Circuit Consideration: Hunter McCracken for “The Tree of Life”

For Your Consideration: Best Actor in a Leading Role Film: “The Tree of Life” Director: Terrence Malick Writer: Terrence Malick Realistic Nominations: Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects Oscar Scene: “Father, mother, always you wrestle inside me.” Say what you will about Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” but […]

Weekend Openings (December 30-January 1)

New Year’s Eve weekend is a no-show for wide releases, and is even somewhat bare in quantity of limited releases (though quality is a different story).  Let’s saddle up and see what we have to work with… For Oscar-watchers, the most important new release of the year is arguably The Iron Lady, Phyllida Lloyd’s flattering biopic […]

War Horse (**½)

At its core, War Horse is a heartfelt story about a young man and the bond he creates with a horse who reciprocates that bond.  The film is beautifully shot and looks stunning on the big screen, as Steven Spielberg reminds us just how the art of making motion pictures comes incredibly easy to him.  […]

A Separation (****)

Believe the hype, ladies and gentlemen.  Asghar Farhadi’s flawlessly-written and acted domestic drama A Separation really is as amazing as you’ve heard.  The film is a multi-faceted account of one conflict and the snowballing of harrowing consequences that happen as a result, serving as both ingenious character study and urgent social commentary without ever coming […]

Circuit Consideration: Lynne Ramsay for “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

For Your Consideration: Best Achievement in Directing Film: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” Director: Lynne Ramsay Writer: Lynne Ramsay & Rory Kinnear Realistic Nominations: Best Actress (Tilda Swinton) Oscar Scene: Kevin’s bow (after the massacre). Few women find themselves in Oscar’s conversation for Best Director. Most recently we saw Kathryn Bigelow win her much […]

13 Assassins (***½)

I should disclose right off the top that I am no fan of Takashi Miike.  While I know of several very intelligent, legitimate movie buffs who respect him as a director, and there is a grudging admiration I have for his defiantly individualistic style of filmmaking, I have always found his excessively cruel and gruesome horror films lacking […]

Under the Circuit: Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender Born: April 2nd, 1977 Place: Heidelberg, Germany Major Awards and Citations: BAFTA Awards (2009): Nominated for the Rising Star Award British Independent Film Awards (2008): Won Best Actor for ‘Hunger’ British Independent Film Awards (2009): Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Fish Tank’ British Independent Film Awards (2011): Won Best Actor for ‘Shame’ […]

Hugo (**)

It’s one thing to write a negative review of a film with very little passion or originality behind it (The Adjustment Bureau) or a film intent upon making itself hateful (The Descendants).  It’s quite another to knock a movie that comes from a place of love.  I admire and respect Martin Scorsese’s efforts for the […]

Project Nim (****)

Oscar-winning director James Marsh’s documentary Man On Wire was an exhilarating and surprisingly emotionally affecting film about one man’s insatiable desire to overcome the most unthinkable of obstacles.  In documenting tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s wirewalk between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, Marsh used archival footage and clever recreations to map out the intricacies […]

Declaration Of War (***½)

One of the more interesting films I have encountered in recent memory is France’s 2011 selection to compete for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 2012 Academy Awards, Declaration Of War.  Declaration Of War takes a nightmarish experience and presents that story in a wholly unique and fascinating way.  For those who see […]

American Society of Cinematographers’ Television Nominees

Via Sasha Stone @ Awards Daily HBO Leads Nominations with Programs in All Three Categories Nominees in the one-hour Episodic Television Series/Pilot Category are: David Franco for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (“To the Lost”) Jonathan Freeman, ASC for Boardwalk Empire (“21″) David Katznelson, DFF, BSC for PBS’ Downton Abbey (Pilot) John Lindley, ASC for ABC’s Pan Am (Pilot) David Stockton, ASC for NBC’s Chase (“Narco Part […]

Sleeping Beauty (***)

Anyone who describes Julia Leigh’s almost startlingly assured debut film as erotic either hasn’t seen the film or has some seriously deranged kinks, as sexiness is the last thing that this film invokes (In fact, there are no actual sex scenes in the entire film).  It is so precisely visually controlled and keeping its main […]

Circuit Consideration: Mel Gibson in The Beaver

For Your Consideration – Best Actor – Mel Gibson Film: The Beaver Director: Jodie Foster Screenplay: Kyle Killen Realistic Nominations: None Oscar Scene: The first chat with The Beaver Absolutely no one bothered to see Mel Gibson in The Beaver.  It’s a shame really, since he gave one of the 5 best performances I saw […]