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'Her' In, Redford Out: Best and Worst of the Oscar Nominations

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 16, 2014 2:06 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Let's start by stipulating that the Oscars have little or nothing to do with art or even how good a film is. Like any political contest, movie awards are about money and campaigning and popularity and image -- so if a good idea or vision sneaks in, what luck!

Emma Thompson: Non-Twinkling, Non-Cavorting and Wonderful in 'Saving Mr. Banks'

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 9, 2013 8:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The encouraging scene in the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks has Emma Thompson as the recalcitrant author P.L. Travers, telling her agent why she does not want Walt Disney to put her heroine on screen. "I know what he'll do to her -- she'll be cavorting and twinkling," she says, with great derision.

'Beautiful Creatures': Smarter, Wittier, Better Than 'Twilight'

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 14, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Beautiful Creatures, the story of high-school students in love – only one of them with supernatural powers – is bound to be compared to the Twilight movies, but that’s just wrong. Richard LaGravanese’s sumptuous-looking film is crisply directed, wonderfully cast and far wittier than the drippy, earnest Twilight Saga. Better to think of Beautiful Creatures as a Harry Potter substitute with wizards and muggles facing adulthood, a film smart enough to have fun with its magical premise.

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