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Best Films Of The Decade (aka The Naughties) From Alex & Terry
List # 1
By Alex Simon
When Terry and I initially discussed writing these lists, I had a tough time thinking back on 20 films over the past decade which I was really taken with, thinking that movies have sunk so low over the past ten years, that even choosing a dozen would be a short-order job. Thirty minutes into it, my list had nearly 60 titles! After much cutting, pasting, and re-cutting and pasting, here are my top 20 films (in no particular order) of the first decade of the 21st century, dubbed by many as “the naughties.” --A.S.
1.No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers, 2007) An elegiac blend of stark beauty and full-throttle despair from two of our finest filmmakers, set in the contemporary American West. Every frame is damn near flawless, and would have been an even more perfect vehicle for the late Sam Peckinpah. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
I confess, looking back, that I have no great generalizations to make about the movies that came along this decade. Except for this: There were more films of extraordinary and inspiring quality than I can count -- or include on this list. Without any trouble at all, I could easily have compiled a Top 100 list. Yet there's something about that magical arbitrary number 10 that focuses you, disciplines you, forces you to ask yourself what matters. Here, in order of preference, are the movies of the last 10 years that thrilled, moved, delighted, fascinated, and meant the most to this critic. They're »
- Owen Gleiberman
“The Last Station” synopsis: After almost fifty years of marriage, the Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), Leo Tolstoy’s (Christopher Plummer) devoted wife, passionate lover, muse and secretary?she?s copied out War and Peace six times…by hand!?suddenly finds her entire world turned upside down. In the name of his newly created religion, the great Russian novelist has renounced his noble title, his property and even his family in favor of poverty, vegetarianism and even celibacy. After she’s born him thirteen children!
When Sofya then discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti)?whom she despises?may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian »
- Allan Ford
Director: Beeban Kidron
Summary: Follows the love story of Oz editor Richard Neville and Louise Ferrier. Neville and his cohorts launch the London edition of Oz amidst the 1960s counterculture and are subsequently put on trial for distributing a sexually explicit issue.
Analysis: One of the most troubled productions in Working Title's history, 'Hippie' began development back in 1998 but failed to get beyond script stage both in 1999 and in 2002 when "Elizabeth" helmer Shekhar Kapur was attached to direct. Filming finally got underway late 2007 with director Beeban Kidron in charge and shooting seemed to proceed without issue aside from feminist author Germaine Greer being vehemently unhappy about being depicted on film.
Actually the film scored quite a bit of free press for a skinny dipping scene where full-frontal shots of actress Sienna Miller shooting the sequence »
- Garth Franklin
Best Actress Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side Helen Mirren, The Last Station (above, with James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti) Carey Mulligan, An Education Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan are definitely in for the SAG Awards‘ best actress category, the former for her London student in An Education, the latter for her Julia Child in Julie & Julia. The other three slots are a little more iffy. I believe Sandra Bullock will get her first best actress SAG nod for her conservative matriarch who adopts an inner-city teen in the surprise fall hit The Blind Side. Bullock has been around for quite a while, and this was her second major [...] »
- Andre Soares
Fred Claus (Laughing All the Way)
Max–East, 7:15 Pm Et
Holiday Affair (Sugarplum Romance)
TCM, 10 Pm Et
Jingle All the Way (Mistletoe & Mayhem)
ABC Family, 10 Pm Et
What else is showing this season? See the complete Holiday TV Movie Guide: The 12 Flavors of Christmas.
And if you're wondering what to buy the movie lovers on your shopping list, check out our Holiday Gifts store.
Link | Posted 12/17/2009 by reelz
- reelz reelz
Looks like the talented ranks of NCIS guest stars will swell in 2010.
Tomorrow night's episode, "Faith," closes the book on 2009. When the new year's first episode, "Ignition," airs January 5, it will feature some familiar prime-time faces.
