11 items from 2009
Paul Giamatti tends to play moody defeatists and rageful misanthropes. Which is just the way he likes it
'I'm clearly not Brad Pitt, and I'm never going to be Brad Pitt," says Paul Giamatti, closely inspecting his coffee cup in a Polish restaurant in a leafy neighbourhood of Brooklyn. "But I don't think I'd want to be Brad Pitt, you know? So that's Ok."
This is partly just a reference to Giamatti's "character-actor" looks, but also to something deeper: a sense of composure, of being comfortable in one's own skin, that the archetypal Hollywood star exudes but both Giamatti and his characters tend to lack. "You know that thing where you can just fuckin' stand there and people can't take their eyes off the person? I don't have that weight of charisma," he explains. "That's not me. If I just stand there, it's going to be boring. You're going to »
- Oliver Burkeman
The Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp), the nation's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that director Kathryn Bigelow, actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, will each be presented with a career Tribute at the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday November 30th in New York. Ifp also announced it has moved the gala awards ceremony to Monday, November 30 at Cipriani Wall Street, from the previously announced date of Tuesday, December 1st.
Signaling the official kick-off to the film awards season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film. Anchoring the evening's six competitive awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, are four Tributes to film community icons.
This year's Tribute selection represents a range of individuals - »
Brad Neely is the face of comedy in the internet age. His deadpan sense of humor and penchant for beefy irony spurred the creation of the legendary festival-short-gone-viral “Cox & Combes’ Washington,” which led to a contract with Adult Swim for a passel of similar online mini-cartoons. He also worked as a consultant for the second half of Season 11 of South Park, runs the comedy website Creased Comics, and is currently shopping some ideas around for a television show of his own. »
The fifth installment of the Harry Potter franchise brings us back to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling, and the series is continuing to push into deeper, more mature territory. Order of the Phoenix is the first film in the series from director David Yates, who had mainly been known for directing political dramas and thrillers for the BBC. Yates might seem like a surprising choice for a fantasy franchise, but the Harry Potter series is a bit more than that. As Harry's tale unfolds over the course of seven novels, we start to see deeper mysteries and conspiracies, »
From the very beginning of this fourth film in the Harry Potter series, we know that we're in for a much darker film than we've previously seen. The opening scene of the film shows us the hapless caretaker of the long-abandoned Riddle estate being murdered via a magical curse, or at least that's what Harry has been dreaming about. This nightmare of Harry's is a sign that we've entered into a much more mature territory. Director Mike Newell has the unenviable task of following Alfonso Cuaron's excellent Prisoner of Azkaban, so far the high point of the series. Newell's Goblet »
The third installment of the Harry Potter series marks the franchise's shift into darker territory than we've previously seen. And although he's still producing, Chris Columbus has now handed over the directing reins to Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien) and that's a great move for the series. Cuarón's film is bit darker, a bit more sinister, and even a bit more wistful, which is as much a function of his direction as it is Rowling's development as a writer. The action, as always, starts off at the Dursleys' home in Surrey, but Harry quickly gets fed »
I'm going to borrow the title of a 4 Non Blondes album for my summation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: "Bigger, Better, Faster, More." The set pieces are larger, the chemistry between the actors has vastly improved, the film moves along much quicker than the first film, and it's simply a lot more fun to watch. I will say that this movie doesn't really stand on its own though. That's not really a knock against the film -- there are plenty of franchise installments that require knowledge gained from previous entries (The Lord of the Rings, The »
Welcome to another Rt watching party! So far, we've Bonded, Trekked, Terminated, and... Fridayed? Jasoned? Anyway, with the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at how the series has progressed so far. Before I get started on this first installment with my review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, let me give you a little background. I've seen each one of the movies when they were released, and for the most part, I'd seen many of them before I'd read the corresponding book. I »
To the best of my knowledge, the film never received a release here.
The same can't be said for Sorin's tender gem "The Window," which today begins a two-week run at Film Forum.
- By V.A. MUSETTO
Here's another report from Film Experience regular Rosengje from sunny Vegas where ShoWest is closing. She has just seen Woody Allen's latest Whatever Works (previously discussed here)! I am green with envy. Let's jump right in to her slightly spoilerish thoughts. In many ways, Whatever Works is an amalgam of all of the neuroses and preoccupations that have defined Woody Allen's previous films. Larry David plays Boris, a misanthrope who fled his "rational" marriage to live downtown in isolation, teaching chess to children through methods that involve repeated name-calling and knight-throwing. Boris's life is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood), a runaway from Mississippi. Melodie is eventually followed by her mother (Patricia Clarkson) and father (Ed Begley, Jr.).
- NATHANIEL R
Woody Allen has been making films for forty years now. Forty years, with forty feature length films to his credit if you include What’s Up Tiger Lily? That’s a lot of movies. And it’s understandable that if he makes some bad movies (which he has throughout his career) and then makes a great film (which he’s made a ton of). It’s Woody, so let’s say Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, The Purple Rose of Cario, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, Bullets Over Broadway, Deconstructing Harry, Match Point. Twelve great films. And that’s not including his merely good films. As a batting average that’s pretty great. So add another one to the fire, because Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of his great ones. Rebecca Hall plays Vicky, Scarlet Johansson plays Cristina. Vicky is about to »
11 items from 2009
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