Caryn James

Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal In Surprising 'Prisoners'

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 16, 2013 9:02 AM
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Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners sounds cookie-cutter conventional, and in fact there is nothing fresh in the concept: two little girls are abducted, and the father of one of them goes after a suspect the police have released. The clock is ticking ... and other cliches we've heard way too many times before. But the film is so sharply directed, tautly edited, so rich and believably acted -- Hugh Jackman is the fierce and desperate father, Jake Gyllenhaal the obsessed but coolly rational detective -- that you quickly forgive its tired story. Nothing else is tired in Prisoners, one of the most intense, satisfying thrillers to appear in years.

Paul Dano Saves Flawed 'For Ellen'

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 5, 2012 9:03 AM
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Paul Dano -- pale and gangly, nobody’s preconceived image of a movie star -- is a wonder of an actor, who has made some great choices in films, from There Will Be Blood, to the recent Ruby Sparks and a small but crucial role in the upcoming Looper. In So Yong Kim’s deliberate, meticulous For Ellen, Dano proves he can even make a flawed film worth watching.

Stranger Than Life: Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano In The Fabulist 'Ruby Sparks'

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 24, 2012 9:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Neurosis hasn’t seemed this adorably sane since Woody Allen. Clever, funny, expertly walking the line between arty and mainstream, "Ruby Sparks" is a lovable romantic comedy, with Paul Dano as a novelist who writes a dream girl, and Zoe Kazan – Dano’s real-life partner, who wrote the screenplay  - as the fictional woman who fantastically comes to life, leaving her underwear around his apartment, cooking him eggs.

Being Flynn: Yes, De Niro's Still Great

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 29, 2012 7:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Being Flynn is a perfectly good title for a film about an aimless young man who works in a Boston homeless shelter, where his long-vanished father turns up one night. But the memoir it is based on has a GREAT title: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Despite that loss,  the acerbic, thoughtful, colorful drama of Nick Flynn’s book comes through in Paul Weitz’s film. Even more impressive, it delivers Robert De Niro’s fullest role and strongest performance in years as the father, Jonathan Flynn, a proud, self-deluded writer on a relentless downward spiral.

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