Rena Sofer is getting ready to tangle with Gibbs. Too bad for her!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr. Shepherd)
Movie Jungle has new clips in from Sony Pictures Classics' Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy and Kerry Condon. Michael Hoffman directs from the writing by Jay Parini. After almost fifty years of marriage, the Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), Leo Tolstoy’s (Christopher Plummer) devoted wife, passionate lover, muse and secretary—she’s copied out War and Peace six times…by hand!—suddenly finds her entire world turned upside down. In the name of his newly created religion, the great Russian novelist has renounced his noble title, his property and even his family in favor of poverty, vegetarianism and even celibacy. After she’s born him thirteen children! When Sofya then discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti)—whom she despises—may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, »
If this year's Gotham Awards winner is any indication, A Serious Man might be in serious trouble with its Oscar chances as Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker appears to be the "preferred" independent film of the year. - If this year's Gotham Awards winner is any indication, A Serious Man might be in serious trouble with its Oscar chances as Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker appears to be the "preferred" independent film of the year. The Coen Bros. film lost out in the Best Feature and Best Ensemble categories, but I'm really curious in seeing how this all plays out in the next couple of weeks with the New York based film critics' year end kudos. The biggest surprise of the the 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards was the Breakthrough Actor award going to Catalina Saavedra's performance in The Maid over Ben Foster »
The film which received no love at the Gothams tied for 1st in total amount of noms with Telluride's The Last Station (Michael Hoffman). Lee Daniel's Precious received noms in the Best Feature, Director, First Screenplay, Best Femle Lead and the most logical nomination and most deserving of them all: Best Supporting Female. - The film which received no love at the Gothams tied for 1st in total amount of noms with Telluride's The Last Station (Michael Hoffman). Lee Daniel's Precious received noms in the Best Feature, Director, First Screenplay, Best Femle Lead and the most logical nomination and most deserving of them all: Best Supporting Female. The Best Feature category is filled with four Sundance titles including Sin Nombre which received three nominations, however the biggest mysteries are how A Serious Man managed to grab noms in the Best Director and Best Cinematography categories and not Best Picture, »
George Clooney might be joining the ranks of Paul Giamatti, Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon as he is currently looking to topline The Descendants for Alexander Payne. - George Clooney might be joining the ranks of Paul Giamatti, Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon as he is currently looking to topline The Descendants for Alexander Payne. If production does indeed begin in February, we could see Clooney in a Payne-branded comedy by year's end. The project was set into motion by Fox Searchlight in 2007. Scripted by Blacklist regulars Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, this is based on the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel, set in Hawaii, the unconventional family drama tells the story of a newly widowed father -- the descendant of landowners and one of the richest men on Oahu -- who takes off with his two rebellious daughters to track down his wife's lover on the island of Kauai. »
- Ioncinema.com Staff
Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (Best Feature, Ensemble, Breakthrough Actor) and Robert Siegel Big Fan (Best Feature, Breakthrough Director and Actor) managed to pick up three mentions each for the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award nominations, but the big winner on November 30th might actually be The Coen Bros. A Serious Man who have noms in the Best Feature and Best Ensemble Perf. categories. - Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (Best Feature, Ensemble, Breakthrough Actor) and Robert Siegel Big Fan (Best Feature, Breakthrough Director and Actor) managed to pick up three mentions each for the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award nominations, but the big winner on November 30th might actually be The Coen Bros. A Serious Man who have noms in the Best Feature and Best Ensemble Perf. categories. Sebastian Silva's (who we just recently interviewed) picked up pair »
- Ioncinema.com Staff
Sony Pictures Classics have picked up North America and Latin American rights to Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti. - With potential actress noms in An Education and Broken Embraces, and Best Foreign Picture nods for The White Ribbon and A Prophet, if I were Spc, I'd pick one or two ponies for Oscar contention and not try to clog the ballot box. Sony Pictures Classics have picked up North America and Latin American rights to Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti. That news was mentioned a couple of days back on the blogsphere. The pic, a Telluride selection, will be released this December - probably pushing some of the film's perfs. Based on Jay Parini's novel, this is set in the »
- Ioncinema.com Staff
Writer-Director Michael Hoffman sat down with MakingOf to talk about his latest work “The Last Station.” The film's cast is led by some of the industry's most esteemed actors including: James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, Paul Giamatti and Helen Mirren. Hoffman walks viewers through the casting process and reveals his good fortune by stating "Every actor I asked...said yes."
In this segment, Hoffman also talks about the realization that occurred while writing the script. Although he thought about making this movie in 1989, he now knows that he had to have experienced marriage to tell the story properly. He expands on this by detailing how marriage often lends itself to being a "tragic comedy."
