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Caryn James

'American Hustle': When Brilliant Acting is More than Enough

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 11, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Bradley Cooper in pink hair curlers says it all. So does Christian Bale's giant pot belly and glued-down combover, and Jennifer Lawrence's poufy blonde 'do. It makes sense that a film about small-time cons reinventing themselves and a big FBI scam never quite lets you forget that you're watching bravura acting.

Your Burning Oscar-Show Questions Answered, MacFarlane to Best Dead People

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 25, 2013 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Oscar show was bloated with movie music that had no reason being there. (A tribute to Chicago? Other than the fact that the Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron also produced that movie .. oh yeah, that’s why). It had Seth MacFarlane, whose jokes might have been offensive if they weren’t so stale and dull. It had Adlele singing the theme from Skyfall, only to have her voice struggle to be heard over the orchestra. No sound editing at this all-musical Oscars? Ugh.

"Rejected Pitches" Takes On the Oscars (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 21, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
“Rejected Pitches,” the on-line comedy series that plays out typical Hollywood rejections of very successful films, takes on this year’s crop of Oscar nominees with some priceless responses to Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and Beasts of the Southern Wild: “I love Hushpuppy – she’s so sassy! Everything else can go.”

'Between Two Ferns' Oscar Edition Part 2, with Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastain

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 12, 2013 10:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the followup to yesterday’s "Between Two Ferns," Oscar Edition, today Zach Galifianakis talks to Jessica Chastain, Sally Field and his old friend from "The Hangover" Bradley Cooper.

Pants On Fire: SNL Cold Open Takes on Lance Armstrong, Manil Te'o, Jodie Foster (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 20, 2013 10:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Jennifer Lawrence was a likable host on SNL, pretending to trash-talk her Oscar contenders, but the writers didn’t give her their sharpest material. There was a commercial for Silver Linings Playbook during the show, but no sketch about it – what a lost opportunity (although Jason Sudeikis did wear Bradley Cooper’s trash bag workout clothes in a promo). Instead, the cold open gave us SNL at its topical best, with Piers Morgan welcoming a pants-on-fire lineup of guests.

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 10, 2013 10:44 AM
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  • 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
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  • December 18, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 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.

Clunky Title, Terrific Film: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence in 'Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 16, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
David O. Russell is the master of messed-up families, from the incestuous mother-son duo in Spanking the Monkey through the loving fraternal rivalry of The Fighter and even the band-of-brothers military guys in Three Kings. But he has never had a family so superbly cast and played as the one  in Silver Linings Playbook.

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