REVIEW: “Inception” (***1/2)

Posted by · 3:00 pm · July 5th, 2010

In reviewing 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” I wrote that director Christopher Nolan “has made a brief career of exploring characters built upon their somber, in some instances twisted pasts, however distant or immediate.” The theme continues with “Inception,” a film like nothing you have ever seen before that plays out like a two-hour therapy session, […]

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THE LONG SHOT: A little bit of English

Posted by · 6:41 pm · January 20th, 2010

Yesterday, while talking with one of my sane friends whose thoughts drift to film awards perhaps one day a year, the conversation turned to the BAFTAs, which announce the nominations for their 2009 film awards tomorrow. “The BAFTAs, they’re like the Oscars for British films, right?” she asked. “Not quite,” I replied. “They’re open to […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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‘Moon,’ Carey Mulligan, Tom Hardy take BIFA Awards

Posted by · 3:28 pm · December 6th, 2009

The British Independent Film Awards really spread the wealth this year, with only two films — “Moon” and “Fish Tank” — taking more than one award. In a slightly surprising result, Duncan Jones’s sci-fi debut claimed the night’s top prize, Best British Independent Film, as well as Best Debut Director honors. Meanwhile, “Fish Tank,” which […]

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Hal Holbrook’s awards season play, take two

Posted by · 10:11 am · November 18th, 2009

Over the weekend, “That Evening Sun” star Hal Holbrook took the Excellence in Acting award at the Starz Denver Film Festival over the weekend.  When the press release landed in my inbox, it reminded me that, while I’ve been a pretty strong proponent of Patterson Hood’s original song from the film, I haven’t written about […]

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Renner, Stuhlbarg, Waltz among Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch

Posted by · 6:42 pm · October 29th, 2009

Variety’s annual list of 10 Actors to Watch may occasionally raise questions of what constitutes a career “breakthrough” — particularly in the case of established actors who those in the know have been watching all along. Still, it always makes for interesting reading, not least because, in some cases, it highlights names that Variety’s editors […]

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‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Moon,’ ‘Education’ lead BIFA noms, female directors rule

Posted by · 2:23 pm · October 26th, 2009

You’ve heard me natter on enough for months about how “Fish Tank” is one of the year’s best films — now you don’t have to just hear it from me anymore. Andrea Arnold’s lyrical character study of an unhappy Essex teenager (now being dubbed ‘the British “Precious”‘ by some lazy wags) leads the nominations for […]

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10/20 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:50 am · October 20th, 2009

• Peter Knegt writes up a list of honest-to-God Oscar underdogs, but where’s Tom Hardy? [indieWIRE] • Peter Bart and Michael Fleming go back and forth on the new Oscar paradigm. [BF Deal Memo] • Francis Ford Coppola chimes in with cheery news: “The cinema as we know it is falling apart.” [Bloomberg]

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‘Bronson’ trailer

Posted by · 4:45 pm · August 19th, 2009

Last month I briefly wrote up Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson” out of the Los Angeles Film Festival.  As we approach the 2009 awards season, it still remains one of the best films of the year, in this viewer’s opinion.  Audacious, twisted and featuring an instantly classic performance by actor Tom Hardy.  A new trailer has […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Bronson” (****)

Posted by · 11:08 am · June 25th, 2009

Los Angeles Film Festival It took me a few minutes to really grasp that watching Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson” was likely the most rewarding cinematic experience of the year to date, but when it clicked, it became obvious I was in the hands of an unrelenting artist.  Refn’s canvas is bone-crushingly overt.  The telling of […]

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Nolan continues casting the hell out of ‘Inception’

Posted by · 9:41 pm · May 4th, 2009

Add Ken Watanabe and Tom Hardy to the ever-expanding, impressive slate of actors signed up for Christopher Nolan’s still-shrouded-in-mystery “Inception.”  Watanabe, of course, will be re-teaming with Nolan after starring in 2005’s “Batman Begins,” while Hardy was making waves earlier this year in the Sundance hit “Bronson” (you might recall the amusing story Michael Shannon […]

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