Caryn James

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

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • January 16, 2014 2:06 PM
  • |
  • 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!

BEST FILMS OF 2013

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • December 20, 2013 12:35 AM
  • |
  • 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.

Steve Carell in the Sweet, Endearing 'The Way Way Back'

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • July 5, 2013 9:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Just when it seemed that the days of overpaying for Sundance movies had ended, this year Fox Searchlight spent almost $10 million for the very conventional-sound coming-of-age movie The Way Way Back. That deal sent me into the screening room recently wondering if they'd lost their minds; I left thinking they're smarter than ever. The film is warm, engaging, and thoroughly charming even though we can predict every turn in the story of 14-year-old Duncan, who finds his inner, confident self over the summer.

Best Films of 2011

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • December 19, 2011 9:21 PM
  • |
  • 7 Comments
If there were ever a year to be wimpy and declare a tie, this would have been it: choosing between my Number 1 and Number 2 films was just silly. One is big, the other smaller; both are ambitious and perfectly made, but in wildly different ways. I adore them both.

George Clooney In Alexander Payne's Brilliant, Touching "Descendants"

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • November 16, 2011 10:13 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Watch George Clooney as he runs around a corner in The Descendants,  shot from a distance. If he had a little more weight he might waddle, but that flat-footed run  -- in boat shoes and shorts and a golf  shirt - is enough. This is the way a middle-aged guy moves, and the character,  Matt King, is no movie star. He’s a family man racing to ask his best friends to give him the name of the Other Man his critically injured wife had been sleeping with.    

Follow Caryn James

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Poetry, Politics and Memory in "The ...
  • The Bright Side of the Death on 'The ...
  • The Emily Dickinson of Photographs or ...