REVIEW: The White Crow [2019]

I shall fight fear. While I don’t know anything about ballet, I am familiar with Soviet defection. Being a Buffalonian whose hometown hockey favorite as a kid was Alexander Mogilny means I must. It helps then that director Ralph Fiennes and screenwriter David Hare (inspired by Julie Kavanagh‘s book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life) start their film The White Crow at its end rather than beginning. By sitting Alexander Ivanovich Pushkin (Fiennes) down across from a not so composed government official to answer the pressing question of why his star pupil…

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Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or not. I hadn’t even seen a good chunk of these until the calendar flipped to 2014, the sheer amount of winners was too vast. And after only awarding three films a 10/10 rating last year,…

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Picking Winners at the 86th Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars are generally quite boring, since we often know well in advance what is going to win Best Picture, Director, etc. But this year? Not so much. Sure, there are heavy favorites — see below. But it is entirely possible there will be some real surprises. Of course, I could be completely wrong. But if I am, hopefully Bill Altreuter and Jared Mobarak will be right. And away we go … —Chris Best ActorBruce Dern: NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years a SlaveMatthew McConaughey: Dallas Buyers ClubLeonardo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall StreetChristian Bale: American Hustle…

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REVIEW: La vie d’Adèle [Blue Is the Warmest Color] [2013]

“Tragedy is the unavoidable” While you wouldn’t usually believe something could possibly become more controversial than its own distinction of being a three-hour NC-17 film about a fifteen-year old girl searching for her sexuality and the resulting love shaping her trajectory towards adulthood, talk during La vie d’Adèle’s [Blue Is the Warmest Color] festival tour proved otherwise. Director Abdellatif Kechiche declared it to have been sullied to the extent where it shouldn’t be released while stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos discussed the arduous shoot in a way that made…

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