Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

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REVIEW: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [2011]

“Smiley leaves with me” When I first heard about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I didn’t think it had a chance of living up to my expectations. It possessed an all-star cast, was director Tomas Alfredson‘s English-language follow-up to the brilliant Let the Right One In, and was adapted from an espionage thriller by John le Carré—the novelist of another personal favorite, The Constant Gardener. An unforgettable marketing campaign piqued my interest with stunning character posters composed of number and letter strands color-coded to create each face and the never-ending praise…

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REVIEW: War Horse [2011]

“There are big days and there are small days” Thirteen years since Saving Private Ryan and six since his last ‘serious’ work in Munich, Steven Spielberg pulls out all the stops for his newest WWI epic War Horse. Based on the 1982 children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo that was recently adapted into a Tony Award-winning stage play earlier this year, the title deceives as far as explaining the true subject of the work. While we follow Joey the horse from birth to the savage conditions of the Great War, he…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: Empire of the Sun [1987]

“Like God taking a photograph” Empire of the Sun is definitely a Steven Spielberg film. It has the epic scenery and action, the sentimental underlying tale of survival, and tragedy made the best of. Sure, like all Spielberg films, this one has the eventual happy ending, however, it really can be taken many ways. Most of his recent films have gone too far into the area of sap and/or ending happier than one would expect the context of the film to have gone to—see AI, Minority Report, and Catch Me…

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Top 25 Films of 2005

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 93 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Hauru no ugoku shiro[Howl’s Moving Castle] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #24: Good Night,and Good Luck directed by George Clooney #23: Joyeux Noël[Merry Christmas] directed by Christian Carion #22: The Descent directed by Neil Marshall #21: Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott #20: 13 Tzameti directed by Géla Babluani #19: Batman Begins directed byChristopher Nolan #18: The Girl in the Café…

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