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Atom Egoyan’s Film Receives First Boos at Cannes

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I’m not really sure what the reasoning was behind accepting Atom Egoyan’s Captives into the main festival competition, especially after the hoopla around there being no female directors. There are probably twenty films directed by women, maybe some even directed by children, perhaps even some directed by chimps that are better than Captives. It only adds insult to injury to see a film like that, which has no business at…

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A masterpiece of subtlety – Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner

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“Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.” ― Claude Monet With Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, a perfect union of film biographer and subject has landed at Cannes. In his film about J.M.W. Turner, an English Romantic painter of landscapes who caught the subtle shimmer of light on water in ways the world had never seen, the director known for capturing the subtle grace of human behavior has delivered a…

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Nicole Kidman Does Grace Kelly in Cannes Opening Film

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Grace of Monaco does many interesting things but one thing it won’t do is enable Nicole Kidman to win an Oscar the way Olivier Dehan’s last major film, La Vie En Rose, enabled Marion Cotillard to win for her performance as Edith Piaf. That isn’t going to happen, and neither are many other Oscar nominations, with the possible exception of costume design.  But that doesn’t mean Grace of Monaco is…

scarlett hunter

Critics over the moon for Under the Skin

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First, a question: Who’s Twice as Hot as Scarlett Johansson? Answer: Scarlett Johansson and her twin brother Hunter. I wish I’d known Ms. Johansson had a twin brother on National Siblings Day. But none of you mooks ever told me, so now I have no real excuse for posting these photos. Do we even need an excuse? I suppose we could pad this out with some of the best reviews…

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The Big Bad Wolf of Wall Street – Review

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“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan This year…

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Review Rewind: JC Chandor’s All Is Lost

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JC Chandor’s Oscar-nominated screenplay, Margin Call, took him ten years to write. It is a deliberate, careful study of what it takes for a man to survive on Wall Street. He’s applied the same deceptively simple writing and directing to his new film, All Is Lost, starring just one person: Robert Redford. The film begins with a few plain-spoken words from Redford. From that point on, the film relies only…

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Review: The Intelligent Design of Spike Jonze’s Her

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i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the…

GRAVITY

Cuaron’s Masterpiece: The Welcome Pull of Gravity

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“The body, she says, is subject to the force of gravity. But the soul is ruled by levity, pure.” – Saul Bellow Gravity is a film worthy of being in the same room as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 in that the visual effects are as groundbreaking as the message is deep. In truth, so many films I’ve seen here in Telluride have been an answer to what ails Hollywood. If the…

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12 years a Slave: Ain’t got time to die

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Steve McQueen’s unflinching, almost surreal look at the evils of slavery inevitably pulls us flush up against today. You can change a lot of things about yourself if you’re a black man. You can be a well-dressed educated family man. You can even be a millionaire or a film director or a famous actor. But the color of your skin remains the same. On some streets in America, in some…

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Telluride Review: Blue is the Warmest Color

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Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color is a film I wish I’d seen in my early twenties. Rarely has a film delved into human sexuality with such attention to detail. Women are not really invited to explore their sexuality here in America. We are conditioned to divide ourselves into two types – good girls and bad girls.  The European position on Sex is decidedly less repressed. Nudity is very much…