Ben Affleck to Receive the Santa Barbara Film Festival’s Modern Master Award

A wonderful choice for a wonderful film festival. The SBIFF is one of the fests worth attending on the west coast because of its Executive Director, Roger Durling. It is his passion and knowledge about films, and the Oscar race, that drives the fest. It was announced yesterday...
Posted On 13 Nov 2012

Two clips from Spielberg’s Lincoln

Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens after the cut.
Posted On 10 Nov 2012

“Masterpiece,” Declares the New York Times as Lincoln Enters the Race with the Best Reviews of the Year

Because movies are mostly disappointing these days you sometimes forget why there are film critics at all, until a movie like Lincoln comes along. It takes awareness of both history and film history to appreciate Lincoln. It takes an attention span and a curiosity about life in...
Posted On 09 Nov 2012

“Lyrical, grand and immersive,” Lincoln scores an A from EW

EW’s Owen Gleiberman says Speilberg’s Lincoln, scripted by Tony Kushner, “is one of the most authentic biographical dramas I’ve ever seen.” As the title character of Steven Spielberg’s solemnly transfixing Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis is tall and...
Posted On 04 Nov 2012

With No DGA, How Might Best Director Go?

A major crutch has been pulled out from under Oscar voters this year and that’s their reliance on the DGA and the PGA.  For now we’ll focus on how the DGA’s date change could affect the Best Director nominations, expanding on a Twitter conversation I had with...
Posted On 31 Oct 2012

A Look Back at Spielberg’s Themes from Press Play

These appeared on Press Play back in December, 2011. But since Spielberg talked about father figures in his work, and his relationship with his own father, it’s worth taking a look back.
Posted On 22 Oct 2012

Spielberg on the Ten Year Project of Bringing Lincoln to Life Tonight on 60 Minutes

Don’t miss tonight’s 60 Minutes: Steven Spielberg took more than 10 years to research his film about Abraham Lincoln. He wanted to get it just right because he’s always wanted to tell the story of America’s 16th president. It’s a story of leadership...
Posted On 21 Oct 2012

Ben Affleck’s Argo scores big with critics

Always risky to say a movie is a unanimous hit with critics because even as the raves stack up we never know if a writer will come along to undermine a great average. Today with 40 top critics weighed in, it feels safe to name Argo the best rated mainstream movie of 2012. It...
Posted On 12 Oct 2012

Argo: Just a Great F*cking Movie

Have you ever seen a movie where you walk out saying, “That was just a great fucking movie”? That’s Ben Affleck’s Argo. Inexplicably, a film that draws its strength from humor and suspense, winds up being more moving the second time through. Perhaps...
Posted On 05 Oct 2012

The State of the Race – And There Was No DGA

For the first time in Oscar/DGA history (as far as I know) I’m not entirely sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the DGA has always announced before the Oscar nomination ballots are due but I know for the past ten years they certainly haven’t.  In moving their dates...
Posted On 04 Oct 2012