CANNES – Too many notes! (how music, and other things, killed “WONDERSTRUCK”)

The new Todd Haynes in Cannes
Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Millicent Simmonds
Directed by Todd Haynes

Young Ben is in want of a father he’s never known, and Rose (young Millicent Simmonds), a deaf child who lives a hundred years earlier than him, is fascinated by a mysterious New York actress (played by Julianne Moore). After Ben discovers something in his mother’s (Michelle Williams) things he takes off for New York City to try and find his father. Rose comes into a hint, found in a newspaper ... more >


Revisiting Cianfrance's debut film

With “The Place Beyond the Pines” arriving in theaters with a bang last month, now may be a good time to remember “Blue Valentine,” Derek Cianfrance’s debut film of 2010 that critics called “astonishing” and audiences confirmed as such. It was and remains so on second viewing, this story of the unraveling of a marriage, for reasons all too familiar yet still unexplainable. What happens to people ... more >

Take This Waltz

Take this Waltz

It just happens. A staggeringly natural film
Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby
Directed by Sarah Polley

The moment of truth in Sarah Polley’s "Take This Waltz" occurs when two of its principals are buck naked. Showering in the locker room after a dopey swimming class, Margot (Michelle Williams), a married woman secretly tempted to stray, and her sister-in-law Geraldine (Sarah Silverman), more happily married but a recovering alcoholic, pontificate on the inevitability of domestic boredom. “New ... more >

My week with Marilyn trailer released

Drama being called a strong Oscar contender

This Sunday, when it premieres at the New York Film Festival, and again on November 4th--its theatrical release--all eyes will be on Michelle Williams as she portrays Marilyn Monroe in My week with Marilyn, a Weinstein Company/BBC co-production. The film is based on two memoirs by Colin Clark, who was an assistant director on 1956's The Prince and The Showgirl. ... more >

FESTBEAT-Meek’s Cutoff

At the New York Film Festival

Meek’s Cutoff defies easy description but if you can imagine an adaptation of the video game “Oregon Trail” being directed by Terence Malick you’ll be in the ballpark. It’s a beautifully-shot but languidly-paced, thinly-plotted Western that is light on character, even lighter on dialogue (there’s practically none for the first ten minutes), and heavy on atmosphere. You can probably already tell ... more >

Wendy and Lucy

The most talked-about indie film this year
Michelle Williams, Wally Dalton and Will Patton
Directed by Kelly Reichardt

After working on small films for more than a decade, Kelly Reichardt has awakened to find herself a hero to an American indie scene in need of one. With her latest two films, Old Joy and the recent Wendy and Lucy, she has firmly stamped the American cinema with her own distinct voice and style. I’ll tentatively call it “plotless films in well-forested places.” As Hollywood still sees women as ... more >

Synecdoche, New York

Whose magnum opus is it anyway?
Philip S. Hoffman and Samantha Morton
Directed by Charlie Kaufman

Does Charlie Kaufman have anything to offer the planet except post-modern rope tricks and fashionable misery? In looking at his newest mind-bender Synecdoche, New York, has there ever been a more imaginative, provocative, surrealistic way to ultimately say, “life sucks and then you die.” How can such a sharp, observant, vibrant mind find so much to say about the creative process and so little ... more >