REVIEW: “W.E.” (*1/2)

Posted by · 11:47 pm · September 1st, 2011

Venice Film Festival There’s such a bounty of ripe absurdities in Madonna’s sophomore directorial effort “W.E.” — an over-the-spectacles glance at the supposedly for-the-ages romance of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, blending the story of “The King’s Speech,” the structure of “Julie & Julia,” the styling of “A Single Man” and the collected smarts of […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Reviews

REVIEW: “Carnage” (**1/2)

Posted by · 7:50 am · September 1st, 2011

Venice Film Festival When the title of Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed 2006 play “God of Carnage” was given a haircut in its transition to the screen, it was hard to read what — if anything — the change implied about the film to come. On the one hand, “Carnage” sounds pithier and more aggressive, removing the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily · Reviews

REVIEW: “The Ides of March” (***)

Posted by · 7:14 am · August 31st, 2011

Venice Film Festival “I’m not a Christian. I’m not an atheist. I’m not a Muslim. I’m not Jewish. I believe in the American constitution,” intones a spiffily-suited and even fresher-faced-than-usual Ryan Gosling as the opening line of “The Ides of March,” George Clooney’s crisp, diverting and typically (even overly) studious political thriller. Standing at the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily · Reviews

VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Fall fests look to boost early Oscar hopes

Posted by · 9:00 am · August 29th, 2011

On a warm Saturday afternoon in Telluride last year, I sat in the crowded Chuck Jones Cinema and felt the warmth in the room as Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” screened for its first audience of the year. Six months later, at the end of a road with plenty of twists and turns, the film’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 58 — Wrapping up the summer, fall festival preview, ‘Warrior’ and ‘50/50’

Posted by · 10:00 am · August 26th, 2011

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Talk

Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Clooney’s ‘Ides of March’ to open Venice fest

Posted by · 9:11 pm · June 20th, 2011

Once again this year, Guy will be covering the Venice Film Festival while I’m up in the Colorado mountains catching this and that at Telluride. Today, via Variety, the former’s opening night film has been announced: George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has been tapped as the opening film of the 68th Venice Film Festival […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

INTERVIEW: ‘The Double Hour’ director Giuseppe Capotondi

Posted by · 3:33 pm · May 3rd, 2011

With this year’s Cannes circus just a week away, now is as good a time as any to point out the strangely hobbled journey taken by so many festival films to our cinema screens. For all the concentrated media attention and occasional trophies lavished upon arthouse titles at Cannes, Sundance and the like, the festival […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews

THE LONG SHOT: I’m just here for the movies

Posted by · 6:01 pm · September 22nd, 2010

“You’re the Oscar guys, aren’t you?” asked the spike-heeled PR officer upon eyeing the press badge dangling from my neck, her voice exuding the steely sweetness they teach you on the first day of public relations boot camp. It was midway through the Venice Film Festival and I was too beat — or my mouth […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: The Long Shot

WEEKLY WRAP: Venice winners, Toronto bites, ‘Network’ raves

Posted by · 7:05 pm · September 17th, 2010

• Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” surprised many by taking top honors at the Venice Film Festival; we took a closer look at the Lido winners. • Meanwhile, we were considerably less than wowed by the festival closer, Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest.” • This week’s Off the Carpet column reflected on the unusual depth of this year’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Oscilloscope nabs ‘Meek’s Cutoff’ for 2011 release

Posted by · 6:30 pm · September 17th, 2010

Since word spread out of Venice of Michelle Williams’s strong performance in Kelly Reichardt’s superb Oregon Trail western “Meek’s Cutoff,” some of our more excitable commenters have been projecting a kind of two-pronged awards attack for the actress, who has another excellent showcase in December release “Blue Valentine.” We warned you all along that “Meek’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

TIFF: ‘Barney’s Version’ returns home, raves for Giamatti

Posted by · 6:22 am · September 13th, 2010

Last night’s North American premiere of “Barney’s Version” in Toronto was something of a homecoming for the Canadian production — it was, of course, first unveiled on Friday at the Venice Film Festival, where its soft-centered middlebrow appeal rather stood out against the more rigorous auteurism of its fellow Competition titles. If Richard J. Lewis’s […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

VENICE: Arrivederci, and notes on the winners

Posted by · 7:16 am · September 12th, 2010

(Updated list of Venice award winners here.) If you were on the Lido to the bitter end of the festival — and closing with “The Tempest” made it a very bitter end indeed — last night’s Golden Lion win for Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” didn’t come as the shock it did to everyone else. In the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

VENICE: Sofia Coppola’s ‘Somewhere’ wins Golden Lion

Posted by · 11:27 am · September 11th, 2010

Festival jury president Quentin Tarantino announced that Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” was the unanimous choice for Venice’s top honor. The full list of festival winners (with commentary to follow later): Golden Lion (Best Film): “Somewhere” (review) Silver Lion (Best Director): Alex de la Iglesia, “A Sad Trumpet Ballad” (review) Special Jury Prize: “Essential Killing” (review) Coppa […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

REVIEW: “The Tempest” (*)

Posted by · 3:52 am · September 11th, 2010

Venice Film Festival If any one title in the Shakespeare library has been sufficiently fiddled about with on screen, it’s “The Tempest,” among the most tonally malleable of his comedies, and a fantasy that gifts filmmakers with obvious opportunities for spectacle. “Forbidden Planet,” a terrific 1956 sci-fi riff on the play, perhaps took this adaptability […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Reviews

OSCAR TALK: Ep. 31 – Searchlight’s busy season, ‘The Way Back’ and a not so brave new world for similar filmmaking, Toronto anticipations

Posted by · 1:38 pm · September 10th, 2010

Welcome to Oscar Talk. In case you’re new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, a one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Oscar Talk

VENICE: Jury duty – award predictions and preferences

Posted by · 11:51 am · September 10th, 2010

The Venice Competition lineup officially wrapped today with one of its lightest and most mainstream selections, “Barney’s Version” (reviewed this morning). With only the out-of-competition closing film “The Tempest” left to screen before I head back to London tomorrow evening, allow me a moment to sift through the runners and riders for the festival prizes […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily