Roger Deakins recalls 'The Man Who Wasn't There' and film noir favorites

Roger Deakins recalls 'The Man Who Wasn't There' and film noir favorites

An interesting year that brought a Best Picture winner and a stylization opportunity

It seemed this year that if any artist was due for the retrospective treatment, it was "Unbroken" cinematographer Roger Deakins. While I of course did not address all of the 50-plus films he has shot throughout his illustrious career during a recent extended interview, I settled on a few in particular that I think represent a nice cross-section of his work. Each of them — "Nineteen Eighty-Four," "Sid and Nancy," "Barton Fink," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Kundun," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "The Village" — will get their own space in the next few days.

Read Full Post
Marion Cotillard
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Two Days,' Palme d’Or-winner snubbed from Oscar’s Foreign Language Short List

Nine films advance to final consideration

Friday morning, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Foreign Language Film short list for the 87th Academy Awards. Out of 83 films, nine made the cut, with familiar titles like "Ida" and "Force Majeure" making the cut, along with Golden Globe-amplified "Tangerines" slipping in over expected contenders.

Read Full Post
American Sniper
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

New 'American Sniper' trailer swells with action, music, and praise-filled quotes

Can Bradley Cooper carry this picture into Oscar territory?

"Do you ever think you’ve seen things or done things that you wish you hadn’t?" goes the new trailer for "American Sniper." For those who haven’t, the two-minute sizzle reel is happy to oblige.

Read Full Post
Kevin Hart
Credit: Getty Images

Kevin Hart, Jennifer Aniston, and Michael Keaton honored at the first People Magazine Awards

Say hello to 'triple threat' Jennifer Lopez

For those who thought the Hollywood Film Awards were a bit too virtuous, PEOPLE Magazine decided 2014 was the year to throw a hat into the awards ring, conjuring its own set of accolades to hand out during a star-studded gala event. Thursday night, the winners of the first annual The PEOPLE Magazine Awards were announced during a two-hour NBC special hosted by Nick Cannon. Completely comprised of talent-based honors, Jennifer Aniston took home the show’s Movie Performance of the Year — Actress award for her work in "Cake," while Michael Keaton earned the Male equivalent for his turn in "Birdman." Hey, PEOPLE is following the awards circuit!

Read Full Post
How the ticking of a clock helped editor William Goldenberg pace 'The Imitation Game'

How the ticking of a clock helped editor William Goldenberg pace 'The Imitation Game'

Also: Sharing a surreal moment at the Oscars with George Clooney

Two years ago, William Goldenberg took the stage of the Dolby Theater on Oscar night as the Oscar winner for Best Film Editing on "Argo." This year, he is firmly back in the race, having cut Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game." I recently spoke to Goldenberg about the film, his approach to editing and his career to date.

Read Full Post
'Birdman' and genre love from Las Vegas film critics

'Birdman' and genre love from Las Vegas film critics

'Boyhood' shut out again?

The Las Vegas Film Critics Society is the latest regional critics group to unveil award winners for 2014. It was "Birdman" that came away the biggest hit with seven awards, including Best Picture. And for the second time today, a critics group has totally shut Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" out. I'm beginning to wonder if that's a reaction to widespread acclaim, but maybe not; after all, it's #2 on the Las Vegas critics' top 10 list. Just an interesting note.

Read Full Post
Characters and Conflicts: 10 best movies of 2014

Characters and Conflicts: 10 best movies of 2014

And another 10 worth considering

A top 10 list is a such a subjective quandary. It should speak to the consensus of cinematic quality to a degree, but it also needs to reflect the films that moved you personally. A great piece of cinema can entertain and it can inform, but as art you need to feel something from it. It needs to haunt you. It needs to stick with you. Therefore, in theory, the list should be the films that immediately come to mind when you ponder the last 12 months. As a critic, it's a reflection of your taste at the time. There is no justification; it's an opinion. Simple as that.

Read Full Post
Roger Deakins looks back on 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and the days of cinema alchemy

Roger Deakins looks back on 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and the days of cinema alchemy

The master cinematographer considers the film his best work ever

It seemed this year that if any artist was due for the retrospective treatment, it was "Unbroken" cinematographer Roger Deakins. While I of course did not address all of the 50-plus films he has shot throughout his illustrious career during a recent extended interview, I settled on a few in particular that I think represent a nice cross-section of his work. Each of them — "Nineteen Eighty-Four," "Sid and Nancy," "Barton Fink," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Kundun," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "The Village" — will get their own space in the next few days.

Read Full Post
True Story
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Jonah Hill and James Franco go serious in ’True Story' trailer

The film will premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Jonah Hill and James Franco are both part of Judd Apatow’s comedy crew, together taking lowbrow to new heights (depths?) over the last decade. But they’re also Academy Award nominees; Hill being a two-timer, earning props for "Moneyball" and "The Wolf of Wall Street," and Franco earning a nod for his leading work in "127 Hours." So why don’t they ever act like it when they’re together? Well, now they do, thanks to the cold-as-ice, non-fiction drama "True Story."

Read Full Post
Stop the presses: 'Boyhood' shut out by a critics group

Stop the presses: 'Boyhood' shut out by a critics group

'Birdman' rises to the occasion and Jessica Chastain gets some hardware

The Utah Film Critics Association has spoken up with its list of superlatives this year and "Birdman" came out on top, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay honors. Jessica Chastain made for a nice change of pace in the supporting actress category, and guess what film was passed over entirely? "Boyhood."

Read Full Post