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Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Leila Hatami Shines In Wry, Tragicomic 'The Last Step'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 14, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 3 Comments
If last year’s fantastic “A Separation” put Leila Hatami on everyone’s World Cinema Movie Star radar (you’ve got one of those, right?), then “The Last Step” ("Pele Akher"), which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and is directed by her husband, Ali Mosaffa, may be the film that consolidates her position. But while it has already deservedly scooped her the Best Actress award in Karlovy Vary, we shouldn’t let her shimmering but grounded portrayal outshine the film itself. Also the recipient of the International Critics' Prize, the movie engrosses from beginning to end as an inventive, playful, semi-tragic drama of marriage, jealousy, love, death and filmmaking in modern-day Tehran.

'A Separation,' 'Pina,' 'In Darkness,' 'Footnote' & 5 More Survive To The Oscar Foreign Film Shortlist

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 18, 2012 2:40 PM
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  • 8 Comments
...and then there were nine. After sixty-three submissions, we're down to the last batch hoping to make it the final five when the Oscar nominations are announced next Tuesday. The process is an odd one, with L.A.-based Academy members voting in the top six, and three more films added by the branch committee headed by chief Mark Johnson. Now, invite-only members in New York and Los Angeles will vote and weigh in with the final five. But before we get to those, let's see who got left out.

In Theaters: 'A Separation' Comes Between 'Pariah' & 'The Iron Lady'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 30, 2011 3:49 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Happy almost 2012 to you! It seems studios don't expect many moviegoers at the theaters this weekend, knowing that we'll all be out partying it up with friends, rather than hitting up the multiplex with family like last week. Only a few new releases this week, so you'll be able to catch up on "We Bought a Zoo," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and other big Christmas releases that may have missed your favor last week. That's if you're heading out to the theater at all this weekend. There are a couple of high-profile pics worth checking out if you're looking for something fresh: Sundance hit "Pariah" opened on Wednesday and Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady" is in select theaters today.

My Favorite Films Of 2011: Oliver Lyttelton

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2011 3:54 PM
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  • 18 Comments
I'd have called you a liar if you'd said this six months ago, but 2011 turned out to be a pretty strong year for cinema. Indeed, whereas I've had to make up the numbers more than once in recent years, this time around, I've actually expanded it to fifteen to include everything I really wanted to talk about. I'm not sure it'll live with recent banner years like 1999 or 2007 – there was a lot of good, but I wonder how many of these will hold up as true classics. But then, that's part of the fun; you never know what'll stick with you, and I suspect this list would look very different in six months, or six years.

Review: 'A Separation' Is A Wrenching Portrait Of Duty, Love & Deep Irreconcilable Divisions

  • By Alison Willmore
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  • December 27, 2011 11:55 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Tucked in amongst all the shinier offerings involving punk hackers, boy reporters and equine conscripts, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" is the finest film of this awards season and one of the best of the year, a domestic drama that in its deliberately restricted focus nevertheless opens up a nuanced, multifaceted view of life in contemporary Iran.

'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' & 'Drive' Lead London Film Critics Nominations

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 20, 2011 3:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The London Film Critics' Circle has released their nominees this morning, with some surprising frontrunners. Tomas Alfredson's Cold War thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Nicolas Winding Refn's pulpy blast "Drive" were the top nominees, with six nominations apiece, while Lynne Ramsay's chilling "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and Asghar Farhadi's emotionally devastating "A Separation" each picked up five nominations. Steve McQueen's sex addiction drama "Shame" and indie black-and-white silent thingee "The Artist" each secured four nominations. Sadly "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," was, again, overlooked.

Awards Mania As 'The Artist,' 'The Tree Of Life' & 'The Descendants' Earn Top Critic Organization Honors

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 12, 2011 8:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Sunday was a major day for Oscar prognosticators, as a number of critics organizations went live with their end-of-2011 honors. Some films gained support, and some lost quite a bit of steam, but for those of you who look at the whole thing like a horse race, there was a lot of movement amongst a thick group of thoroughbreds.

National Board Of Review Gives Best Picture & Director To 'Hugo'; Tilda Swinton & George Clooney Take Acting Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2011 4:14 PM
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  • 8 Comments

'The Artist' Wins Best Film & Best Director, While 'The Tree Of Life' Wins 3 From The New York Film Critics Circle

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 29, 2011 1:18 PM
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  • 2 Comments
You know what's a really good idea? Drawing out your award winners on Twitter all day. In what seems like the final act in a disastrous public relations year for the New York Film Critics Circle, they made the ridiculous decision to tweet their winners, one-by-one, as they vote today, turning the simple act of compiling a press release into a drawn-out social media exercise by people who clearly don't understand how to use it (case in point: Roger Friedman tweeted out the Best Director win before NYFCC could). Couple that with new president John Anderson's embarrassing whining that Warner Bros. wouldn't screen "Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close" in order to meet their arbitrary and way too early voting date (so they can be first out, and consequently first forgotten), which they had to move anyway for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," and you have a 2011 the members are likely glad is over. Politics and infighting aside, the group, having got their Fincher on last night, finally met to pick their winners, and while their standing has certainly been diminished by recent controversies (there goes our invite), the results are always a strong barometer for Oscar.

TIFF '11 Review: Manipulative & Melodramatic 'A Separation' Is A Soap Opera Morality Tale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 9, 2011 12:40 PM
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  • 12 Comments
The fall festival circuit is all about buzz, and while the frontrunners for the awards season can usually be spotted a mile away, it's the sleeper sensations everyone keeps an eye out for now. As Telluride wrapped up this weekend, the Iranian film "A Separation" directed by Asghar Farhadi, began building some serious heat. Thought it has been playing international festivals all summer long and won multiple awards in Berlin earlier this year including the Golden Bear, the very strong word out of Colorado, led by a rave by Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere -- who admitted to missing the first third of the picture -- put the movie on the schedule for many of the folks headed to Toronto. Believe it or not, the film (as of this date anyway) has even edged into the IMDB Top 250. And now that we've caught up with it we have to ask: did we see a completely different movie?

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