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Gary Oldman is awesome in “Darkest Hour”

Rises to the occasion
Gary Oldman, Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas
Directed by Joe Wright

In “Darkest hour,” what Gary Oldman’s Churchill has to contend with in a time of war reminded me of what a newspaper editor does: tense negotiations, the reworking of sentences, an overarching need to get the message out, loudly and clearly. The real context of the story, the history, is, evidently, a very different one from this. In the early forties European countries were falling like dominoes ... more >

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Ana Lily Amirpour, “The Bad Batch”

Suki Waterhouse and Jason Momoa
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

Some time ago I attended a screening of “A girl walks home alone at night” in Paris, where I'm based. The film felt novel and contrarian enough to deserve attention. Its diminutive director, Ana Lily Amirpour, present at the screening, appeared to me like one of independent cinema's new hopes, a counterpoint to the languid cinema of Sofia Coppola. The Q&A afterward was a little weird. An ... more >

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NEWS – “Year by the sea” heading to theaters in limited release

Film was completed in 2016

“Year by the sea” is based on the New York Times best-selling memoir by Joan Anderson. It stars Karen Allen (“Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Animal House”). Executive-produced by Tony-award winners Daryl Roth (“Kinky Boots,” “Indecent”) and Terry Schnuck (“Beautiful”), “Year” was written, directed and composed by Alexander Janko. “Year” recounts empty-nester Joan Anderson’s decision not to ... more >

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“Kuso,” L.A., and what happens after The Big One (preview)

Hallucinatory razzmatazz
Hannibal Buress, George Clinton and David Firth
Directed by Flying Lotus

PREVIEW - Heading to cinema screens July 21st is "Kuso," a nightmarish B-movie that depicts the aftermath of The Big One in Los Angeles. The viewer is made to experience aftershocks through TV screens and apocalypse-tinged vignettes of the twisted lives of the survivors. It's like David Cronenberg gave birth to Ren & Stimpy V.2. "Kuso" is a little chaotic at times. The film comprises about ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL – The Michel Ciment incident

France's greatest film critic uses pen and paper when he writes about cinema

CANNES FESTIVAL, Palais — I was on the press balcony sitting at a table, with a friend, on the last Friday of the festival. I was half-working, half-resting, until the next screening. Some colleagues were nearby, taping an on-camera interview. To my left, a handsome, elderly man sat writing on a sheet of paper with a pen, a contrasting sight to this Mac-toting journalist. He looked a little more ... more >

BREAKING NEWS: THE SQUARE wins the Palme D’Or

In a short ceremony on Sunday the jury of the Cannes Festival, which marks its seventieth birthday this year, announced the winners, with Ruben Oestlund winning the Palme D'Or for his film "The Square." This year the jury's choices seemed more in line with those of the press than in years past. Many of us present at Cannes this year were hoping that "The Square" would get the top prize, or that ... more >

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Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof gets Un Certain Regard prize

Last night the Un Certain Regard prizes were awarded during a ceremony in the Debussy Theater. UCR, an unwieldy hodgepodge of decent and lesser films, is the non-competition program of the Cannes Festival's official selection. But it's not without the occasional gem. Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's "A Man with Integrity," a dark portrait of a man standing up against the corruptive influence of a ... more >