ARCHIVES

OSCARS – Olivia Colman feted as world’s best actress

Seeing “The Favourite” a few days ago, I was so stunned by Olivia Colman’s turn as Queen Anne that I had to go back the next day and see it all over again, checking whether I was right the first time in thinking that this was an extraordinary performance by an extraordinary actress. It was and more. She plays the overweight monarch (fattened by some thirty pounds for the part) stuffing herself ... more >

WANTED: Oscar host (or how Kevin Hart lost the gig)

Hosting the Academy Awards used to be the hottest gig in Hollywood. Bob Hope made it classy, Johnny Carson made it fashionable and Billy Crystal made it hip. Unfortunately, of late it has become a job with as much reward and negativity as working in the Trump White House. The latest victim of its recent controversy is comedian Kevin Hart. Hart recently withdrew himself from the 2019 gig when ... more >

theguilty-screencomment

“The Guilty,” from Denmark, goes to the Oscars

Stark and measured police procedural has a good shot at a win
Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage and Omar Shargawi
Directed by Gustav Möller

The no-frills “The Guilty” (“Den Skyldige” in the original Danish) is Denmark’s gathering storm movie. This film was selected as that country’s entry for the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards, as was announced this week. Gustav Möller, its director, has said, "I am deeply convinced that constraints stimulate creativity. It is a tradition that I inherited from my years at the ... more >

Neilpatrickharris_screencomment

TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!

The red carpet has been unfurled and Hollywood is getting ready for its collective close-up. The 87th Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will be taking place at Hollywood's 3,300-seat Dolby Theatre tonight. It's pretty clear that it's down to "Birdman" and "Boyhood," both of which are jockeying for the best picture nod. Performers on hand include Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Jennifer Hudson ... more >

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SUNDAY OPINION: POLITICIANS don’t make good movie critics (and probably never will)

A small-town mayor does small-time things sometimes
Alternate reality ahead: keep your eyes peeled

FRANCE - This week, the right wing-leaning mayor of a small Parisian suburban town ordered local theaters to take the film “Timbuktu” (directed by Abderrahmane Sissako) off its program slate “in the name of the fight against glorifying terrorism.” The terrorist attacks that occurred in France last week have had many consequences, this incomprehensible cancelation of “Timbuktu” by Monsieur le ... more >

12 YEARS A SLAVE CROWNED AT ACADEMY AWARDS

It's the first time a black filmmaker gets the top nod
Full list of the winners included below

What a triumphant win for Steve McQueen, last night, for his “12 Years a Slave.” Let us hope that more black filmmakers will advance in their craft and career and reach their place in the sun some day, too (Lee Daniels and Ryan Coogler of “Fruitvale Station” have been leading the charge). The international film industry is rather too homogeneous, color-wise, so last night’s mega-win for the ... more >

Omar

Nominated for a Best Foreign Film award
Waleed Zuaiter, Adam Bakri and Leem Lubani
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad’s (pictured below) “Omar” is nominated for an Academy Award, as was the Palestinian director’s film “Paradise Now,” also about life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The film again brings sharply into focus the indignities large and small suffered by Palestinians on a daily basis. With the intensity of youth, baker Omar and his friends learn to bear the unbearable but also find ... more >