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TALKING SBIFF 2019 : Viggo Mortensen, Josh Lucas, and newcomer Paula Reca

"Murderous Trance," "Tampoco Tan Grandes" and Mortensen wins "American Riviera Award"

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Santa Barbara, often referred to as the “American Riviera,” is hosting its 34th film festival this week, replete with the typical red-carpet events and world premieres of films from around the globe. Yes, Melissa McCarthy, Spike Lee, Claire Foy and other high-wattage stars have been seen here this week, but in addition to appearances by those A-listers, numerous filmmakers ... more >

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY

This marks Hossein Amini's directorial debut
Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Stewart
Directed by Hossein Amini

It’s always a nice surprise when a film panned by critics turns out to be quite enjoyable. Such is Hossein Amini’s “The Two Faces of January,” both a crisp thriller based on a Patricia Highsmith novel and a period piece set in Athens and Crete in the sixties. The story is that of a wealthy American couple taking in the sights, people dull enough until we realize that Chester MacFarland (Viggo ... more >

The Road

One of our favorites this year
Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron
Directed by John Hillcoat

The nature of the disaster that ends civilization in The Road is never explained. Not in the Cormac McCarthy novel. Not in the fantastic John Hillcoat screen version. Yet you would be kidding yourself to bet against a nuclear war. It could be a comet strike, or an asteroid, or super-volcanic activity, as has been proposed. If it were any other author, those choices might make sense. But would a ... more >