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"I would say that Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw and the animation sequences pretty much salvaged the sequel for me. 'I couldn't possibly, E flat major' is one of the best line readings ever. Bravo to Emily Blunt." - LadyEdith

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Entries in 10|25|50|75|100 (274)

Monday
Dec312018

Sir Ben Kingsley is 75

by Nathaniel R

A happy ¾th century mark to Sir Ben Kingsley today. Born Krishna Pandit Bhanji he came to global fame in 1982 for his starring role in Gandhi (Oscar, Globe, BAFTA, NYFCC, LAFCA, NBR wins). Before that breakthrough he'd appeared in several British TV shows and television movies. Other key triumphs from his filmography include: Bugsy (Oscar & Globe noms), Schindler's List (BAFTA nom), Sexy Beast (Oscar, Globe, & SAG noms, EFA & Critics Choice Awards), House of Sand and Fog (Oscar, Globe, Spirit & SAG noms), Hugo, Shutter Island, and Iron Man 3 as well as very fine voice work in The Boxtrolls (Annie Award), The Jungle Book, and Noah. 

What's your fav performance from Sir Ben? I think I love him most in Sexy Beast, Gandhi, and the underappreciated Elegy.

Tuesday
Dec182018

"What's Eating Gilbert Grape" - Still Wonderful!

Here's Eric Blume to celebrate the 25th anniversary of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, currently available for rental on most services...

It's now been a quarter century since the release of Lasse Hallstrom’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. That deeply felt family drama earns its tears not through sentimentality but through true sentiment.  It’s arguably Hallstrom’s best film, and likely the best performances Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio have ever given. I'm happy to report, after a recent revisit, that it only looks better with age.

Hallström lays out the canvas of these characters’ lives with none of the condescension or cliché that we often see in films about small-town America, and he keeps everything fizzy and surprising...

 

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Thursday
Nov292018

10th Anniversary: Milk (2008) is Aging Beautifully

by Eric Blume

This month marked the tenth anniversary of the release of Gus Van Sant’s semi-biopic Milk, chronicling the last eight years of the life of gay politician Harvey Milk.  If you’ve never seen Milk, get ye post haste to it, if for no other reason than to be fully immersed in this crucial window of history.  If you saw Milk when it was released a decade ago and haven’t seen it since (which was true for me), watch it again:  it’s aging beautifully.

Olympic diver Tom Daley’s husband, Dustin Lance Black, won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this movie, and the trophy was richly deserved.  Black not only manages to avoid almost every biopic cliché, he captures the beginning of the gay rights movement with precision, pain, and most importantly, humor.  Black’s script starts when Harvey Milk turns forty, had been mostly closeted, and was not politically aware. He chronicles his consciousness-raising without a hint of clumsiness or fake nobility.  And while Black keeps his focus squarely on Milk, his real achievement is in casting a wider net: he gives Milk’s real-life contemporaries a vivid presence, and shows us a full community within the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco.  This script manages to be both macro and micro, and throughout you can see Black’s gigantic heart and passion for this story...

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Saturday
Oct272018

Happy Teresa Wright Centennial

The Oscar-winning actress of Mrs Miniver fame, was born 100 years ago on this very day in Harlem, where I'm typing this from. (Well, not literally where I'm typing this from - this apartment probably didn't exist in 1918 but who knows.) 

a lesser known distinction: she was Marlon Brando's very first romantic interest in a film (his debut The Men, 1950)She didn't consider herself a glamour girl, which could account for the sparcity of glamorous photoshoots compared to other 'it girls'. Wright's screen heyday was short-lived as many careers are when the success is so instantaneous and large. Still, it's hard to knock the girl next door beauty  for not being able to live up to her first two years in Hollywood. Her first three movies (Little Foxes, Pride of the Yankees, Mrs Miniver) all brought her Oscar nominations. An Oscar winner by the age of 24 with batting a thousand record there was essentially nowhere to go but down. Still, before the inevitable fade of her career she managed two more all time classics, doing her best acting for Alfred Hitchcock in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and appearing the perfect ensemble of one of the very best Best Picture winners The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Her big screen career died quickly due to diminishing popularity and fights with her studio but she worked frequently on TV beginning in the 1950s.

Do you have a favorite Teresa Wright film?

Monday
Oct222018

Beauty Break: To Catherine Deneuve on her 75th

The French movie star of French movie stars turns 75 today. She's won two prizes at Cannes, two at Berlinale, and two at the Césars (with 12 additional nominations) in her career that's been as lustrous as the famous golden hair. Catherine Deneuve hasn't been as celebrated in recent years as Isabelle Huppert (who is 10 years younger) but her list of classics, hits, and indelible experiments is long: Belle de Jour (BAFTA nomination), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Repulsion, Mississippi Mermaid, Tristana, Donkey Skin, The Hunger, The Metro (César win), Indochine (Oscar nomination, César win), East/West, Pola X, Dancer in the Dark, 8 Women, and Kings and Queen among them.

The last eight years have been quiet but it wasn't so long ago that the one-two-three punch of voice work in the Oscar-nominated Persepolis (2007 -- she voiced both the French & English versions), an amazing performance in Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale (2008), and the delights of François Ozon's comedy Potiche (2010) made an impact...

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Wednesday
Oct172018

Beauty Break: Happy Rita Hayworth Centennial !

'The Love Goddess' herself, Rita Hayworth, was born on this day 100 years ago in Brooklyn. Audiences first noticed her in a small role in Only Angels Have Wings (1939) and she seguewayed into profile boosters like Blood and Sand (1941) and Strawberry Blonde (1941). A natural dancer she made two pictures she obviously cherished with Fred Astaire in You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and You Were Never Lovelier (1942) -- Astaire went so far as calling her his favorite dancer partner -- and was one of the two ubiquitous pinups of World War II for American soldiers (the other being Betty Grable)...

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