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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: Urban Poverty and Youthful Pluck Coexist in Ken Loach's 'The Angels' Share'

Just four days after the death of Margaret Thatcher, the divisive British prime minister who transformed the United Kingdom during the 1980s, Ken Loach's new film "The Angels' Share" opened last Friday at the the IFC Center in Manhattan's West Village. The timing, although of course coincidental, was instructive: it was Thatcherite policies that created the very socioeconomic conditions that Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty--a long-time collaborator of the English-born director--set out to highlight in their film.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • April 16, 2013 11:19 AM
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Media Roundup: Multiple Changes in Movie Coverage

The April 4 death of Roger Ebert unleashed an unprecedented outpouring of affection and appraisal. Ebert embodied the old and the new, the tough-nosed competitive reporter and film enthusiast as well as the new model internet communicator and brand-builder. On the one hand, he revealed as outmoded the film critic as expert expounding down to their audiences. But he also exemplified the authoritative experienced veteran whose opinion was valued. He had clout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2013 6:53 AM
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'Game of Thrones' 3.3: 'Walk of Punishment,' Recap and Review

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
Spoilers rule as "Game of Thrones" series co-creator David Benioff directs, picking up the pace in short, tight scenes that bounce us around all over Westeros. He clearly relishes delivering personally the first of the third season's classic Holy Shit moments.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 14, 2013 10:14 PM
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Sonoma Film Festival Day Three: Food, Wine and Taboo Subjects on Film

Today's Sonoma Film Festival theme: subjects once considered taboo explored on film. First up, "A Teacher," a brisk 75-minute first film written and directed by Hannah Fidell, well-received at Sundance, about a high school teacher's reckless affair with one of her AP English students -- he's in it for playful and casual sex, while she becomes obsessed and self-destructive.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 13, 2013 5:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: Unashamed Old-School Biopic '42' Brings Jackie Robinson to Life

"42," the story of Jackie Robinson’s rookie season for the Brooklyn Dodgers, looks like a Norman Rockwell illustration come to life, as I say in my first review for WHYY about this unashamedly old-school biopic.
  • By Carrie Rickey
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  • April 12, 2013 2:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Critics Divided on Luminous 'To The Wonder,' '42' Neither Home-Run Nor Strike-Out, 'Disconnect' Connects

Terrence Malick's luminous, meditative portrait of romance in a small-town community, "To The Wonder," opens in theaters and on VOD this weekend. The film, which stars Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, is being met with varying critical response: Some love it (as I did), while others find the lyrical editing and whispy voiceover to be Malick repeating himself.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 12, 2013 1:33 PM
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Review: Malick Stumbles with 'To The Wonder'

There are no dinosaurs in Terrence Malick's sixth feature, but there are bison, sea turtles, prairies, toxic sludge, sun-dappled water, more prairies, a conflicted priest (Javier Bardem) and enough pirouetting by Olga Kurylenko to make you imagine that she probably felt dizzy at the end of each day's shooting.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • April 10, 2013 12:04 PM
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  • 12 Comments

Indian Film Festival Opens With Pop Mob Drama 'Gangs of Wasseypur'

The astonishing Hindi actor Manoj Bajpayee has his best role in years in Anurag Kashyap's "Gangs Of Wasseypur," which is tonight's kick-off gala presentation at the 11th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). A five-hour epic mob drama in two parts depicting a decades-long intra-Muslim vendetta (Part II screens at the IFFLA tomorrow), "Gangs" is headlong, hand-held, violent entertainment. It manages to keep a dozen major characters and their agendas clear while rarely pausing to take a breath.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 9, 2013 10:49 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Game of Thrones' 3.2 Review and Recap: 'Dark Wings, Dark Words'

If the opening episode of Season Three of Game of Thrones was mostly talking, Episode Two is mostly walking, though it sets a brisk pace and there's a lot to see along the way.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 8, 2013 3:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments

15th Annual Noir City Los Angeles: A Tip Sheet

If you're of my particular nourish bent, you already plan to attend every program of the 15th annual Noir City festival of film noir, held at the appropriately vintage Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, home of the American Cinematheque, on Hollywood Boulevard, the appropriately noir boulevard of broken dreams.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 7, 2013 8:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment
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