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The director of Silver Linings Playbook returns with a simmering and intriguingly confected black comedy
• Oscar predictions 2014: American Hustle
• News: American Hustle wins over NY critics
David O Russell's brazen, nerve-jangling, irresistibly watchable black comedy American Hustle is loosely based on a true story from the 1970s of how the FBI forced a notorious New Jersey conman to help entrap corrupt politicians with the offer of bribes from a "fake sheikh", a scam later beloved in British tabloid circles.
It blends the wiseguy voiceover nostalgia of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas with the cheeky imposture of George Roy Hill's The Sting, and the headbutting and faintly surreal non-sequiturs in the dialogue have a little of David Mamet. But there is also something unmistakably Russell-esque in the neurotic, shrill and often very funny drama: a kind of neo-noir farce. Russell distils his own toxic kind of nitrous oxide and pipes it into the cinema. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Hot Jennifer Lawrence, Wet Robert Redford: New York Film Critics Awards 2013 winners (photo: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’) A crime drama featuring con men, mafiosi, and FBI agents, the David O. Russell-directed, real-life inspired American Hustle won three New York Film Critics Circle Awards earlier today, December 3, 2013: Best Picture; Best Screenplay for Russell and Eric Singer; and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence for her performance as con man and FBI mole Christian Bale’s steamy, big-mouthed wife. (Full list of Nyfcc 2013 award winners.) Last year, Jennifer Lawrence was the New York Film Critics’ runner-up in the Best Actress category for both The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. The latter film, also directed by David O. Russell, earned her the Best Actress Academy Award earlier this year. Besides Jennifer Lawrence, whose The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may turn out to be the biggest 2013 blockbuster in North America, »
- Andre Soares
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014
Price: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $29.99
Robert Redford (The Sting, The Way We Were) delivers a commanding solo performance as a man who must battle the elements to survive after his boat is wrecked in the open seas in the 2013 action-adventure drama All Is Lost.
After a collision with a shipping container at sea, the resourceful man behind the wheel of the a small sailboat must battle for survival. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.
Robert Redford is one of the movie stars of our time, yet I would contend that he’s always been an underrated actor. There are a host of reasons for that, and they feed into each other in subtle, at times mythic ways. You could say, on the one hand, that Redford was too golden-boy pretty (always a surefire way to not get nearly the respect you deserve), or that he was too understated as a screen presence, or that he was too openly skeptical of the Hollywood game. Redford had his first major big-screen role in 1965, in Inside Daisy Clover, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Daniel Day-Lewis spoiled us. Last year, the Best Actor race was an easy call, but this time around, it’s the hardest of the Oscar fields to predict. The race is jam-packed with worthy contenders, each with an equally strong chance of finding his name in that winning envelope on March 2.
With a month to go before voting opens we could still see some shifting. Who could still sneak in? Forest Whitaker for The Butler or Joaquin Phoenix for Her have the potential to rise in the ranks. So does Oscar Isaac for his musical, downtrodden turn in Inside Llewyn Davis. »
- Anthony Breznican
A Conversation with Edith Head will be held at The Sheldon Ballroom in St. Louis on December 6th and 7th
All About Eve, Roman Holiday, The Ten Commandments, A Place In The Sun, The Sting. These great films and hundreds more have one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). The small woman with the familiar straight bangs, black-rimmed saucer glasses, and unsmiling countenance racked up an unprecedented 35 Oscar nods and 400 film credits over the course of a sixty-year career. The golden age of Hollywood sparkled with extravagant cinematic productions and stars such as Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Mae West, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Redford were made even more glamorous by donning the costumes designed by incredibly talented Ms Head.
Theater director Susan Claassen, a New Jersey native got the idea for a project based on Edith Head several years ago after »
- Tom Stockman
Oliver Davis counts down the best ever casino films...
5. Ocean’s Eleven
It’s got more stars than a sky-gazing evening with Brian Cox, Ocean’s Eleven was a dream team-up movie with as-yet-unmatched ‘name’ power.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts…even Bernie Mac, the 2001 remake even surpassed Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.’s original. Flashy, Soderbergh-slick and with a twisting Las Vegas casino heist climax, Ocean’s Eleven was successful enough to spawn two sequels…which makes the current Ocean’s count around 36.
At the Casino Royale, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is up against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a high-stakes game of poker. It’s so tense, the bad guy cries blood. Which is how all villains should weep.
The casino setting is a Bond movie staple, so it’s a smart convention to embrace for Craig’s first outing as the character. »
- Gary Collinson
By Mark Pinkert
This is the second article in a three-part series.
Earlier this month, the acclaimed writer/producer/director Joss Whedon spoke at an Equality Now benefit dinner and suggested that the word “feminism” be removed from the English lexicon. According to Mr. Whedon, the word is problematic because it assumes that gender equality is not the “natural state” but something that needs to be achieved. Though several self-purported feminist bloggers have criticized this idea, Whedon’s speech does raise some interesting questions about how prejudice can hide away in the depths of language and rhetoric.
Thankfully, we have reached a point where shouting sexist comments is socially unacceptable and utterly disgraceful; anyone who does becomes ostracized by civil people. But that does not mean gender prejudices have been cured. The most corrosive type of sexism, and the one Whedon was getting at, is the kind embedded in words and institutions, »
- Mark Pinkert
All About Eve, Roman Holiday, The Ten Commandments, A Place In The Sun, The Sting. These great films and hundreds more have one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). The small woman with the familiar straight bangs, black-rimmed saucer glasses, and unsmiling countenance racked up an unprecedented 35 Oscar nods and 400 film credits over the course of a sixty-year career. The golden age of Hollywood sparkled with extravagant cinematic productions and stars such as Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Mae West, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Redford were made even more glamorous by donning the costumes designed by the incredibly talented Mrs. Head.
Theater director Susan Claassen, a New Jersey native, got the idea for a project based on Edith Head several years ago after she watched a televised biography of the designer. She realized that her physical resemblance to the designer was uncanny, »
- Tom Stockman
• Edith Head's classic designs – in pictures
Edith Head, the subject of today's Google Doodle, still holds the record for most Oscar wins by an individual woman: eight, all for her costume designs. Most of these wins came in the early 50s, including two for Audrey Hepburn movies, Roman Holiday and Sabrina, but it was Head's work on a string of Alfred Hitchcock films that have ensured her place in the cinematic firmament.
In fact, it's fair to say that Head's costume work in films such as Vertigo, The Birds, and Rear Window was integral to Hitchcock's particular, recondite concern: the dismantling of apparently perfect women. The co-ordinated suits and neat frocks worn by the likes of Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly and Kim Novak were the most obvious part of »
- Andrew Pulver
Just in time for Halloween, today’s Google homepage celebrates Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, on what would have been her 115th birthday (she passed away in 1981).
In 1924, Head was hired as a costume sketch artist for Paramount Pictures. She would go on the create costumes for everyone from Sophia Loren to Elizabeth Taylor, and is probably most well-known for her work on of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, including Vertigo, The Birds and Rear Window.
- Erin Strecker
I miss the Google Doodle's that were interactive. Sigh. The glory days that evaporated so very recently. But today's honoree is a rare Tfe appropriate treat. Google's banner is honoring Edith Head, 8 time Best Costume Design Oscar winner on her 116th birthday.
She won her Oscars for The Heiress (1950), Samson and Delilah (1951), All About Eve (1951), A Place in the Sun (1952), Roman Holiday (1954), Sabrina (1955), The Facts of Life (1961) and The Sting (1974) but the nominations were practically endless. For comparison's sake, today's reigning costume queens Sandy Powell and Colleen Atwood have but 10 nominations and 3 wins each -- stunning track records unless you place them next to Edith's 35 & 8!
My favorite modern tribute to Edith Head's costuming dominance, though, is still "Edna Mode" from The Incredibles (2004). The resemblance being perfectly uncanny, though Edith would still tower over her mini-me Edna at 5' feet 1½
This is as good a time as any to tell »
- NATHANIEL R
Google has marked the 116th anniversary of Edith Head's birth with a Google Doodle.
Head, who was born on October 28, 1897 and died on October 24, 1981, won a record eight Academy Awards for costume design.
Of 35 nominations, she won 'Best Costume Design' Oscars for The Heiress (1950), Samson and Delilah (1951), All About Eve (1951), A Place in the Sun (1952), Roman Holiday (1954), Sabrina (1955), The Facts of Life (1961) and The Sting (1974).
Head designed outfits for actors including Mae West, Frances Farmer, Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Hedy Lamarr, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak, Sophia Loren, Tippi Hedren and Katharine Hepburn among others.
She is the only costume designer to have been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, placed at 6969 Hollywood Boulevard.
If there's one film to see this year, it's 12 Years a Slave, a wrenching but rewarding historical epic. See This12 Years a Slave var brightcovevideoid = '2752863002001'; Sometimes we have to do hard things. I can't think of a film in a recent memory I have been so compelled to sit through, wrestling all the while with how difficult it is to do so. 12 Years a Slave is, to put it simply, the first film to truly convey the horrors of what used to be called the "peculiar institution." But it is such a brilliantly directed, written and performed piece of cinema, »
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time around for one simple reason: that is, the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!
Directed by Luis Buñuel
The dream – or nightmare – has been a staple of horror cinema for decades. In 1929, Luis Bunuel joined forces with Salvador Dali to create Un chien andalou, an experimental and unforgettable 17-minute surrealist masterpiece. »
- Ricky da Conceição
Every once in a great while, a movie comes along that leaves you truly riveted to your seat and resonates with you long after you’ve left the theater. All Is Lost is unlike any other.
It is one of those rare experiences when simplicity of story and intensity of emotions come together consisting entirely of prose description, with no dialogue. What’s most impressive about the film is that All Is Lost does not feature a single shot set on dry land. Camera crews filmed in various parts of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, including off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, about 80 miles south of San Diego.
Where it really triumphs is when Chandor occasionally lets his camera linger on Redford and relish his quiet, simple activities in a way seldom seen on film.
Filmmaker J.C. Chandor knew he wanted to make »
- Michelle McCue
Indiewire will provide updates of our predictions for the 86th Academy Award nominations through January 16th, 2014, when the nominations are announced. It would take a lot of incredible work from the actors whose films we've yet to see to knock down a pretty mighty trio come off raves on the film festival circuit (and all coming into theaters in the next five weeks): Chiwetel Ejiofer (as a free black man who is captured into slavery in "12 Years a Slave"), Robert Redford (as a man lost at sea in "All Is Lost") and Matthew McConaughey (as a man who smuggles life saving drugs during the onset of the AIDS epidemic "Dallas Buyers Club"). Ejiofer and McConaughey would both be first time nominees, while Redford has rather shockingly only received one Oscar nomination for acting (in 1973 for "The Sting," which he lost to Jack Lemmon), though he did win a directing »
- Peter Knegt
By Joey Magidson
Each year, Oscar voters reward several previously unrecognized talents with their first Academy Award nominations. But they have a habit of filling many if not most of their 20 acting slots with people whom they have previously been nominated. (If you happen to have already won an Oscar? Well, then you are sitting even prettier.)
Why is this the case? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, although my own guess would be that voters are more inclined to check out the work of — and reward — work by quantities who are known and established than who are not.
Regardless, there are, as usual, plenty of previous nominees and winners — actors, actresses, directors, writers, and various behind-the-scenes talent — angling this year to be a part of the Oscar race once again. I have decided to highlight the 10 whom I believe have the best shot at scoring that desired recognition. »
- Joey Magidson
Get out your lawn chairs! Returning for a second year, Santa Monica Pier's Front Porch Cinema will offer free films for the community every Friday for four weeks beginning September 27. This year marks the event's first collaboration with nonprofit arts organization Film Independent.Kicking off the series is the La premiere of SXSW hit and festival favorite rockabilly doc "Los Wild Ones." Filled with great music and large personalities from Rob Kennedy's La-based indie label Wild Records, the film follows Kennedy and the young Latino musicians he's signed as they face an uncertain future for the label. The Rhythm Shakers will perform live. Trailer below.On October 4, the Pier will screen George Roy Hill's Oscar-winning comedy caper "The Sting" (1973), starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, for the film's 40th anniversary. The evening features a live ragtime pianist and card tables.October 11's film will be a family-friendly screening »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Robert Redford has only contended as an actor at the Oscars once; he lost that bid for headlining 1973 Best Picture champ "The Sting" to Jack Lemmon ("Save the Tiger"). Four decades on, he is the Best Actor frontrunner for his riveting performance in "All is Lost." Playing a man lost at sea, he is the only cast member in this sophomore film by J.C. Chandor ("Margin Call"). There is little dialogue but the camera seldom leaves the weatherbeaten face of the screen legend. He did take home an Oscar in 1980 for helming the Best Picture winner "Ordinary People." And he was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2002 for his work with the Sundance Institute, which is where Chandor trained. While the reserved Redford is on hand every January for that organization's film festival in Park City, Utah, he only took his first trip down Route 6 to Telluride, Colorado this weekend for »
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