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1/31/2019

Dale Luminous in 'Light'

Into Invisible Light
(Canada, 102 min)
Dir. Shelagh Carter, Writ. Shelagh Carter, Jennifer Dale
Starring: Jennifer Dale, Peter Keleghan, Jaydee-Lynn McDougall, Kari Matchett, Kristen Harris, Stuart Hughes
woman at a window
Robert Lantos may have produced In Praise of Older Women in 1978, but actor Jennifer Dale, Lantos's ex-wife, gives audiences a woman to celebrate in 2019. Dale is simply luminous in Into Invisible Light. Playing Helena, a recently widowed housewife and socialist with a newfound spark of passion, Dale creates an intriguing, full-bodied, and richly realized character. It’s one of those nicely fleshed-out and three-dimensional performances that mature actresses too rarely get to give in the movies.

1/22/2019

Nice Guys Finish Last: Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations

The Academy's documentary branch blows it again and snubs Mr. Rogers
Pardon the late commentary but it’s been a crazy day and I don’t simply mean because of the Oscar nominations. This morning’s spectacularly pleasing and infuriating announcement of the Academy Award nominations yielded a mix of outrageous snubs and wonderful surprises. It’s hard to be mad about what went down with the list of contenders rhymed off by announcers Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, but it’s tough to be completely satisfied. Any way one looks at it though, this morning’s live stream had about one upset per category, yielded myriad formulae for possible outcomes, and made a case that every category emphatically deserves to be in the ceremony broadcast. We need to see every win if the Oscars are going to be as engagingly unpredictable as their early morning nomination announcement. Every category matters.

1/19/2019

Oscar Predictions: Final Round - Four and One More

The Oscar nominations come out this Tuesday and what a year it has been. It’s been so wild and so up and down that the Spike Lee movie that likens the sitting President of the USA to the leader of the KKK is stirring up the least controversy this season. Yikes.

1/18/2019

Contest! Win a 'Beautiful Boy' Prize Pack!

The Oscar nominations come out next Tuesday and you can expect Timothée Chalamet to be heading back to the ceremony this year. The Beautiful Boy star already has nominations under his belt from the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics Choice Awards for his powerful performance as Nic Sheff, a young man who shares the story of his battle with, and recovery from, drug addiction. (One of this blog’s picks for the top ten performances of 2018!) The film adapts Sheff’s memoir Tweak along with his father’s side of the story, Beautiful Boy, to show two perspectives on the devastating impact that addiction has on a family. Beautiful Boy comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday, January 22 from VVS Films and Cinemablographer has a prize pack to give away to celebrate Chalamet’s extraordinary performance!

1/17/2019

Stan and Ollie: A Silver Screen Bromance

Stan & Ollie
(UK, 97 min.)
Dir. Jon S. Baird, Writ. Jeff Pope
Starring: John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Nina Arianda, Danny Huston
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy with a camera
John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel in Stan & Ollie, an Entertainment One release.
Photo: Aimee Spinks.

The comedic spirits of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are alive and well in the duo of Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly. The actors are a delightful screen team in this fun bromance. With straight-laced Coogan playing Laurel and the jolly Reilly playing Hardy, the actors give some of their best performances while paying tribute to the famous tag team of stage and screen. One doesn’t need to be a fan of classic cinema to have a good laugh with Stan & Ollie as the film revisits the final chapter of their career together with some of their best gags revisited, and in some cases reinterpreted, to bring their laughs to life.


1/04/2019

Golden Globes: Will Win/Should Win (and Oscar update)

Will A Star is Born claim the lead at Sunday's Golden Globes?
Is it Golden Globes weekend already? How time flies! Award season is still all over the map as it nears the end of the advocacy stage of the critics’ groups. At this point last year, the Globes basically signalled the end for Laurie Metcalf and Willem Dafoe when their hot streaks on the critical circuit were interrupted by Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell, who went on to claim all major prizes from the Globes onward. Right now, Roma is on top in terms of Best Picture wins, but it is ineligible for the same prize at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, so we’ll at least have a better sense of who the bigger rivals are. Overall, I still feel that this is the big night for A Star is Born to take a confident lead, especially as it stands as one of only four films to score a Globe nomination for Best Picture along with top nominations from the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild. (Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and BlacKkKlansman are the others.)