The 85th Academy Awards
Update: Well, now we have an extra hour and a half of the red carpet! Talk amongst yourselves!
What is it about the Academy Awards? Intellectually, it’s hard to muster up that much enthusiasm about who “wore it best” (Ang Lee) or how modest Katniss will be in her acceptance speech, hopefully avoiding a First Wives’ Club reference that sounded like she was hating on Meryl Streep this time. And yet … we still feel compelled to watch. Maybe it’s because secretly, deep down, we still find it fascinating that the guy who does the voice of Stewie looks like the host of a reality game show about finding true love by having a dance-off on a stripper pole.
Or maybe it’s because we’re just suckers, who deep down believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild might still possibly have a chance against Argo or Lincoln.
Come join us, will you, on this the most magical of evenings for producers, people who are married to movie stars, and dress designers? We’ll be hosting a live chat below. Just click the big countdown button and you’re all set. Got it?
Tonight is the 85th Academy Awards, and for all intents and purposes it should be a good one. Look at all those serious films, and the one movie by Quentin Tarantino! And with big snubs for Best Director for both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, does that mean one of them will be be sweeping up the Best Picture Award as a consolation prize? And most importantly, is it too late to write in a ballot for Javier Bardem in Skyfall? Because he was great.
Sex and the disabled may still be a difficult topic to some, but at the movies it’s a hot-button theme whose time has come, with numerous examples of candor on film. The Sessions, a wonderful movie with splendid performances by John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, as well as a careful and sensitive screenplay and flawless direction by writer-director Ben Lewin, is the best movie about the pain, ecstasy and life-enriching courage of a handicapped person that I have seen since Jon Voight’s Oscar-winning work in Coming Home. Put aside all reservations. You will love this movie and go away from it informed, enlightened and positive about the sustaining power of the human experience.
This is the true story of Mark O’Brien, a Berkeley poet and journalist who was paralyzed by polio at the age of six and confined to a horizontal position in an iron lung for 32 years. The movie focuses on his terrified but determined decision, at age 38, to lose his virginity before he dies.
The Eight-Day Week
There’s another week left in the New York Film Festival—but we’re headed out of town! Last-gasp tumbleweeds like us aren’t going to be anywhere near Lincoln Center today. After our morning coffee (iced—we’re already waxing nostalgic for summer) at Golden Pear, we’ll be heading to the Hamptons International Film Festival, where today’s screenings include early Read More
The enjoyment you get out of The Last Play at Shea is directly proportional to your tolerance of Billy Joel and love of the New York Mets. Paul Crowder’s documentary about Mr. Joel performing the final concert at Shea Stadium premiered at Tribeca this week and it will make anyone who grew up in the Read More
THEN SHE FOUND ME
Running Time 100 minutes
Written and Directed by Helen Hunt
Starring Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Colin Firth
Then She Found Me, directed and co-written by Helen Hunt, who also stars, is a funny and touching story about the way we create families both by blood Read More
There’s one terrific reason to see Yasmina Reza’s latest trifle, Life (x) 3 . In an otherwise dispiriting evening, Linda Emond gives the best performance of an alcoholic I’ve ever seen.
She’s the truest of actresses in everything she does. But what Ms. Emond is up to here reminds us, quite simply, that she’s the Read More
Woody Allen’s The
Curse of the Jade Scorpion made many people laugh during the screening I
attended, mostly from the ferocity of the insults exchanged between Mr. Allen’s
C.W. Briggs, an insurance investigator circa 1940, and Helen Hunt’s Betty Ann
Fitzgerald, the firm’s bossy efficiency expert. As it happens, I didn’t even
smile once, but Read More
When Good Actors Direct So-So Movies
With decent roles in acceptable scripts on the wane, more and more gifted actors are turning to directing their own movies. Bonnie Hunt and Edward Norton are the latest gamblers in these “winner take all” sweepstakes, with varying degrees of success.
Although the multi-talented Ms. Hunt (not Read More
Without Stanwyck, It’s Still Gargantuan
I’ve been down on the Titanic with Barbara Stanwyck so many times, it’s hard to imagine doing it again without her. Alas, the new, colossal and mega-expensive ($200 million is the official tab, but insiders inform me the cost is more accurate at $275 million and counting) Titanic could Read More