Caryn James

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 5, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 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.

Oscar Review: Awards As Bland As Oatmeal

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 27, 2012 12:28 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Well don’t James Franco and Anne Hathaway look better now? Last year’s Oscar show may have been a headlong collision, but at least a crash has curiosity value. This year’s show was as lively and colorful as cold oatmeal. You know it’s a dull show when even the Best Dead People “In Memoriam” sequence is chilly, unemotional and flat.

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.)

Meryl Streep Wins BAFTA, Loses Shoe, Saved By Colin Firth

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 13, 2012 12:28 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Just when it looked like Viola Davis was going to zoom straight through to the Best Actress Oscar, Meryl Streep won the BAFTA for The Iron Lady. Well, she was playing Margaret Thatcher and they are the British Academy Film Awards, so who knows if her victory means anything for the Oscars, but never mind that. While Davis has emerged as the queen of the stirring acceptance speech, Streep has been the wonderfully zany winner, and last night was one of her best appearances.

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.

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.

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.

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