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics I haven't read a word of Leo Tolstoy's novels so some may say I was approaching The Last Station at a disadvantage as it focuses on the final days of Tolstoy's life. Looking even further, I haven't seen any of writer/director Michael Hoffman's films prior to watching The Last Station, a film that appears to have gained Oscar attention out of a sheer lack of competition. That is to say this is a good film, but hardly worthy of such lofty acclaim as this is little more than a made-for-tv story acted out by some of the feature film world's elite.
James McAvoy stars as Valentin, and make no mistake about it, he is the sole lead of this film as he is introduced to the Tolstoy camp as the famous writer has renounced his noble title, »
- Brad Brevet
What's a young man to do in the shadow of greatness? In "The Last Station," written and directed by Michael Hoffman (adapted from Jay Parini's novel),we watch the last few months of writer Leo Tolstoy's life—his tempestuous marriage to the Countess Sofya and his compulsion to divest himself of earthly comforts, as played by Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren. And we watch through the eyes of young Valentin, Tolstoy's naively idealistic secretary. And who better to play Valentin than James McAvoy, in one of the most delicate, detailed, heart-rending performances in his notably brilliant career, despite being in the shadow of acting greatness. Back Stage: You were speaking with Michael Hoffman about this film long ago. How did the role finally become yours?James McAvoy: There was a point when I wasn't certain the job was being offered to me—probably because nobody knew who I was. »
The holiday season has arrived, and everyone in my office is in a great mood, looking forward to time off and holiday cheer. In case you're wondering, "holiday cheer" means "gifts from clients." Yes, this is the time of year when agents start a betting pool to see which actors will remember to give us a little something as a thank-you for all the hard work we do. The general rule of thumb: The most successful clients usually give the smallest gifts, if any. I guess they think our commission is gift enough. But you should definitely consider giving your reps a holiday present. And like anything in this business, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.Food is often one of the most popular gifts this time of year, but it's a dangerous way to go. Clients seem to favor those Superman-sized baskets that contain »
Nathaniel over at The Film Experience just published a post discussing the potential confusion over a few Oscar contenders whose performances may be confused for lead performances when they are actually supporting and vice versa. His list, however, doesn't include one I just watched yesterday, but first for his... Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz and Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker Woody Harrelson in The Messenger Christian McKay in Me and Orson Welles Jake Gyllenhaal in Brothers I don't think he needs to worry much about Melanie Laurent or Brad Pitt, both of which are obviously supporting if you ask me. Or Jake Gyllenhaal, although I wouldn't mind seeing Gyllenhaal get a nod for Brothers considering I thought his was the best performance in it... but for what category? Lionsgate has placed him in the Best Supporting Actor category, but in reality all three (Tobey Maguire »
- Brad Brevet
In an effort to maximize awareness for Sophie Barthes's sci-fi comedy Cold Souls, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release it in an exclusive four-week rental window beginning February 2, 2010. After that, it will be available to pirchase on DVD.
A true soul searching comedy, Cold Souls stars Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as an actor named... Paul Giamatti. Paul may have found the key to happiness when he stumbles upon ‘soul storage,’ however complications arise when is the unfortunate victim of soul-trafficking...
Balancing a tightrope between deadpan humor and pathos, and reality and fantasy, Cold Souls features a talented supporting cast including Emily Watson and David Strathairn. Bonus features include the ‘Soul Extractor’ featurette, and nine deleted scenes.
Watch the trailer:
Up in the Air is a great movie. The script is sharp, Jason Reitman’s direction is astonishing, the cast is outstanding, and its story is as timely as its themes are timeless. The film is a strong awards contender but rather than tap into important figures or controversial issues, Up in the Air finds its hero in the most unlikely of people: Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney) a man who loves air travel and whose job it is to lay people off because their bosses are spineless weasels. He’s turns both travel and firing into an art, but discovers that a simple and satisfying life can be just as fragile as a personal life he’d rather leave on the ground.
Ryan Bingham has a peculiar goal in life: reach 10,000,000 frequent flyer miles. He is the perfect flyer. He travels light, knows which airport security line to use, »
- Matt Goldberg
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