Golden Globes: ‘Slumdog,’ ‘Button’ steady…whither ‘Milk?’

Posted by · 6:20 am · December 11th, 2008

Well, I said yesterday one should always expect oddities with the Golden Globes … but even with that in mind, they never fail to pull out some genuine “WTF” moments. Tom Cruise’s goofy Best Supporting Actor nod for “Tropic Thunder” may have been the most eccentric revelation of the morning, but surely the most significant […]

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‘Reader’ draws praise, but is it too remote for Oscar?

Posted by · 12:30 pm · November 30th, 2008

After a couple of days in post-screening limbo, the reviews for “The Reader” are in, and while there’s much praise for the film, I suspect the response may not be quite what Harvey Weinstein was hoping for. The general impression appears to be that it’s intelligent, well-crafted and delicately performed, but as Kris anticipated recently, […]

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‘Hunger,’ ‘Bruges’ lead British Independent nominees

Posted by · 5:44 pm · October 28th, 2008

The British Independent Film Awards are an odd, under-the-radar institution that frequently like to avoid the obvious and champion the underdog. Last year, for example, they bypassed the starrier likes of “Eastern Promises” and “Notes on a Scandal” to award their top prize to Anton Corbijn’s magnificent, under-rewarded “Control.” The previous year, they were even […]

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10/9 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:41 am · October 9th, 2008

• Dave Karger not only thinks Ralph Fiennes is in the supporting actor race for “The Duchess,” he thinks he is Heath Ledger’s main competition. [Oscar Watch] • Eight documentary shorts have been short-listed by AMPAS. [Oscars.org] • Jeffrey Wells reports that Lionsgate Films is pissing off Portland area critics by not screening “W.” for […]

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TORONTO: ‘Good,’ ‘Me and Orson Welles,’ ‘Every Little Step,’ ‘The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond,’ ‘The Hurt Locker’

Posted by · 2:09 pm · September 11th, 2008

Listening to the conversations of the other critics in the various theaters, it becomes very clear that this year’s fest has been something of a disappointment, the first in a long, long time. At least one critic pointed out to me that Oscar and TIFF divorced this year, which has been mentioned ad nauseum and […]

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REVIEW: “The Duchess” (**1/2)

Posted by · 10:53 am · September 8th, 2008

There’s a startling scene near the beginning of “The Duchess,” in which the teenaged Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley) has intercourse for the first time with her new husband, the much older Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes). Ordered, with dispassionate reserve, to strip naked and lie on the bed, Georgiana trembles with positive terror as her […]

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Alone: when you hate a movie everyone else seems to love

Posted by · 11:16 am · September 2nd, 2008

In 1996 I remember sitting in a packed screening room watching “The English Patient”; it was close to the end when Ralph Fiennes leaves Kristin Scott-Thomas in the cave, promising to come back, never to return, leaving her (through no fault of his own) to perish. I couldn’t help thinking at the time: “For fuck’s […]

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