Caryn James

The Amazing Little 'Broken Circle Breakdown'

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 1, 2013 10:31 PM
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Bluegrass and Belgium are two words I would not have thought to put in the same sentence (or thought about at all, really) before The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium's entry in the Oscar race. Bluegrass is a crucial element in the story, from the sexy beginning to the wrenching end of a romance between a musician and the woman who becomes his wife and a singer in the group. And this exquisitely made, exceptionally moving film -- told in an elegant pattern of present-day scenes and flashbacks, full of music that suits every graceful shift in tone, directed with authority and sophistication by Felix van Groeningen -- comes with a horrendous, understandable marketing problem.

'The Patience Stone': An Afghan Woman With Global Impact

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 13, 2013 10:08 AM
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The Patience Stone is an exceptional, eloquent film with a richly specific setting and global resonance. Directed by Atiq Rahimi, it is the story of an Afghan woman in a war-torn village, keeping watch over her once-belligerent, now comatose husband. The plot turns on a question that gets to the heart of a problem facing oppressed women everywhere: left alone to care for herself and her two daughters, how can a someone whose every move had formerly been controlled by her husband possibly fend for herself?

Underrated At the Tribeca Film Festival : 'Almost Christmas'

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2013 11:02 AM
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The new film from Phil Morrison (the director of Junebug) has not been embraced by most critics at the Tribeca Film Festival (actually, most of them hated it) but I so disagree. Almost Christmas is one of my favorites from this year's festival, a thoroughly fresh dark comedy - more sly and absurd than laugh-out-loud - with Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd as down-on-their-luck Canadians who come to New York to sell Christmas trees for a month.

'The Reluctant Fundamentalist': Mira Nair's Mirror of American-Pakistani Relations

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 22, 2013 2:25 PM
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In a Lahore cafe, the Pakistan-born, Princeton-educated hero of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist tells an American reporter about his reaction to the World Trade Center attacks. Changez (Riz Ahmed) was as horrified as anyone – but at first there was an instinctive smile, simple "awe," as he puts it, at the audacity of "arrogance brought low." The journalist, Bobby Lincoln, (Liev Schreiber) responds with a glare of pure, restrained fury.

Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal In Witty, Slyly Feminist "Hysteria"

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 17, 2012 9:38 PM
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Hysteria, one of the highlights of the Tribeca Film Festival, is now opening in theaters. If you misssed my Tribeca review of this sharp witty film, here it is:

Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal In the Witty "Hysteria"

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 24, 2012 12:34 PM
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Hysteria, one of the highlights of the Tribeca Film Festival, is now opening in theaters. If you misssed my Tribeca review of this sharp witty film, here it is:

Tribeca Highlight: Emily Blunt In Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 21, 2012 3:32 PM
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It’s a small relationship film with a big bold impact: witty, nuanced, beautifully acted, Your Sister’s Sister is one of the best movies so far at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Video Interview: Edward Burns On His Small-Budget Charmer, "Newlyweds"

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 21, 2011 10:25 PM
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Edward Burns’ latest film, Newlyweds, is a delightfully witty, sharply observed romance that comes with its own amazing origin story. Although you wouldn’t guess it from the film’s clear, bright look, it was shot for a pittance -- around $9,000, yes that’s thousand – in recognizable locations around Tribeca (that's the Franklin St. subway stop in the background of the photo above). Shoestring budgets don’t get stringier.

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