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Caryn James

Aaron Sorkin Moves 'The Newsroom' To Fairyland

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 24, 2012 9:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Aaron Sorkin has always had a huge, corn-fed Capraesque streak, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.  Even in his own day, Capra’s Americana was more willful than trenchant, but at least it suited its Greatest Generation era. Sorkin’s high-blown patriotic speeches, transferred from America to the glorified image of what was once Serious Journalism, are the main reason his new HBO series The Newsroom is so uneven and shaky. There’s so much that is good about the series – its intelligent characters, the zooming narrative that captures the adrenaline rush of breaking news, Jeff Daniels’ and Sam Waterston’s fierce yet grounded performances - that it’s disappointing to see how much goes wrong. The Newsroom is absolutely worth watching, but measured against its own ambition is a frustrating, partial success.

Clooney vs. Dujardin: Can Subtlety Ever Win The Best Actor Oscar?

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 2, 2012 1:04 PM
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  • 10 Comments
The Oscar for best Actor doesn't usually reward subtlety. Look at the past two years: Colin Firth won last time around for his stuttery role in The King’s Speech, while the year before his infinitely more nuanced and better performance in A Single Man lost to Jeff Bridges’ roaring drunk country singer in Crazy Heart. You get the picture: the Academy voters’ motto is We Love Big Gestures.

Brad Pitt Reveals Oscar Plan On The Daily Show

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 2, 2012 11:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Brad Pitt knows he doesn’t have much of a chance to win the Oscar this year. He actually says so during this campaign stop on The Daily Show last night.

Top Oscar Surprises: Gary Oldman and Demian Who?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 24, 2012 10:41 AM
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  • 7 Comments
The awards season zooms ahead now that the Oscar nominations have been announced. What didn’t we see coming? And what were those voters thinking? Never mind; a pointless question. Here’s a look at the biggest surprises and how they change the race.

Walloping Action In Soderbergh's Haywire, Plus Fassbender And McGregor

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 17, 2012 11:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
When a man is contracted to kill kickass undercover agent Mallory Kane, he says with mild curiosity, “I’ve never done a woman before,” and gets the perfect deadpan reply: “You shouldn’t think of her as being a woman. That would be mistake.” That doesn’t even sound sexist, because Kane is as much a lethal machine as she is a person, an approach that works just fine in Haywire, Steven Soderbergh’s walloping (literally; everybody gets walloped) spy-action movie.

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