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CANNES FESTIVAL OPENING, the star-studded red carpet

The beautiful actresses of this year's festival, up close

It would be hard to imagine the Cannes Festival without its coterie of stars, from Paris to Hollywood and points in between (but mostly from those two places). Yesterday's premiere of “Cafe Society” included castmembers Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart, as well as members of this year’s competition jury. ... more >

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Crimson Peak

Jessica Chastain has pushed the dark to the limit
Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska
Directed by Guillermo del Toro

"Ghosts are real. That much I know." So begins Guillermo del Toro’s spellbinding dark fairy tale, CRIMSON PEAK. Set in the late 1900s it follows aspiring fiction writer Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) as she falls for, and marries, a penniless, seductively handsome English Baronet, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Along with his older sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), Thomas brings Edith back ... more >

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A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Elevating the crime genre to new heights
Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain
Directed by J.C. Chandor

“A most violent year” isn’t so much about graphic violence as it is about a more invisible form of it. More specifically “Year” is a character study, a character study of the violence inflicted upon the integrity of a man who’s faced with the kinds of pressures that tempt him to abandon his principles. It is New York, 1981. Fuel supplier Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is about to close a real ... more >

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INTERSTELLAR

Curiously fulfilling
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain
Directed by Christopher Nolan

The first thing to remember about “Interstellar” –Christopher Nolan’s fantastically-loopy apocalyptic father-daughter space saga is its nature as a scientific parable. Nolan, along with his brother and screenwriter Jonathan, are attuned to how scientific theory and discovery open new possibilities for story structure and mythic storytelling. In fact, the term “wormhole” in space comes from ... more >

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Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow's variation on a theme
Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

"Zero Dark Thirty" may be the best unentertaining movie I've seen this year. This is Kathryn Bigelow’s second film based on the war on terror, and it is just as much of an imperfect as it is an interesting take on the past decade as “The Hurt Locker,” and has roughly the same type of main character in it. “Zero” is very easy to follow, comes off impeccably well-researched and has a terrific ... more >

Take Shelter

The indie that got everyone talking this year
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain and Tova Stewart
Directed by Jeff Nichols

Why are art films becoming horror films? Perhaps art film directors are finding that the most effective way to relate to our frazzled age is to mask it in the aesthetics of terror. Last year’s apocalyptic ballet movie, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, heralded this new trend--that movie might as well have had zombie dancers. This year it’s Take Shelter, Jeff Nichols' story of mental illness, ... more >

The debt

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