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Caryn James

BEST FILMS OF 2013

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 20, 2013 12:35 AM
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  • 6 Comments
I am absolutely certain about the top three films on this list. But the further down we go, the more absurd it seems to rank films as different as the Coen Brothers' wonderfully layered look at a struggling folk singer in the 60's and Martin Scorsese's bacchanalia of 80's excess.

Watch Joaquin Phoenix Break Up with Jimmy Fallon

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 12, 2013 10:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment
How good an actor is Joaquin Phoenix? He plays a touchingly heart-broken, love-lorn ordinary guy in Spike Jonze' Her, yet we all suspect his real personality is closer to the bizarro performance art he displays on talk shows and the sort-of doc I'm Still Here. His conversation with Jimmy Fallon last night had a little bit of each.

Top Films to Watch For From the 51st New York Film Festival

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 13, 2013 12:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The New York Film Festival, which ends today, was an especially rich edition. Almost every film, in the main slate and the sidebars, was tempting. And while the festival was heavy with mainstream directors, the choices were anything but kneejerk. Some of the most familiar names took exhilarating new turns.

'The Master' Review: Egotists and the Cultists Who Love Them

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 22, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
With its expansive 70 mm images, The Master almost pounces on you as it announces its epic scope and ambition – even though the impressive vistas of the sea don’t have anything to do with the heart of the film. In its intelligent, chilly essence, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film is an intense, eye-to-eye war between two different yet interdependent psyches. Philip Seymour Hoffman is magnificent as the charming, voracious, monomaniacal charlatan who needs worshippers the way he needs air, a man so much The Master that his name, Lancaster Dodd, isn’t mentioned for most of the film. Joaquin Phoenix is nearly as effective as the jittery, off-putting Freddie Quell, a GI back from World War II, belligerent yet so unconsciously needy he is swooped into Dodd’s cultish vortex almost without realizing what’s happening.

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