Caryn James

Oscar Review: Seth MacFarlane's Badness Explained

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • February 25, 2013 2:39 AM
  • |
  • 30 Comments
Was Seth MacFarlane the victim of some terrible time-travel accident that caused him – and all his Oscar-show material – to be trapped in the 1950’s (and not in a successfully ironic way)? That’s the most generous explanation I have for his pathetically unfunny job as Oscar host.  

Predicting the Oscars: Don't Trust Me, Trust Nate Silver

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • February 23, 2013 9:30 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
I was thinking this might be the first year in recent memory when the Oscars actually held some suspense about the winners. Is anything really a lock for Best Picture? What about that wacky Best Directors race, already full of also-rans? Then I read Nate Silver’s thoroughly lucid and compelling analysis in his FiveThirtyEight blog, so: Argo, Argo, Argo. And Spielberg.

The 'Rejected Pitches' Oscar Special, Part 2

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • February 22, 2013 7:33 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
In Part 2 of the 'Rejected Pitches’ Oscar special, the comedy web series gives us typical Hollywood dismissals of Les Miserables (with a perfect Tom Hooper impersonator), Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.

Kathryn Bigelow's Extended Interview with Stephen Colbert (Video)

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • January 23, 2013 12:22 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Kathryn Bigelow couldn’t be clearer about the issue of torture in Zero Dark Thirty: “Torture is reprehensible” she told Stephen Colbert, and went to say that the enhanced interrogation shown in her film was one element in the attempt to track down Osama bin Laden, not, as some critics of the film have claimed, the single indispensable element. Directors don’t always have the best takes on their own films, but Bigelow’s explanation is the one that makes the most sense to me.

Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Funny, Edgy Golden Globes Opener

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • January 13, 2013 11:54 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
It’s too bad they disappeared for most of the show, because hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were by far the best part of watching The Golden Globes. Some of their lines were as jaw-dropping as anything Ricky Gervais said, but were delivered with such warmth that they didn’t seem to sting. “I haven’t really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty,” Poehler said, “but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.” The “special material” writers included SNL’s Seth Meyers and 30 Rock’s Robert Carlock, which explains a lot.  

Watch The Oscar Nominations: The Good, The Bad, The What Were They Thinking?

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • January 10, 2013 10:44 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
What a relief! It looks like the Oscar show might actually be fun, thanks to Seth MacFarlane. When he and Emma Stone announced the nominees, MacFarlane commented with barbed lines that were as edgy as anything Ricky Gervais did during his controversial Golden Globes gigs. After announcing the Best Supporting Actress category, he congratulated the nominees with, “You five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” Too far? I’ll always choose a host who crosses the line rather than someone tame and snoozy.

The Best Films of 2012

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • December 18, 2012 9:00 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
My top three films of 2012 were easy to name, if not to order. Each is amazing, each wildly different from the other two, but they form a trio of incomparable experiences. There’s a deep dropoff from those three to the others, all fantastic --  though more flawed. I didn’t reach for ten movies (you do remember that I’m math-challenged?) because lists are arbitary enough. But every one of these eight films is worth your time, over and over again.

Follow Caryn James

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • The Emily Dickinson of Photographs or ...
  • To Die For: Swinton and Hiddleston in ...
  • 'Mad Men' Preview: The Sense of an ...