Zellweger sings Dylan in ‘My Own Love Song’

Posted by · 2:33 pm · April 2nd, 2010

Back in 2008, I professed myself less than ecstatic at the prospect of “My Own Love Song,” the first English-language effort from “La Vie en Rose” helmer Olivier Dahan, in which Renée Zellweger plays a wheelchair-bound country singer on a road trip with her eccentric best friend Forest Whitaker, in search of her long-lost son. […]

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The Great Performances: 2005

Posted by · 5:07 pm · December 18th, 2009

2005 was the year of Heath Ledger’s beautiful, moving performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” which I saw for the first time in Toronto.  It instantly became the talk of the festival, and the film became the one to beat for the Academy Award. Ledger was astonishing as the taciturn cowboy who is more surprised than anybody […]

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The Great Performances: 2003

Posted by · 9:14 am · December 4th, 2009

There is little doubt in my mind I am going to take some heat this week, so let’s kick it off right away with my belief that Sean Penn deserved his Best Actor Oscar for “Mystic River,” a performance of overwhelming ferocity and staggering emotional power. Yes, I too loved Bill Murray in “Lost in […]

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Risk addiction

Posted by · 1:18 pm · November 30th, 2009

After some initial resistance, I’m getting chattier on Twitter lately. Yesterday, in a “best of 2000s” frame of mind, an enjoyable back-and-forth with some of you started after I idly asked which actor or actress has had the greatest decade on film. The suggestions came in thick and fast, some mathematically going by awards stats, […]

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The Great Performances: 2002

Posted by · 9:45 am · November 27th, 2009

2002 was probably one of the greatest years for performance excellence in film history, from leading actor right through all the supporting players. They could have easily nominated 10 actors in each of the four acting categories, and still missed some. Though Adrien Brody won the Oscar for “The Pianist,” which was a huge shock, […]

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The Great Performances: 2001

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 20th, 2009

In one of the weakest years in memory, not just for performances but for great films, 2001 saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry knock “two birds out with one stone,” as the former declared on Oscar night, as two African Americans won the top acting prizes for the first time ever.  And it was difficult […]

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The Great Performances: 2000

Posted by · 7:14 pm · November 13th, 2009

Michael Douglas was robbed. The already Oscar-christened actor gave a career-best performance in 2000 in Curtis Hanson’s “Wonder Boys,” but he got no love from the Academy. Worse, his performance was easily among the five best of the year and won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actor prize. That having been said, I […]

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The Great Performances: 1998

Posted by · 2:03 pm · October 30th, 2009

For all my bitching about Roberto Benigni winning Best Actor in 1998 for his incessant mugging in “Life is Beautiful,” I was also thrilled the Academy watched enough films and paid enough attention to realize that Edward Norton was deserving for his magnetic turn as a neo-Nazi who sees the light in “American History X.” […]

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8/26 Web Round-up

Posted by · 9:13 am · August 26th, 2009

• The “Inglourious Basterds” one-sheet that could have been. [Poster Wire] • On the occasion of Tim Burton’s 51st birthday (yesterday), an appreciation. [Hero Complex] • On Marvin Hamlisch’s “hilariously schmaltzy” score for “The Informant!” [The Playlist]

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Anyone want to see this?

Posted by · 3:12 am · September 6th, 2008

Sorry this news is a few days old, but it escaped my notice until now. Variety reports on a new independent drama that enters production next month. I’m just going to lay down the details, one by one: Renee Zellweger plays a wheelchair-bound former singer. Forest Whitaker plays an emotionally damaged fireman. Together, they embark […]

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REVIEW: “Appaloosa” (**1/2)

Posted by · 10:27 am · September 5th, 2008

I don’t think it’s much of a secret around these parts that I really wanted to be on board for “Appaloosa.” I’m in love with the new resurgence of the western genre, even if I get irritated when people refer to “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” as evidence of it. […]

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TIFF keeps ’em coming

Posted by · 1:40 pm · July 17th, 2008

More announcements out of the press office from Toronto today. Great to hear that the first of the potential Oscar films is coming, Ed Harris’s “Appaloosa,” with Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger and Harris starring. Harris’s last directorial effort “Pollock” opened here and went all the way to Oscar night, winning Best Supporting Actress for Marcia […]

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The western keeps on truckin’

Posted by · 12:27 am · June 19th, 2008

It’s no real secret that yours truly is in the tank for the western genre.  Being brought up on the films of Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood tends to make an impact in a young man’s life.  I watch Charles Bronson square off with Henry Fonda on a daily basis.  I’m knee-deep in research on […]

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