The Playlist

Cannes Review: Sprawling 'Hemingway & Gellhorn' Worthy Of The Rough & Tumble Life Of Two Great Writers

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 26, 2012 1:50 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ernest Hemingway is the kind of grandiose figure that it seems it would be difficult to contain within the framework of a feature film, and the decision to pair his life with that of his ex-wife Martha Gellhorn only adds to the task at hand. But with the leisure of a two-and-a-half hour running time, a starry ensemble, the guiding hands of director Philip Kaufman ("The Right Stuff," "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being") and the support of HBO, "Hemingway & Gellhorn" is a messy, but still worthwhile film about the two writers that does a strong job of bringing their complex, explosive and committed relationship to the big screen.

Cannes Review: 'Mud' Starring Matthew McConaughey Is An Underwhelming Anti-Fairy Tale

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 26, 2012 8:28 AM
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  • 27 Comments
"Mud," American writer/director Jeff Nichols' underwhelming follow-up to the masterfully visceral "Take Shelter," is a shallow and contrived coming of age story. While both 'Shelter' and "Shotgun Stories," Nichols' promising debut feature, explore their respective characters' motives and emotions, "Mud" instead offers pat sentiments and bland bathos.

Review: In 'OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger's Movie,' Too Much Bud Gets A Little Boring

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 25, 2012 3:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
"OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger's Movie" is a completely unique documentary that depicts one man's struggle -- co-director Bud Clayman -- with his Asperger's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Yes, Bud's got the one-two punch of Asperger's and OCD, the symptoms of which began to manifest themselves in his late teens/early twenties, as they do in many young men who suffer from such mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
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Cannes Review: David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis' Is Both An Excellent Adaptation & A Rich, Complex Character Study

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 25, 2012 8:12 AM
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  • 12 Comments
"Cosmopolis," an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s typically provocative novel of the same name, is the first feature film since 1999's "eXistenZ" that filmmaker David Cronenberg has directed and scripted. This in part explains why "Cosmopolis" is such a triumph: it’s both an exceptional adaptation and a remarkable work unto itself.

Cannes Review: Leos Carax's 'Holy Motors' Is An Anything Goes Stew Of Big Ideas That Doesn't Always Work

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 24, 2012 6:04 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Hilarious and dull, fascinating and pretentious, there is no doubt that Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" is memorable. Whether it's actually any good is up for debate. Bold and confounding in equal measure, Carax's first feature in over a decade is less a movie than a collection of sketches about the making of movies, inspired by a handful of projects Carax has tried to realize over the years but which never came together. Carrying a contemptuousness and cynicism about the current state of cinema -- "All of it made possible by digital cameras, which I despise" Carax says in the press notes of the film -- the helmer both gazes outwards and look inwards in an ultimately sloppy and tremendously bonkers screed.

Review: 'The Intouchables' Is A Crowd-Pleaser For Simpletons

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 24, 2012 11:59 AM
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  • 11 Comments
“The Intouchables” is a study in contrasts. In one corner, there is Phillipe (Francois Cluzet), a wealthy, white renaissance man paralyzed from the waist down. He is mobile, exiting his home for fine dining, purchasing artwork, and attending the opera. He cannot continue to live the finer life without assistance, however, and as the film begins, he is in search for a new aide.

Cannes Review: Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy' With Matthew McConaughey & Nicole Kidman Is A Disastrous Flop

  • By James Rocchi
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  • May 24, 2012 8:08 AM
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  • 37 Comments
Many people will tell you that "The Paperboy" -- based on Pete Dexter's novel, brought to the screen by "Precious" director Lee Daniels -- is a trash masterpiece, an instant camp classic, so bad it's good. These people, these critics, are simply not to be trusted about any question of judgment for a long time based on that half-hearted ironic "endorsement" of one of the worst films of the year, never mind at Cannes. Like the patina on a bronze roof, there are two ways to acquire trashterpiece/camp/so-bad-it's-good status. One is through time, and patience, as entropy and erosion bring down the bright gleam to a more interesting set of colors and nuanced shades; the other is to spray it on artificially with a hose, with plenty of spillage and waste, toxic and cheap and jumped-up and unconvincing.

Cannes Review: Carlos Reygadas’ 'Post Tenebras Lux' Is Singularly Strange, But Not Especially Impressive

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 23, 2012 6:49 PM
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  • 11 Comments
When discussing Carlos Reygadas’ “Post Tenebras Lux,” comparisons to “The Tree of Life” come easily, though Reygadas’s film is as far from a paean to God as it gets. In fact, while Malick’s movie has a sweeping, hands-on perspective on enlightenment and God, Reygadas’ (“Silent Light,” “Battle in Heaven”) has a brazen, ostentatiously alienating and mostly detached view of redemption and Satan.

Review: 'Oslo, August 31st' A Tender, Bleak Search For Hope

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2012 1:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments
A reprint of of our review from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes Review: Beat Classic 'On The Road' Comes To The Screen In Lustrous-But-Long-Winded Fashion

  • By James Rocchi
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  • May 23, 2012 7:29 AM
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  • 15 Comments
Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" has been heralded for decades: an important novel, a cultural signifier, a sociological landmark, a cracking good read. It's also been considered "unfilmable" -- but now Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries," "Dark Water") brings the novel to the screen, and "The Motorcycle Diaries" turns out to be a pretty good template for understanding how Salles has shot his adaptation. "On the Road," like 'Diaries,' is scenic and episodic, full of youth's passion but with a shade of the future yet to come dimming the brightness of its vision, as a charismatic young man travels with another young man, saying little but watching everything along the way.

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