Written by Tom Beaver James Toback may be the most unique cinematic surveyor of the male id, ego, and super-ego since his first contribution to movies in 1974 with the script for director Karel Reisz’s THE GAMBLER, starring James Caan.
Written by Tom Beaver Alexander Payne’s newest film is so understated and efficient that for the first twenty or thirty minutes it seems to barely exist. Nebraska perfectly mirrors the psychology of its senior protagonist, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern). Woody’s a man beyond the need to impress anyone or worry about who he is. He’s […]
It is hard to deny a better performance by tough-as-nails actress Bette Davis than in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 classic All About Eve, the bitterly comedic story of showbiz betrayal that screened today at TIFF Bell Lightbox’s new Bette Davis retrospective “The Hard Way”, which started this Friday and runs until December 8.
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It is often said that music liberates our souls, and The Broken Circle Breakdown uses the sounds of bluegrass to unshackle us from our sorrow and free us into catharsis. Bluegrass, to me, has the giddy rhythm of ragtime – only with strings – with its fast-pace and gleeful lyricism. It has an inherent ability to […]
Written by Tom Beaver President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. It’s significant for younger generations to note that one of the most important figures in American history had the back of his head blown out in broad daylight, in front of some 600 people, in the country that elected […]
Diana was one of England’s most beloved princesses – her charm undeniable, her compassion extraordinary. However, German director Oliver Hirschbiegel has created a biopic on the Princess of Wales that sentimentalizes yet does not glorify her achievements. It’s an ad hominem approach be sure, but with good intentions: I admired the restlessness of its formal style, […]
While the found footage genre has become a spent novelty, Willow Creek finds a rare amount of freshness in an expired product. Certainly not great, and arguably not even very good, this latest Blair Witch-imitator, due to the snarky sensibilities of its director Bobcat Goldthwait (God Bless America, World’s Greatest Dad), manufactures enough humour and horror to […]
“This is a cautionary stone. You will see,” the Counselor is told by a diamond dealer near the beginning of Ridley Scott’s flimsy neo-noir The Counselor. That line is symbolic, you see, for Scott’s cautionary tale that can’t grasp really any of novelist-turned-screenwriter Cormac McCarthy’s fancy moral lessons. The movie is a hollow mixture of […]
This month, Hollywood has unleashed two films that are, mostly, about one character stranded from civilization and forced to survive by oneself. These films are largely defined by their environments: Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity portrays outer space as a bleak, hopeless void and J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost demonstrates how the sea gradually swallows man whole. […]