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Review: 'Hello I Must Be Going' A Smart, Smutty & Sweet Tale About Love, Divorce & Growing Up In Your Mid-30s

  • By James Rocchi
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  • September 5, 2012 3:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Directed by actor-turned-director Todd Louiso and written by Louiso's wife, Sarah Koskoff, "Hello I Must Be Going" stars Melanie Lynskey as Amy Minsky, a 35-year-old, shell-shocked and shattered in the wake of her divorce. For three months now, Amy's been staying in her mom and dad's house, which is being renovated; the only thing that can blast Amy out of bed is the buzz of the bandsaw every morning. Amy's dad Stan (John Rubenstein) is distant yet loving; his idea of both a heart-to-heart and a life philosophy is to shrug and say, 'What are you gonna do?" Her mother Ruth (Blythe Danner) is a blithe and busy woman, who, when she asks if Amy has heard of antidepressants, pronounces it as if the word were hyphenated and rhymed with "croissant." Something is going to have to bring Amy around. A little self-realization, self-criticism and hot inadvisable sex in the back of her mom's Infiniti might just be the ticket.

Review: 'Girl Model' Is A Bracing Look At A Rarely Seen Side Of The Fashion Industry

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • September 5, 2012 1:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments
“Girl Model” opens not on a Fashion Week runway in New York or Paris, but in about the last place we would expect to find the starting point of this film: Siberia. Indeed, the sad, eye-opening documentary from directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin seems to revel in subverting this expectation of what constitutes the fashion industry, starting with ground zero for new talent. Here, in deep Siberia, far from a Vogue photo shoot, a cluster of pale, rail-thin teenagers, many in matching black bikini tops and bottoms, gamely smile as photographers shoot away, and Redmon and Sabin’s camera pans across their wide-eyed, startlingly young faces. As the film’s title appears onscreen, the girls are marched cattle-style, before being called individually before the scouts. Some continue to smile at the directors’ camera, while others eye the lens suspiciously.
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Venice Review: 'Dormant Beauty' Is Tender & Humane, But Adds Little To The Right To Die Debate

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2012 8:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The sanctity of life is one of the thorniest subjects of the 20th century, and seems certain to continue to be so for decades to come. One only has to look over the continuing debate in terms of contraception and abortion, among the most divisive and emotional issues in American politics (or, indeed, in politics around the world), to see that. And just as the question of when life begins is much-argued-over, the question of when it should be ended, and what constitutes the difference between life and death, is just as controversial.

Venice Review: Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers' Is A Semi-Conventional Genre Flick & Future Cult Favorite

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2012 4:58 PM
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  • 12 Comments
This will make you feel old: it has been 18 years since Harmony Korine wrote “Kids” at the age of 21, with the Larry Clark directed film proving to be something of a firecracker in the midst of mid-90s indie cinema, by turns controversial, seedy, and honest. Korine made his own directorial debut with 1998’s “Gummo,” and over the last 15 or so years has made films that (with the possible exception of “Mister Lonely”), push aesthetic & critical boundaries further and further, culminating in 2009’s “Trash Humpers,” a film shot on a VHS camcorder, featuring a cast in old-people masks generally trying to provoke the audience into walking out. So where could he possibly go from there?

Venice Review: Kim Ki-Duk's 'Pieta' Is A Bruising Mother-Son Relationship Drama That Ultimately Disappoints

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2012 3:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment
With only a few days left of the Venice Film Festival, no clear front-runner has emerged to pick up the Golden Lion. “The Master” is probably the best-received film to date, but festival juries often shy away from the most obvious pick. “To The Wonder,” “At Any Price” and “Fill The Void” all have their fans, but all received raucous booing at critics screenings. The best movies have premiered out of competition, and many films seem like non-starters. But the best reaction we’ve heard to date across our week on the Lido came last night from abrasive, confrontational Korean director Kim Ki-Duk's “Pieta.”

Venice Review: 'A Hijacking' Is A Detailed, Gripping & Powerful High-Seas Hostage Tale

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2012 2:18 PM
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  • 9 Comments
As exciting as it can be to be one of the audience at the first public screening of an eagerly anticipated film – the new Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the new Rian Johnson or David O. Russell – perhaps the purest pleasure that can be found at a film festival is that of discovery. Picking something semi-randomly from the program, something with no A-listers, and no internationally renowned filmmaker at the helm, and walking out a couple of hours later feeling that you’ve uncovered a gem, and been one oft the first to find a director who could be a major talent to watch.

Venice Review: 'Linhas De Wellington' Is A Handsome But Middling Tribute To The Late Raúl Ruiz

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2012 1:37 PM
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  • 3 Comments
If you had to pick the final film to be completed after a forty-year career of over one hundred films, you’d certainly hope for one as masterful as “Mysteries Of Lisbon,” the four-hour 2010 epic that proved to be the last completed directorial effort from Chilean-born, French-settled filmmaker Raúl Ruiz. An internationally acclaimed Portugese-language costume drama, it’s one of the richest films of the last few years, and one that certainly served as a fitting crowning accomplishment.

Telluride Review: 'Hyde Park On Hudson' Is A Lightweight & Toothless Crowd-Pleaser

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 4, 2012 8:59 AM
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  • 5 Comments
At 61 years of age, the presumably hard-living Bill Murray conservatively only has two more decades of work left in him. So perhaps we all want him to really dazzle us with some meaty roles and not waste his time with middling fluff like Roger Michell's "Hyde Park on Hudson," a moderately pleasant but depthless picture that makes "The King's Speech" look like "A Clockwork Orange." OK, that's a purposeful exaggeration, but "Hyde Park on Hudson" is unremarkable; the type of would-be Oscar fluff that makes sure it goes down the award season check list for every gentle and inoffensive cinematic element it can find.

Venice Review: 'Blondie' A Promising Swedish Family Drama That Gets Less Interesting As It Goes On

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 3, 2012 6:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment
For millennia now, the idea of three sisters has been a potent one in myth and literature. From the Fates of Greek legend to the witches in “Macbeth” to Olya, Masha and Marina in Chekov’s play, the theme recurs across civilizations, with mountain ranges and rivers named some variation on ‘three sisters’ the world over.

Venice Review: ‘Disconnect’ Is ‘Crash’ For The Web Era, And Even More Dismal Than That Sounds

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 3, 2012 1:35 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Many writers say they prefer not start the writing process with a theme in mind – they simply let it emerge organically from their plot or characters. But then, plenty of films have gone the other way. The multi-stranded, interconnected drama revolving around a particular subject or theme, like Steven Soderbergh’s take on the war on drugs in “Traffic,” or Paul Thomas Anderson’s examination of coincidence and happenstance in “Magnolia,” have proved particularly popular in recent years. And given that they garlanded financial and critical success, it makes sense that others have set out to follow in their footsteps.

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