6 items from 2015
Sister, My Sister: Baumbach’s Energetic Return to Facades of NYC
The latest in Noah Baumbach’s prolific slew of projects, Mistress America is the follow-up collaboration between the director and actress/muse Greta Gerwig. Though it isn’t as fine-tuned and charmingly buoyant as their 2012 feature Frances Ha, it’s an intelligently droll counterpart to the pleasant yet painstakingly glossy While We’re Young (which reaches theatrical release this coming spring). Witty and well-written, Baumbach’s tone is influenced by a slew of transmogrifying 1980s American films, though the dialogue heavy banter recalls everyone from Howard Hawks to Woody Allen sidestepping on slapstick. Though Baumbach isn’t covering new ground, his post-collegiate privileged characters still inveigled with the paralyzing ennui of adult prospects that graced his lovely 1995 debut, Kicking & Screaming, he hasn’t lost his knack for portraying disillusioned lives lost hopelessly in their own sea of problems.
Entering Columbia as a college freshman, »
- Nicholas Bell
In one hundred years of film, the basic formula has never wavered: if you want to leave them smiling, end with a kiss. But while all screen kisses may be heart-warming, they've looked very different since the dawn of cinema. Here's a look at the history of screen romance, by the decades: Decade: 1920’s Romantic Ideals: Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo Their Day Jobs: Sheik and coat-check girl How They Meet: Trapped in a desert oasis while traveling under a secret identity Obstacle in their Path: Her drunken husband, his nattering wives, Hammurabi’s code condemning to death all who gaze upon a member of the tribe. Big Cool Friend’s Advice: “Sail to the ends of the earth, where a man may forget.” Final Kiss Location: Under a full moon atop Mount Kilimanjaro. Watch Party Streaming Pick: “The Sheik” Decade: 1930’s Romantic Ideals: Jean Arthur and Cary Grant Their Day Jobs: Con-woman and paleontologist. »
- Richard Rushfield, Adam Leff
The Philadelphia Story, 1940.
Directed by George Cukor.
Set to remarry, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) has to contend with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter on the snoop (James Stewart) as she tries to go through with her upper-class wedding – with their intention to spoil it.
Romance is in the air. The arrow of cupid has struck and, as Robson and Jerome covered, this Saturday night is at the movies. You may believe a Subway and Titanic is a romantic night in. I would argue it’s not*. In fact, an alternative is to head down to the BFI and watch a re-mastered copy of The Philadelphia Story. Not only will this extraordinary comedy give you a superior sense of cinematic taste, but it also features the genius pairing of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart – and that’s in addition to the feisty Katharine Hepburn, »
- Simon Columb
Sometimes (Ok, frequently) the Academy drops the ball. Cary Grant gave his fair share of pantheon performances ("His Girl Friday," "Bringing Up Baby," "The Awful Truth"), none of which garnered him a nomination for Best Actor (he was instead honored for "Penny Serenade" and "None But the Lonely Heart"). Ingrid Bergman's work in "Casablanca," "Notorious" and "Stromboli" was similarly ignored. This year's Oscar candidates are no different, and with that in mind, here are the 15 best performances from the current acting nominees that weren't nominated for an Oscar. Patricia Arquette, "Lost Highway" (1997)"Lost Highway" is sometimes overshadowed by David Lynch's later masterpiece "Mulholland Drive," but it's a rewarding film in its own right, a nightmarish look at repressed guilt, barely-hidden jealousy and self-deception. Arquette (giving a canny double-performance as »
- Max O'Connell
Both roles initially seem secondary to the male hero in their respective films (Ben Affleck's Nick in the former, Eddie Redmayne's Stephen Hawking in the latter), but gradually come to take over the story in their own right. Here's our pick of nine further films where a heroine usurps her male counterpart.
Women usually get a raw deal in Bond films, so much so that the leads are dismissively referred to as 'Bond girls'. But the casting of Judi Dench as M from 1995's GoldenEye onwards went some way to redressing the gender balance - and by her final outing in Skyfall, she had almost become the protagonist in her own right.
M had always been in a »
Director Barry Levinson offers his thoughts on what’s behind the growing outcry for more diversity in Hollywood films.
Are we a racist country? Yes. But we are getting better. For certain. And while that battle for absolute equality is being played out, an odd controversy about the racial injustice in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has emerged. The Oscar nominations of 2015 are being questioned as racially prejudicial. There are those who say a black woman, who directed “Selma,” was overlooked because of racial bias, and the actor who played Martin Luther King Jr. was also overlooked because he was black. The film was nominated by the Academy, but these individuals were not. I would tend to agree with these accusations if I thought the Academy had a great record of selecting the best nominees each year, but they don’t. It is impossible to pass through a single awards season without hearing, »
- Barry Levinson
6 items from 2015
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