‘Precious’ and ‘Last Station’ lead Spirit nominees

Posted by · 8:38 am · December 1st, 2009

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone to “Precious” landed atop the list of Independent Spirit Award nominations this morning. Lee Daniels’ indie smash earned 5 mentions including Best Feature, Director and Actress, and looks like the one to beat in every category where it features. Fewer people, however, might have expected Michael Hoffman’s […]

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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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‘Two Lovers’

Posted by · 5:55 pm · January 28th, 2009

This US trailer for James Gray’s wispy throwback romance has been knocking around for a little while, but it only came to my attention now. It’s a minor-key work that admittedly isn’t flattered by the rather prosaic trailer, though it’s been lauded (like all Gray’s films) in France, and I was rather charmed by it […]

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Cesar nods include ‘Class,’ ‘Loved,’ Swinton

Posted by · 7:57 am · January 24th, 2009

Now here’s a set of nominations I can get behind. As I may have mentioned before, 2008 was all about the rejuvenation of French cinema for me, with Gallic productions occupying a quarter of my year-end Top 20, including the two poll spots. So it’s hardly surprising that I’m immensely pleased by the list of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Two Lovers” (***)

Posted by · 9:37 am · October 22nd, 2008

London Film Festival Bar the odd appearance of a text message or Ecstasy tablet, James Gray’s “Two Lovers,” a disarmingly modest tale of misdirected passion, could just as easily be set in 1958 as in the present day. This is both one of its charms and one of its failings. The premise is unfussy and […]

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Sean Penn defends ‘Che’

Posted by · 2:21 am · July 11th, 2008

British film magazine Sight & Sound has a nice new tradition of interviewing the jury president of the most recent Cannes Film Festival, which makes for interesting reading. (Last year’s prez, Stephen Frears, presciently predicted in his interview that “No Country for Old Men” would “do really well,” despite not winning anything at the festival.) […]

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Cannes update: Eastwood scores…again

Posted by · 6:35 am · May 20th, 2008

Well, I’m pleased to report that my initial doubts about Clint Eastwood’s latest, “Changeling,” were obviously unfounded. His Angelina Jolie-starrer, based on a true story about a child’s kidnapping in 1920s Los Angeles, premiered this morning at Cannes, and, judging from the reviews so far, the man’s impeccable recent run of form hasn’t hit a […]

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