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Beautiful Boy

The unfeel-good movie of Summer
Michael Sheen, Maria Bello and Kyle Gallner
Directed by Shawn Ku

It’s clear from the early stages of “Beautiful Boy” that a dish will be thrown. The school-shooting/domestic drama is a classic example of a dish thrower, the sort of movie where quiet but steady family tension eventually takes its punishing toll on the family tableware. Like ancient Greek actors, the dishes perform in the horror of not knowing if they will survive the shoot. If the props guys ... more >

Frost / Nixon Redux

Another critic offers her perspective
Frank Langella, Michael Sheen and Kevin Bacon
Directed by Ron Howard

Is it me or have performances become extraordinary? In the past few weeks alone, watching Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler," Sean Penn in "Milk," Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt" and the more subdued Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino" leave one slack-jawed. The experience is similar to watching not only extreme sports, triathlons, and parkour races, but any sport nowadays. With the bar set so high, it ... more >

Frost/Nixon

An ardent chapter of history revisited
Frank Langella, Michael Sheen and Rebecca Hall
Directed by Ron Howard

Like the president at its center, Frost/Nixon has a difficult time being honest about itself. So it's a useful exercise to break down what the film is and isn't. It is not a film about how BBC celebrity interviewer David Frost drove a confession out of Richard Nixon during a 1977 sit-down interview. It is the story about how Frost wrestled Nixon into enough of a half-assed apology to partially ... more >