11/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:44 am · November 2nd, 2009

• Brian Brooks sits down with “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe. [indieWIRE] • Mark Harris on Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar: cinematic soul mates. [New York Times] • Mark Salisbury writes up “The Young Victoria” from across the pond with quotes from actress Emily Blunt and screenwriter Julian Fellowes. [Los Angeles Times]

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Who could say “Nein!” to a face like that?

Posted by · 6:06 pm · October 2nd, 2009

Not me.  And can we just give Dion Beebe his second Oscar now?  Talk about a race virtually sapped of intrigue (if we’re being honest): One more reason after the jump.

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TORONTO: Penelope Cruz and ‘Broken Embraces’

Posted by · 12:06 pm · September 12th, 2009

When did Penelope Cruz become such a great actress? This was a woman  I could barely stand looking at on screen not more than five years ago, yet now she is an absolute delight, with depth, emotion, and the ability to find the truth in her characters, an innate ability that is downright uncanny. God, […]

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Brits fall for ‘Hurt Locker,’ ‘Broken Embraces’

Posted by · 4:48 am · August 28th, 2009

In what is surely the richest weekend of the year for discerning British cinemagoers since the glut of Oscar contenders in January, both Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Broken Embraces” hit UK screens today. You could be forgiven for not knowing that, though. While Almodovar’s film has enjoyed a prominent marketing campaign […]

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It’s not so dire, Mr. Friedman

Posted by · 4:06 pm · August 22nd, 2009

Obviously Hollywood Reporter gossip hound Roger Friedman hasn’t been reading our Contenders section, or else he’d know there are plenty of lead actress hopefuls out there, not the dearth he apparently perceives. Friedman rattles off 12 contenders in a recent piece titled Shortage of “Best Actresses in the Coming Oscar Season,” but he misses some […]

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Cruz looking to slow down?

Posted by · 9:17 am · August 21st, 2009

I’ve always been aware that actress Penélope Cruz was somewhat ubiquitous and certainly a hard worker.  She’s also intensely focused on her craft, more so than you might naturally expect.  When I interviewed her for a Variety profile last year (she was in London shooting “Nine” at the time), she was incredibly centered, almost somberly […]

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8/21 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:34 am · August 21st, 2009

• How many days did Bill Murray re-live in “Groundhog Day?” [Chicago Tribune] • Screenwriter Roberto Orci to receive Imagen Awards’ Norman Lear Writer’s Award. [Variety] • David Poland sits down with three more Super Movie Friends to talk “Inglourious Basterds.” [The Hot Blog]

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REVIEW: “Broken Embraces” (***)

Posted by · 11:45 am · July 17th, 2009

Mateo Blanco, the fictitious, sightless filmmaker who is both the ostensible hero of Pedro Almodóvar’s 17th feature film, “Broken Embraces,” and a highly refracted alter ego of Almodóvar himself, runs his career by one golden principle: “no sequels, remakes or biopics.” This statement, hammered home to Blanco (Lluis Homar) by his long-serving agent Judit (Blanca […]

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Stunning new ‘Broken Embraces’ trailer

Posted by · 5:35 am · July 3rd, 2009

The Guardian has exclusively debuted the brand new trailer for Pedro Almodovar’s “Broken Embraces,” and it’s a thing of considerable beauty. Mixed reviews be damned — the oil-painting saturated color of Rodrigo Prieto’s lensing (which weirdly reminds me of Vittorio Storaro’s work on Bertolucci’s “The Spider’s Stratagem”), the cannily cool choice of Cat Power on […]

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‘Broken Embraces,’ ‘Vincere’ bow at Cannes

Posted by · 6:21 am · May 19th, 2009

Pedro Almodovar’s “Broken Embraces” has just had its Cannes debut, and the notices emerging so far largely supplement the good-but-not-ecstatic slate of reviews the film garnered upon its Spanish release back in March. Kirk Honeycutt, in one of THR’s slightly pointless video reviews, labels it “Almodovar lite” and discusses the film’s allusions to “Peeping Tom” […]

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Be still, my heart

Posted by · 5:27 pm · May 18th, 2009

I’ve been tied up all week so I’m just now catching up on things like the trailers for “The Road” and “Nine,” so forgive the belated drooling, but I have to offer this space for Ms. Cruz. Yowsers.

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Winslet, Cruz, Herzog crack 2009 TIME 100

Posted by · 3:02 am · May 1st, 2009

Given the debate currently active on these pages over what does and does not merit the term “influential” in the film world, there couldn’t be a better time to link to Time magazine’s list of (supposedly) the world’s 100 most influential people. Time slightly sidesteps the inherent comparative silliness of such a list by breaking […]

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Is Clarkson one to watch for ‘Whatever Works?’

Posted by · 3:57 am · April 3rd, 2009

As Penélope Cruz, Dianne Wiest, Mira Sorvino and assorted nominees over the years can attest, if you’re an actress hungry for some awards attention, you can do a lot worse than take a supporting role in an (at least) halfway decent Woody Allen film. (Unless, of course, you’re Scarlett Johansson, who’s still holding an IOU […]

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‘A rollicking struggle, a joy to watch’

Posted by · 6:08 pm · March 18th, 2009

Breathe, my fellow Almodovar devotees — the first reviews for “Broken Embraces” are in. While they’re not unqualified raves, it would appear that the master has pushed himself into new and challenging tonal and thematic territory, and the critics are duly appreciative. Screen International’s Barry Byrne suggests that it will delight fans and befuddle others, […]

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“A profession of love for cinema”

Posted by · 10:06 am · March 14th, 2009

That’s how Pedro Almodovar describes “Broken Embraces,” which is now mere days from opening in Spain. Reviews should arrive soon enough, but for now, this rather thin article offers the following tidbit: With hints of thriller-style cinema thrown in, Almodovar’s film alludes to his own earlier movies those of directors he admires, such as Roberto […]

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Película negra

Posted by · 3:34 pm · March 7th, 2009

I’m sure many of you by now have seen the gorgeous European poster artwork for Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming “Broken Embraces,” in all its lurid Warholian variations. (If you haven’t, Nat Rogers has the lot here.) Now, even more enticingly, we have the first full-length Spanish trailer for the film, an expansion of sorts of the […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Handicapping 2009 a year in advance!?

Posted by · 10:51 am · February 23rd, 2009

Ahh.  The dust is settling.  And on the horizon, just visible through the mist and waiting to drive us all up the wall once again: the 2009 Oscar season. I’ve been writing this year-in-advance column for probably six years now, and I always look forward to gazing ahead.  No one dives in so pathetically deep […]

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He’s with them in spirit

Posted by · 6:38 am · February 23rd, 2009

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