 16th American President. Excited about this right away, I sat and waited, and waited, and waited, while he did the latest Indiana Jones film (no argument, […]

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Seven-minute ‘Other Man’ preview/trailer/thing

Posted by · 6:59 am · August 20th, 2008

Richard Eyre’s latest hasn’t landed domestic distribution yet, but it could be a great vehicle for stars Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Antonio Banderas and Romola Garai. UPDATE (5:04 p.m.): As it turns out, the footage that was in this space was a promo reel meant for distributors, not for audiences.  It’s been yanked from YouTube, […]

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