Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which was a sleeper summer hit. UPDATE: The NYT's A.O. Scott addresses Jewish history as interpreted by Tarantino and the Coens.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 5, 2009 5:15 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Barrymore's Whip It Delivers

Barrymore's Whip It Delivers
Reelz Channel host Leonard Maltin reviews Drew Barrymore's Whip It this week.
  • By Leonard Maltin
  • |
  • October 2, 2009 10:28 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

IRS vs. Elvis Mitchell

Folks in the arts aren't always good with money. (I'm not.) But Annie Leibovitz and Elvis Mitchell belong to another class altogether: people who hobnob as a matter of course with culture mavens, beautiful people, artists, filmmakers, actors and patrons of the arts who are much much richer than they are. Since Mitchell left his job as film critic at the NYT in 2004, he has taught at Harvard, hosts a weekly interview show The Treatment on KCRW FM as well as Turner Classic Movies' "Under the Influence," and produced the Timothy Greenfield-Sanders HBO documentary, The Black List. He's a fixture on the film fest and lecture circuit. And he still gets the occasional writing assignment.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 28, 2009 12:45 PM
  • |
  • 17 Comments

2 or 3 Things I Learned at NYFF Opening Night

During my 20s in Manhattan, I looked forward to the New York Film Festival every September, when there was a nip in the air; it brought the start of the fall season. Here's what I learned at the 47th NYFF opening night:
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 26, 2009 8:10 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Reviews: Surrogates, Capitalism: A Love Story, Coco Before Chanel

Reviews: Surrogates, Capitalism: A Love Story, Coco Before Chanel
Leonard Maltin reviews three new movies opening this week:
  • By Leonard Maltin
  • |
  • September 25, 2009 4:02 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Rotten Tomatoes Lists the Worst of the Worst

Rotten Tomatoes has collected their reviews and collated the worst-of-the-worst films of the 21st century. Whiteout---how many of Joel Silver's films are on this list, I wonder?---ranks at number 100. What's number one? Check out the lowest Tomatometers of the decade. All of the films on this year's list scored below an 8% Tomatometer score; the top 14 all have 0%. Twelve Oscar-winners starred in a "worst" film: Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro star in two. The comedy genre outpaces any other on the list, with 35. 2002 was the worst year of the decade, with 16 worst movies. Carmen Electra starred in more worst films, six, than any one else.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 25, 2009 2:21 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments

New York Film Critics Circle Sets Award Dates

The New York Film Critics Circle will hold their annual vote on 2009's best films on Monday, December 14th. Historically, the best films often forecast Oscar nominations, but the NYFCC prides itself on picking winners that the Oscars overlook. Recent best picture winners include Milk, No Country for Old Men, United 93, and Brokeback Mountain. The group is comprised of 31 New York area critics. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association usually announce their votes before New York, so they will probably convene on December 13. Gold Derby has posted a helpful Awards Calendar.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 22, 2009 11:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

At the Movies Debuts New Hosts

At the Movies Debuts New Hosts
Thank the Lord for small favors. Michael Phillips and Tony Scott (he should ditch the too-formal A.O.--this is about relating to people, folks) have debuted their new At the Movies format. It's fine by me. They are still a tad stilted--they've never worked together before. Phillips has more experience as a co-host than Scott. But they'll loosen up and let the fur fly. It already feels so much better. I hope it works. I like the idea of looking at past classics, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 8, 2009 11:30 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments

Introducing New At the Movies Team

After they got the sack, the young and callow two Bens vanished from At the Movies, which is now gearing up for a Labor Day Weekend reboot. Just watching this preview of the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips and the New York Times' A.O. Scott makes me eager to get back into the At the Movies habit, spending time with two brainy film critics who will dig way deeper into movies than any ATM team since the original Ebert and Siskel. At a time when the overall film discussion seems to be dumbing down, these guys are going to smarten things up. Thank God.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 1, 2009 1:49 AM
  • |
  • 12 Comments

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?

Critics Faves: Arty or Artful?
In the fall season, as hundreds of movies are launched and weighed at film festivals, critics come into their own. They don't hold much sway with audiences in the summer. But in the fall, suddenly, what they think does matter.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • August 31, 2009 8:58 AM
  • |
  • 12 Comments

Email Updates