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The Secret Appeal of ‘Captain Fantastic’: It’s Left-Wing… and Right-Wing

13 July 2016 6:41 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen as a shaggy father of five who has raised his children off the grid, in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest, is an independent movie that’s at once original and softheaded, tough and sentimental, honest and manipulative. It’s far from great, but it’s highly worth seeing, and the secret weapon of why it’s been connecting with audiences is that it’s the rare movie that can truly be called left-wing and right-wing at the same time. It’s a blue-state-meets-red-state domestic wild-woods fantasia that swings in both directions at once, and that isn’t a matter of dramatic confusion. It’s a matter of how well the film channels the confusions of our time.

We’re living at a moment, after all, when Donald Trump is on the right, Bernie Sanders is on the left, and Hillary Clinton is at »

- Owen Gleiberman

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‘Groundhog Day’ Actress Angela Paton Dies at 86

27 May 2016 8:16 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Angela Paton, best known for her role in “Groundhog Day,” died on Thursday in Oakland, Calif. She was 86.

The actress was in hospice care after a recent heart attack, the Associated Press reports.

Paton played Mrs. Lancaster, the small-town bed-and-breakfast owner where Bill Murray’s Phil Connors awakens in a panic every morning in the 1993 classic comedy.

Paton, who has more than 90 film and television credits to her name, also played Faye in Adam Sandler’s “The Wedding Singer,” Michelle’s grandmother who sleeps with Stifler in “American Wedding” and Mrs. Holmes in “Lolita.” She also appeared in 1994’s “Blue Sky” and “Trapped in Paradise.” She’s had roles on the shows “Falcon Crest,” “Home Improvement,” “My Name Is Earl” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The Brooklyn native had a flourishing stage career in the San Francisco Bay Area before transitioning to the screen when she was nearly 60 years old. Paton »

- Maane Khatchatourian

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11 Good Movies to Watch on Hulu in May 2016

10 May 2016 3:47 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

That’s right. Hulu.

I’m here to tell you that there’s a cinematic streaming goldmine available on Hulu that includes recent hits, older classics, domestic releases, and foreign imports. It’s even home to hundreds of Criterion titles. Sure there’s plenty of filler and seemingly thousands of titles that can’t possibly be real, but I’m here to recommend some good movies to watch this month on Hulu.

Pick of the Month — Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)

South Korean cinema features no shortage of brilliant and brutal action thrillers, but while everyone knows about the likes of I Saw the Devil and Memories of Murder there are more than a few gems that have slipped through the cracks. Jang Joon-hwan’s long overdue follow-up to Save the Green Planet is a fast-moving, creatively violent mix of dark deeds and beautifully choreographed fights and stunts. There’s a wicked sense of humor running through it »

- Rob Hunter

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Captain Fantastic’

23 January 2016 9:30 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

If there weren’t already a film called “World’s Greatest Dad,” that over-commodified Father’s Day slogan would have made a fine title for Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic,” which stars Viggo Mortensen as one of the screen’s all-time most progressive patriarchs — the surviving half of a counter-culture couple who decided to shrug off capitalism (they ignore Christmas, but celebrate “Noam Chomsky Day”), quit the big city and raise their family off the grid. But when Mom commits suicide, that puts a major twist in the fairy tale, which is precisely where Ross’ emotionally gripping family drama begins, evenhandedly weighing the pros and cons of its wildly unconventional parenting strategy, as the grieving father and his six kids cope with the idea of integrating back into polite society.

Boasting half a dozen impressive youth performances alongside a leading role that takes full advantage of Mortensen’s own sensitive, back-to-nature spirit, »

- Peter Debruge

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Adrian Lyne was one of Hollywood's biggest directors - so where did he go?

7 January 2016 5:16 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

By the late 1980s, there were few directors with as much commercial cachet as Adrian Lyne, who began as a well-regarded director of jeans and candy commercials before going on to direct two of the decade's biggest hits: 1983's Flashdance and 1987's Fatal Attraction (the film that came between, the notorious erotic drama 9 1/2 Weeks, didn't fare so well at the box office but became a bona fide hit on home video and in international markets). Though Lyne's career had its ups and downs, he somehow managed to bounce back from every disappointment with a success: after 9 1/2 Weeks floundered, he scored one of the decade's biggest blockbusters with Fatal Attraction the following year. When Jacob's Ladder (1990) failed to catch fire, Indecent Proposal (1993) did just that with over $100 million at the box office. After the $65 million Lolita (1997) was "relegated" to Showtime after no major distributor would touch it, he made a solid »

- Chris Eggertsen

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5 items from 2016


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