REVIEW: “The Wrestler” (***1/2)

Posted by · 7:42 am · November 7th, 2008

AFI Fest Darren Aronofsky went back to the drawing board on “The Wrestler,” a film that wallows in nuance, spearheaded by a performance of grace and subtle charisma. After “The Fountain” failed to catch on in any meaningful way (though this viewer considered it one of the best films of 2006), the director ravaged by […]

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LONDON: Gongs for ‘Mice,’ ‘Tulpan’ … and my own awards

Posted by · 9:30 am · October 31st, 2008

My last post on the London Film Festival brings some happy news, as one of my favourite festival titles was justly rewarded last night. The festival is not a competion-based one, but three prestigious awards are still handed out before the final screening. One of these is the global festival staple, the FIPRESCI International Critics’ […]

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LONDON: Surprise… it’s ‘The Wrestler’

Posted by · 7:59 pm · October 26th, 2008

It’s a rainy Sunday night in London, and darkness fell a whole hour earlier thanks to the start of daylight savings. All of which only made me happier to be seated inside the warm cavern of the Leicester Square Odeon for my favorite event of the London Film Festival — the annual Surprise Film. Usually […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 performances you’re underestimating

Posted by · 7:22 am · September 16th, 2008

Every year it seems there are a number of performers in the thick of an Oscar hunt that don’t get the same attention as the expected heavy-hitters. It’s no surprise, of course, that Oscar prognostication would lean toward the anticipation of what lies ahead, unseen, unproven.  The mystery stays in tact, if for precious few […]

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Yes, but what about the ladies?

Posted by · 6:58 am · September 9th, 2008

Mickey Rourke is on an unstoppable course toward a Best Actor nomination for his performance in “The Wrestler.”  Universal acclaim for the film has yet to hit a speed bump and by and large, folks are on board for this apparent tour de force. But there are at least two other performances in the film […]

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TORONTO: ‘Che,’ ‘The Wrestler’

Posted by · 11:03 pm · September 8th, 2008

Two masterpieces, one right after the other.  This was the day I had been waiting for.  I caught Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” today, all four hours and 20 minutes of it.  It’s a glorious achievement from a brilliant mind, one of the few directors who seeks to challenge himself constantly.  “Che” is audacious and bold filmmaking […]

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‘Wrestler’ off to a good start

Posted by · 4:31 pm · September 4th, 2008

Now this is good news. Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” bows at Venice tomorrow, but the trades have put up their reviews from Toronto … and they’re mighty positive. Todd McCarthy and the Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Farber both give credence to those Best Actor rumours for Mickey Rourke. Farber calls the performance the best of his […]

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T.L. Stanley calls for a stop to the ‘Thunder’ madness

Posted by · 7:50 am · August 22nd, 2008

I hadn’t checked in with T.L. Stanley’s ever-entertaining blog for a while, partly because she hasn’t been dealing with that much film-related content lately. But here she offers an amusing take on the breathless awards prognostications floating round the blogosphere for decidedly non-prestige titles: Not sure what’s more off-the-wall these days: Web-fueled discussions that try […]

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Venice puts cinema ahead of stars

Posted by · 10:24 am · July 30th, 2008

There are some major surprises in the competition lineup for next month’s Venice Film Festival, not the least of which are the global flavour and soberness of the lineup itself. In previous years, the Lido has proved a launchpad for starry, surefire awards vehicles (“Atonement” and “Michael Clayton” both made successful bows there last year, […]

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Filed in: Daily