The surprise Director's Guild Award for Tom Hooper and the awards from the Screen Actors Guild -- Best Actor for Colin Firth and Best Ensemble Cast -- pretty
much guarantee an Oscar sweep for "The King's Speech," the lush period biopic
about King George VI, who, with the help of a non-elitist therapist managed
to shake off a debilitating stutter, a toffee-nosed dissolute, Nazi-leaning elder brother,
and a paralyzing father complex, and, apparently, go on to win World War II
After you've attended the Boston Society of Film Critics Annual Awards ceremony, the Oscars might seem anticlimactic. Among
those expected at this year's extravaganza is Jeff Malmberg, winner of the
society's Best Documentary and Best Newcomer awards for his brilliant, sui generis film Marwencol, which will
screen after the event.
The profession of film criticism has fallen on hard times
of late, but the Boston
Phoenix's own Gerald Peary comes to its defense with his aptly named
documentary For the Love of Movies, a brisk and eloquent look at the history and
future of film reviewing featuring such eminences as Roger Ebert, Andrew
Sarris, and even jolly Harry Knowles.
officially ended for many baby boomers when they stumbled into a midnight
screening of El Topo
(1970) and something happened to their minds that was unpleasant and
irrevocable. Here's your chance to share the same experience as the Coolidge
Corner Theatre presents Alejandro Jodorowsky's ecstatic, nonsensical, visionary
The Oscars might showcase the film industry's proudest
achievements, but the Found Footage Film Festival - which annually selects the
best of old VHS tapes found in dumpsters, Goodwill racks, and padlocked attics - reveals our souls. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher host their latest selections, including a
recorded session with hypnotist Dr.
Since priests and demons frighten me, my colleague Peg Aloi,
who in addition to being a fine critic and writer is also a practicing Wiccan,
agreed to conduct this interview with the exorcist who inspired the new film
"The Rite," which opens Friday.
Here's Peg's story:
Father Gary Thomas is the subject of Matt Baglio's book "The Rite: The
Making of a Modern Exorcist" (Doubleday Religion),
which was the inspiration for Mikael Hafstrom's film "The Rite," opening in
theatres January 28, 2011.
People of every political persuasion are impressed with Tim
Pawlenty’s recent campaign promo/book ad on YouTube. But before those on the
right get too enthusiastic they might consider the source that clearly inspired
the catchy trailer. The rapid fire editing, the manipulative linking of
otherwise unrelated images into a blurry ideological impulse, the mind-numbing
rhythms inspiring a vague desire to mobilize against or for.
This year I feel less embarrassed than I normally do after
the Oscar nominations announcements, getting
fewer prognostications wrong
- four - than my usual six or more misfires. On the other hand, those I got
wrong were really the ones that would have taken any genuine acumen to figure
out. So as it stands I got 31 out of 35, around 88%, or a B+ average.
One of the best films about the Vietnam War, Stanley
Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket
(1987) also offers insight into the trauma endured by veterans of the conflicts
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Starring Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio as Marine recruits, Kubrick's
stark masterpiece shows the process of dehumanization, from boot camp to the
The few screen appearances made by Saddam Hussein suggest
that, had things turned out a little differently, he might have been a screen
legend rather than an infamous tyrant and mass murderer.
His small but pivotal role in "Hot Shots Part Deux" (1992)
proved he could touch our hearts even as he tickled our funny bones.
I've been waiting for someone to point to Hollywood
as a convenient scapegoat for the Arizona
shootings.. So far,
so good, however, as nobody has yet resorted to that familiar punching
bag, so popular with both Democrats and Republicans whenever something awful
happens that raises too many tough questions.
We all know this guy - heck, we might be this guy: the one conned
into selling pot to an undercover cop, the poor schmuck who gets dumped not
only by his girlfriend but by his dog. Played by the sly comic genius Paul
Rudd, he's the title hero of Jesse Peretz's My Idiot Brother, whose cast also
boasts Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, and Emily Mortimer.
If you enjoy killing Nazis in Call
of Duty: World at War and killing zombies in Resident Evil, and if you especially love killing
zombie Nazis in Call of
Duty: World at War 2, you must see what may well be the first and only
zombie Nazi movie, Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow (2009),
wherein hapless medical students uncover and reanimate a host of the frozen Fascists
while on a ski vacation in Switzerland.
So it's time to close the books on 2010 and, like Johnny
Hallyday in this still from Johnnie To's "Vengeance" (number 9 in A.S. Hamrah's
Ten Best list), and raise a toast to "Another Year" (Number 1 in A.S. Hamrah's
Ten Best list). Brett Michel also offers
his thoughts and judgments on the past year in film.
If you only see one film by the recently deceased director
Blake Edwards, maybe it should be his 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's (okay, you might want to
include the best in the Pink Panther
series, A Shot in the Dark, as well).
Audrey Hepburn shines in her signature
role as Holly Golightly, the whimsical, elegant waif who fascinates a new
tenant (George Peppard) who moves into her Manhattan apartment building.