Caryn James

'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!

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.

'Side By Side': Watch Dunham, Gerwig And Others In Outtakes As Good As The Film

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 1, 2012 9:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Side By Side, the terrific, widely-praised documentary with interviews by one of its producers, Keanu Reeves, has been available On Demand for a few weeks and is has just opened in New York – an event that offers your very own counterpart to the movie’s unexpectedly fascinating debate about film vs. digital technology. Do you watch at home or go old-school and actually visit a theater?

Still More Kimmel's Making the Movie: Scorsese in Black and White

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 2, 2012 10:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Every producer knows you’re not through until you have drained all the possible behind-the-scenes extras for the DVD; same for Jimmy Kimmel’s parody trailer Movie: The Movie. The third installment was on his prime-time special last night, and he saved some of the best for last, including a short supposedly directed by George Clooney, starring Martin Scorsese in black and white. (Wonder what they’re making fun of.)

Best Ways To Watch The Oscars

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 26, 2012 8:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If you’re a fan of Billy Crystal and nostalgia (they sort of go together, don’t they?) tonight’s Academy Awards show has your name on it. But if, like many more of us, the throwback to Oscar hosts past and the presumed dominance of The Artist sounds like a snooze, here are some ways to approach the Academy Awards. (To be fair, the photo above is from this year's Oscar promo.)

Dog Wars: Scorsese Defends Blackie

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 1, 2012 12:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment
I’m not a dog person, so I don’t really have an animal in this fight. But I have to agree with the Uggie backlash, which took off when Christopher Plummer pointed out – quite rightly I think – that Cosmo from Beginners is a much cuter dog. Now Martin Scorsese is getting into the act, defending Blackie from Hugo on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Watch the Enticing Trailer for Keanu Reeves' New Documentary (UPDATED)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 17, 2012 11:30 PM
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  • 4 Comments
UPDATE: In a great, forward-looking match, Tribeca Film has just acquired Side By Side, and plans a summer release.

From The Apocalypse to Twitter: Top Four Things To Watch For At The Golden Globes

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 14, 2012 11:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment
We could stretch it to more than four, but let’s stay focused. All ears, of course, will be on Ricky Gervais, as we wonder what he can possibly do to top his hilarious, irreverent turn as host last year. The first five minutes should tell.

Best Films of 2011

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 19, 2011 9:21 PM
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  • 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.

Hugo: Scorsese's Magical Christmas Gift

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 21, 2011 3:36 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The magnificent opening sequence of Hugo transports us into its enchanting world. In 3-D, we are suddenly under softly falling snowflakes as the camera soars over the cityscape of Paris, the Eiffel Tower in the distance, then in a single shot keeps traveling down to the platform of a train station before soaring again up behind the station’s giant clock, to the room where a boy named Hugo lives. This stunning filmmaking calls to mind the famous uncut tracking shot in Martin Scorsese’s more typical Goodfellas, but that’s the last time you’ll be reminded of the present day.  Hugo is so thoroughly entrancing, for the time you’re watching it you might be living inside a magical Paris of 1931.

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