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Thompson on Hollywood

Whither Women Film Critics? Study Says 78% of Film Critics Are Male, 22% Female

Yet another fascinating if depressing report from Martha M. Lauzen looks at, among other things, the percentages of women film critics as compared to their male counterparts. The numbers don't lie: In Spring of 2013 (i.e. right now), 78% of top critics (as defined by guidelines laid out by Rotten Tomatoes, below) are male, with only 22% female. The essay goes on to look at three perceptions about gender in popular film criticism, and then the realities.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 2:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Winner 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Review Roundup: Epic, Explosively Sexy Lesbian Romance

UPDATE: "Blue Is the Warmest Color" has won the Palme d'Or. Review roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 1:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Review and Roundup: James Gray's 'The Immigrant' vs. 'Nebraska'

A pair of films addressing very different aspects of the American experience, and set 92 years apart, have screened in Competition over the last couple of days: Alexander Payne’s "Nebraska" and James Gray’s "The Immigrant." Sad to say, I had expectations for both but didn’t engage with either, although admittedly my perceptions may be tainted by the cumulative effects of a nine-day onslaught of early morning screenings and inevitable late nights.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 24, 2013 1:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: 'Before Midnight' a Must-See, 'Fast & Furious 6' Nabs Good Reviews, 'Hangover' a Headache

Memorial Day Weekend is bringing well-reviewed films both big and loud, and small and thoughtful (if also a bit loud: see a certain knock-down argument in "Before Midnight"). That film, Linklater's brilliant third installment in his romance trilogy starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, is receiving the best reviews of the bunch and rightly so. It's an observant, sharply realistic and gut-splittingly funny portrait of the demands on long-term romance.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 3:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Film Festival Diary: Le Dernier Jour

“Carey Mulligan is an oyster.” So said a French photographer outside a cafe on the rue Hoch. Five of us were sitting around, with Christine in the middle, which is to say that everyone knew her; the photographer was a colleague from Paris, and was just coming from the red carpet at the Palais. He shoots conflict zones normally, but the red carpet pays, especially in Cannes. The photographer was particularly happy about a shot he got of Nicole Kidman french-kissing her husband Keith Urban. Someone asked him if he yells at the celebrities the way some photographers do. “Sometimes you have to,” he said. “ It’s so that they look at you.” Much more saleable. And that’s where Carey Mulligan came in. “She’s an oyster, she gives you nothing.” He makes a face, to give an idea of what Carey Mulligan looks like as an oyster. She is not smiling; she is impassive; she is closed. In fact she looks a little like her character in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 23, 2013 1:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Review Roundup: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' a Wistful but Slight Father-Son Road Trip Film

Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son embarking on a roadtrip, screened today at Cannes. The response is thus far mixed to positive, with praise for the film's wistful tone and a "career-crowning" performance from Dern. Those less impressed site the film's slightness, calling it "affably unexceptional" and that it provides "not much to talk about." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 12:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Winding Refn Talks 'Only God Forgives': Cannes Press Conference, Review Roundup

"Only God Forgives" was unveiled Wednesday morning to the most divisive response at the Cannes festival thus far, and even with the smattering of boos and walkouts we’d hazard a guess that Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be more delighted by the reception. As empty, soulless, frenziedly art-directed viewing experiences go, "Only God Forgives" is one of the better examples. At the press conference following the screening, the Danish filmmaker expounded on his ultra-violent, hyper-stylized follow-up to "Drive," which features dismemberments, torture, eye gouging, Kristin Scott Thomas as a trashy, bestial, peroxide-wigged mother who calls her son’s female companion a “cum dumpster” and Gosling as a vaguely sketched mean machine operating in a seedy Thai underworld who makes the "Driver" look like a motormouth.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 22, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes Review Roundup: Robert Redford Keeps Things Afloat in Chandor's Dire Existential Adventure 'All Is Lost'

Reviews are coming in from Cannes for J.C. Chandor's ("Margin Call") second feature, "All Is Lost," a virtually dialogue-free adventure starring Robert Redford as a man battling the ocean elements solo on his boat. Reactions are largely positive, praising Redford's "tour de force" performance and Chandor's existential direction, while dissenters wish Godspeed to the film's languid pace -- that "a shark attack might put poor Redford out of his misery." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 22, 2013 11:52 AM
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Cannes Fest Diary: Le Weekend, from Compelling 'Jimmy P.' to Toback's Doc and 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

It was a weird, wooly and wet weekend in Cannes. And it began with what has to be one of the stranger ideas ever put forward for a film: “Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian” from Arnaud Desplechin (the wonderful “A Christmas Tale”). Based on a book by French anthropologist/psychotherapist George Deveraux, it’s the more or less true story of a Native American WWII vet, played by Benicio del Toro, who winds up in a military hospital suffering from post-war injuries, real or imagined. When the staff decides the problems are not physical, but don’t have a grasp on the potential mental issues an Indian might face, they call in Deveraux, who is also an expert in Native American culture.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 21, 2013 10:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review Roundup: Critics Go Ga-Ga for Soderbergh's Outrageously Mesmerizing 'Behind the Candelabra'

Critics are over the glittering, bedazzled moon for Steven Soderbergh's Cannes competition entry "Behind the Candelabra," set to premiere on HBO on May 26 and starring a no-holds-barred Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as the famed pianist Liberace and his younger lover, Scott Thorson. The Telegraph refers to it as a "gay Pygmalion myth: call it My Fair Laddie," while the Guardian raves that "the film is mesmeric, riskily incorrect, outrageously watchable and simply outrageous." Roundup below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 21, 2013 12:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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