Toronto reception takes ‘360’ back to zero

Posted by · 6:10 am · September 12th, 2011

The warning signs were there for “360.” An umpteenth reworking of “La Ronde” didn’t seem an obvious fit for either Fernando Meirelles or Peter Morgan — a pretty dispassionate writer even on his best form, he came badly unstuck last year when he veered from his fact-based template with “Hereafter.” Meirelles, too, is seeking to […]

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London Film Festival unveils Weisz-bookended lineup

Posted by · 2:26 pm · September 7th, 2011

I’m not going to spend too much time on the London Film Festival lineup, which was announced in all its glory this morning — partly because I’m still at Venice and am experiencing disturbing festival double vision, and partly because I’ve already seen a number of its choicest selections. As usual, festival director Sandra Hebron […]

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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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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘127 Hours’ dissent, BIFA nods, interviews

Posted by · 5:10 am · November 6th, 2010

• Guy didn’t much care for “127 Hours.” That got you talking. • Happily, Kris did, and got talking to director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy. • The British Independent Film Award nominations threw some surprises into the mix, handing scads of noms to “The King’s Speech”… and “Kick-Ass.” • Chad’s Life Without Oscar […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Cold Weather’ director Aaron Katz

Posted by · 7:12 pm · November 3rd, 2010

When the director of a gentle indie character study—even one joshingly praised as “mumblecore with a plot” by certain critics—cheerfully tells you that his next project is more of a “werewolf buddy cop comedy,” you could be forgiven for expecting a thick veil of irony to cover the remark. But Aaron Katz, it turns out, […]

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Finally, the 10 best of the 2010 LFF

Posted by · 4:57 pm · November 2nd, 2010

For those of you who were loyally following my London Film Festival coverage this year, I must apologize for leaving it somewhat in limbo. Though I did eventually find time for a lengthy discussion of fest closer “127 Hours,” a snowballing workload put paid to my hopes of squeezing in a few more review roundups. […]

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On ‘127 Hours,’ and a messy little thing called opinion

Posted by · 2:08 pm · November 1st, 2010

It all started, as so many conflicts do these days, with a tweet. After spending a morning and afternoon musing on “127 Hours,” following a breakfast-time screening on the last day of the London Film Festival, I accepted the hard fact that I simply didn’t like it very much. I wanted to feel differently. Danny […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Leading men, Halloween horror, comic contenders

Posted by · 8:02 am · October 31st, 2010

• This week’s Off the Carpet column took a roll call of this year’s Best Actor contenders. • Meanwhile, we interviewed one of the strongest of those contenders, “127 Hours” star James Franco. • With “The King’s Speech,” “Another Year” and “Made in Dagenham” all in the hunt, The Long Shot mused on Britain’s back-and-forth […]

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‘How I Ended This Summer’ takes top prize at London fest

Posted by · 6:39 pm · October 27th, 2010

“We chose our winner last night,” London Film Festival jury president Patricia Clarkson told me yesterday, an evasive  smile on our face, as we eased into our lunchtime interview. (More on that in a few days.) “I’m very pleased with it — it’s a wonderful film.” Naturally, my fellow lunch guest, Daily Telegraph critic Tim […]

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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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LONDON: ‘Brighton’ hits the rocks

Posted by · 6:04 am · October 25th, 2010

The success of the London Film Festival’s annual Surprise Film screening isn’t exactly dependent on the surprise element: more often than not, the film’s identity can be pinpointed in advance simply by asking yourself which title you most expected to find in the festival lineup, and then didn’t. But even if pretty much everyone sitting […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Bone’ boost, category debate, LFF coverage

Posted by · 12:00 pm · October 23rd, 2010

(A day later than usual — apologies. Friday night got in the way.) • The Gotham Awards served up the first nominations of the season, with indie darling “Winter’s Bone” sitting pretty. • With “The Kids Are All Right” and “Another Year” prodding the discussion, this week’s Long Shot column ruminated on a perennial gripe […]

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LONDON: ‘The King’s Speech, ‘Neds’ and the Brit pack

Posted by · 11:27 am · October 22nd, 2010

Unlike, say, the Venice fest – where the jury’s failure to reward any of the (lousy) Italian films in competition is cause for a media strop — the London Film Festival has often seemed somewhat embarrassed by the homegrown portion of its programme, perhaps granting a big red-carpet date to the odd bit of tony […]

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LONDON: ‘Tabloid,’ ‘Waste Land,’ ‘The Peddler’

Posted by · 11:23 am · October 20th, 2010

Amid a fairly robust non-fiction slate in this year’s London Film Festival programme, there appears to be an informal sidebar of documentaries about the process of, well, documenting — whether via media avenues of art, film or journalism. That’s not to say the films in question are particularly meta. The ones grouped here are all […]

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LONDON: ‘Cold Weather,’ ‘Carlos,’ ‘Little White Lies’

Posted by · 6:38 pm · October 18th, 2010

Okay, so my weekend plans to catch up on my LFF review backlog didn’t entirely pan out — though the schedulers have, at least, kindly slowed the snowball effect by screening a number of films today that I had already seen. Strange as it sounds, given that it’s been on the festival track for five […]

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LONDON: Five foreign Oscar contenders

Posted by · 7:31 pm · October 17th, 2010

(Please note that one of the films reviewed here, “Aftershock,” was not screened as part of the London Film Festival programme — but since I saw it this week, it made sense to include it in this discussion.) Admittedly, 11 out of 65 is a figure that is only impressive if you’re counting the listenable […]

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LONDON: ‘Conviction,’ ‘Amigo,’ ‘Everything Must Go’

Posted by · 6:23 am · October 16th, 2010

“To get the challenge to play someone like this makes me a better person,” said a rather intense-looking Hilary Swank at yesterday’s London Film Festival press conference — the someone in question, single mom turned crusading lawyer Betty Ann Waters, sitting to her immediate left. Not being personally acquainted with Ms. Swank, I can’t verify […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Supporting ladies gather, London opens, Hardy goes to Gotham

Posted by · 8:28 pm · October 15th, 2010

• Off the Carpet picked out the likeliest runners in a highly malleable Best Supporting Actress race. • We checked in on the Best Animated Feature race, where it seems we may be looking at a three-nominee field after all. • Away from the awards beat, the week’s big news was the casting of Tom […]

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