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2 items from 2013


Film Review: ‘Dear Mr. Watterson’

5 December 2013 12:33 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

What “Calvin and Hobbes” obsessives really crave is a chance to meet the reclusive genius behind the comicstrip — a funny-pages version of “Salinger” or “The Stone Reader,” perhaps. But as its title sadly makes clear, “Dear Mr. Watterson” is not that kind of movie. Rather, it’s a love letter written from one of the spiky-haired 6-year-old’s fans to his inventor, padded with interviews from similarly gushy admirers and peers eager to sing his praises. It is, in short, everything you’d expect from a crowd-sourced documentary, designed to celebrate its subject, while mostly just validating the aesthetic taste of its backers. The film began a limited theatrical run Nov. 15 and is available in home formats.

Like Bart Simpson, Calvin will always be the same age in our memory. But unlike Bart, his likeness was never licensed to appear on every product imaginable — an artistic choice that allowed the »

- Peter Debruge

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Best of Toronto: Variety Critics Look Past the Oscar Hype

16 September 2013 2:07 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Peter Debruge: Looking back on 11 days and several hundred movies, it’s somewhat disheartening to realize this is the year that Oscar hype all but overwhelmed the Toronto Film Festival. Things have been gradually building up to this, considering that the festival served to launch such best-picture winners as “American Beauty,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech” and “Argo,” among others, but it’s unfortunate that this hollow chatter has taken the place of substantial conversation about the merits of the many films on offer, the vast majority of which were conceived with no designs on earning little gold statues.

There’s a silver lining for those who’ve been following from a distance all the buzz around such heftily financed pictures as “12 Years a Slave,” “August: Osage County,” “Rush,” “Gravity” and “Prisoners,” as well as the scrappy, super-indie “Dallas Buyers Club,” a movie no one wanted to make but »

- Scott Foundas, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge

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2 items from 2013


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