Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: In 'For Ellen,' the Many Faces of Paul Dano

Put a quarter in the jukebox and the rocker Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) transforms. His loping gait diffuses into trance, a manic, writhing riff on his stage persona. It's a conversion experience of sorts, fittingly enough: "For Ellen" is a tale of many metamorphoses.
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • February 19, 2013 1:34 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

'Girls' Recap 6: The 'Boys' Aren't in Kansas Anymore, Toto

One of the things I’ve admired about this season of “Girls” is that it has no obligation to regularly check in with each of the four “leads” of the show. Instead, certain characters are more central in certain episodes, in an organic way, while supporting characters are given a surprising amount of interiority.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 17, 2013 9:30 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: A Good Time to Skip 'Die Hard,' Decent 'Beautiful Creatures,' Say Yes to 'No' and More

This weekend at the movies things break down clearly: The new "Die Hard" installment and the latest Nicholas Sparks milktoast, "Safe Haven," are generating execrable reviews, while foreign titles "No," Chile's Oscar nominee starring Gael Garcia Bernal, and Abbas Kiarostami's mysterious romance "Like Someone in Love" are both a hit with critics...
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 15, 2013 2:08 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review: Oscar-Nominated 'No,' Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Sells the Potent Link Between Pop and Politics

Hotshot ad man René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) pitches three different ads throughout the course of Pablo Larraín’s 1988 Chile-set “No,” and for each he has the same opening line: “What you’re going to see now is in line with the current social context. We believe that the country is prepared for communication of this nature.”
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 15, 2013 6:30 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Dardenne Brothers' Lost Boys

From the first minutes of "The Kid with a Bike," marked by an energetic shot of its young protagonist, Cyril, careening through a field and climbing over a fence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's latest is an exercise in kinesis. It's not just that Cyril's always running: he's running away.
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • February 14, 2013 1:56 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review: Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha,' Starring Muse Greta Gerwig (VIDEO)

Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha" (May 17) follows a young woman drifting through the generous definition of "coming of age" that has become en vogue with the advent of Mumblecore and American indie films over the past decade. Frances Halliday (Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the film and also starred in Baumbach's "Greenberg") is the questionably tender age of 27, facing the woes of Brooklyn rent, a would-be career in modern dance that has stalled mid-pirouette and a best friend who is slowly breaking up with her.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 13, 2013 12:58 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Weekend Preview: Good 'Side Effects,' 'Identity Thief' Steals Your Time, Praise for Foreign 'Lore' and 'Caesar Must Die'

Steven Soderbergh's pharma-thriller "Side Effects" hits theaters this weekend, starring Rooney Mara as a woman suffering a deleterious breakdown after her husband's release from prison. Critics are praising Soderbergh's film, his last big-screen entry before a self-imposed retirement from cinema. In limited release, the Taviani brothers' Italian Oscar entry, "Caesar Must Die," is a dreamlike docudrama on inmates at Rome's maximum-security Rebibbia prison.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 8, 2013 1:03 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Berlinale Review: Wong Kar Wai's Opener 'The Grandmaster' and Press Conference

Wong Kar Wai kicked off the 63rd Berlinale today in style with the international premiere of his much anticipated kung-fu period drama "The Grandmaster," which was promptly picked up by the Weinstein Company. Based on the life of Ip Man, master of the Wing Chun kung-fu style and teacher of Bruce Lee, the film begins in the southern Chinese city of Foshun in 1936, when Ip (played with quiet dignity by Tony Leung) is 40 and living happily off of family wealth and with his own young family; it ends some 20 years later in Hong Kong, when things are very different, for both China and for Ip.
  • By Tom Christie
  • |
  • February 7, 2013 4:21 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Review: In Tavianis' Dreamy, Meta Docudrama 'Caesar Must Die,' All the Prison's a Stage

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s docudrama “Caesar Must Die,” Italy's Oscar entry that runs February 6-19 at Film Forum, takes place at Rome’s maximum-security Rebibbia Prison, and stars the facility’s actual inmates. Many of the men are serving life sentences, with a variety of high crimes on their records: drug trafficking, Cammora and Mafia affiliation, and murder.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 6, 2013 12:01 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: 'Side by Side,' I'll Still Take Film Over Digital

Smart, wide-ranging, and informative, "Side by Side" may be a postcard from the future of movies, but it's still intoxicated by the past. Its dreamiest moment comes at the outset, a montage of clips from the first century of cinema: Eadweard Muybridge's horses to "Do the Right Thing."
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • February 5, 2013 1:29 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates