Steven Spielberg encouraged Tommy Lee Jones during the making of 'The Homesman'
Credit: Saban Films

Steven Spielberg encouraged Tommy Lee Jones during the making of 'The Homesman'

After all, the 'Lincoln' director 'knows a thing or two about movies'

TELLURIDE — I didn't quite know what to say or think about Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman" after catching up with it Sunday afternoon, but I was pretty sure I loved it. Gorgeously shot by Rodrigo Prieto, lovingly scored by Marco Beltrami, enigmatically captured by Jones, the film almost becomes a series of vignettes at some point, dealing in western iconography in ways both familiar and foreign, truly a piece of work from the same voice that gave us "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada."

Read Full Post
Where does Laika go after 'The Boxtrolls?'

Where does Laika go after 'The Boxtrolls?'

In depth with filmmakers Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable and Laika CEO Travis Knight

BEVERLY HILLS — Laika's "The Boxtrolls" saw its world premiere over the weekend at the Venice Film Festival, the third in a line of movies from the Portland-based animation studio that have aimed to push the medium at every step. Directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, the film is, like all Laika product, its own world, a dank, cockney yarn that, as ever, serves as a showcase for the company's craft prowess.

Read Full Post
Best Actor Oscar race heats up in Telluride

Best Actor Oscar race heats up in Telluride

Michael Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell signal lift-off for the category

TELLURIDE — If you asked me to pick between the three commanding, sure-fire awards-contending lead actor performances on display at this year's Telluride Film Festival, I'd have a break down. Yet that's just what Academy voters will surely be asked to do in a few months' time, with added pressure in the form of whoever fills out the rest of the competitive category.

Read Full Post
One on One with Jon Stewart: Taking the jump from 'The Daily Show' to 'Rosewater'

One on One with Jon Stewart: Taking the jump from 'The Daily Show' to 'Rosewater'

Only he could find an EPCOT analogy for the TV and movie businesses

TELLURIDE — Mr. Stewart, if you read this article I believe the first few paragraphs may make you chuckle. Now, it's not because I'm a master wordsmith or unheralded comedic voice waiting to be discovered. No, after saying goodbye after our memorable interview on the patio of a Telluride restaurant Sunday afternoon, I turned and walked toward the street with my iPhone in hand. I'd stopped the recording of our chat and two choices appeared before me: delete or save. And, perhaps like a crazy person, I hit delete.

Read Full Post
Ethan Hawke opens up about stage fright, Robin Williams and a current career high
Credit: AP Photo

Ethan Hawke opens up about stage fright, Robin Williams and a current career high

The actor has one film in Telluride and two more set for Venice

TELLURIDE — Actor Ethan Hawke is in the middle of a career high right now. In the space of a year he has been a part of two landmark films from director Richard Linklater, "Before Midnight" and "Boyhood," each of them the result of years and years of work exploring characters as they change across a wide spectrum of time. He has two films set to play the Venice Film Festival next week in Andrew Niccol's "Good Kill" and Michael Almereyda's "Cymbeline" and he's here in Telluride with his own directorial effort, an emotional documentary that is ostensibly a portrait of pianist Seymour Bernstein, but on a deeper level is an exploration by Hawke of finding satisfaction in one's art.

Read Full Post
Make way for Michael Keaton and 'Birdman' in this year's Oscar race

Make way for Michael Keaton and 'Birdman' in this year's Oscar race

Alejandro González Iñárritu's masterpiece deserves a serious spot at the table

Some are already trying to figure out the "Birdman" backlash after the film dropped to raves in Venice, but sometimes the hype is justified, and make no mistake about it: Alejandro González Iñárritu's manic dissection of an artist desperate for fulfillment outside of commercial success is an out-and-out masterpiece.

Read Full Post
Review: Fatih Akin's well-intended 'The Cut' does a disservice to a historical tragedy

Review: Fatih Akin's well-intended 'The Cut' does a disservice to a historical tragedy

HitFix
D-
Readers
n/a
Tahar Rahim is unfortunately restricted to a wordless performance throughout

VENICE — There's a piece of slang used on the website TV Tropes that regrettably applies to much of "The Cut." That word is "narm." Narm is defined as a moment that is supposed to be serious or tear-jerking, but due to poor execution becomes unintentionally funny. "The Cut" is unfortunately the narmiest drama I've seen at Venice.

Read Full Post
'Wild' director Jean-Marc Vallée related to Cheryl Strayed's story in a very personal way
Credit: AP Photo

'Wild' director Jean-Marc Vallée related to Cheryl Strayed's story in a very personal way

The project allowed him to 'play' and 'have fun with the medium'

TELLURIDE — When Fox Searchlight's "Wild" landed Friday afternoon in Telluride, the Oscar fuse was instantly lit for star and producer Reese Witherspoon. But as our own Greg Ellwood noted in his review, after last year's "Dallas Buyers Club," director Jean-Marc Vallée seems almost destined to again be the unsung hero of a film that leaves audiences talking about the power of its performances and the efficiency of its economy.

Read Full Post
Channing Tatum says he needed to learn more as an actor before 'Foxcatcher' clicked

Channing Tatum says he needed to learn more as an actor before 'Foxcatcher' clicked

The film saw its North American premiere Saturday morning in Telluride

TELLURIDE — In August of 2005, the Palm Theater in Telluride was inaugurated with the world premiere of Bennett Miller's Oscar-winning biopic "Capote." Nine years later Miller was back for the North American bow of his latest film, "Foxcatcher," which screened to a packed audience eager to get a look at this dark and mysterious story.

Read Full Post
Review: 'The Boxtrolls' delights with a witty script and superb stop motion animation
Credit: Focus Features

Review: 'The Boxtrolls' delights with a witty script and superb stop motion animation

HitFix
A
Readers
n/a
Richard Ayoade's voice work is a comic highlight

VENICE - If you liked "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!," the "Wallace & Gromit" films, anything by Monty Python or just funny, witty movies in general, make sure you catch Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi's "The Boxtrolls." Based on the book "Here Be Monsters" by Alan Snow, I can't remember the last time I saw a family animation so visually rich, tightly scripted and charmingly performed which was also built on a sound and progressive message. It's unlikely to become a cultural juggernaut on the level of something like "Frozen," but I think it is as enjoyable.

Read Full Post