From the start of Half-Nelson, Ryan Gosling as Dan Dunne exudes the type of purposeful energy that characterizes all great leaders. His eyes are able to connect to each student as he lecture his class. Moreover, his usually reticent middle school schools respond with contained enthusiasm when he asks then to think deeply about the causes and after-effects of the civil rights movement. Here is a man that is going to change the world, one poor, African-American child at a time.
Archive for September, 2006
Kate Winslet’s character Ann Stanton lies in bed, voluptuous and vulnerable, her exquisite face flushed, her hands bashfully covering her naked breasts. She looks over expectantly at Jude Law’s Jack Burden, her eyes offering him the world. But Burden demurs. Later, he explains, in one of the film’s many ponderous voice overs, that he chose to deny himself the fleeting pleasure of a romantic tryst, so as to preserve their friendship.
Well by now, you all have heard that Ben Affleck captured Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival. No, it is not a misprint. The Italians apparently really love him. But how does this bear on his chances for an Academy Award? Is he automatically in the running for a nomination, or should we simply chalk this up as a fluke?
The short answer is that Big Ben should probably not be making tuxedo reservations for next March. At least not yet. First of all, Affleck’s portrayal of George Reeves in Hollywoodland is clearly a supporting, as opposed…
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Today’s film noir fans are a sad, desperate lot. With the announcement of every new noir project, they breathlessly hope for the gritty brilliance of “Devil in a Blue Dress” or the whiplash twists and turns of “L.A. Confidential,” but usually find themselves sighing through the muddled likes of a “Mulholland Falls” or the overheated operatics of “Romeo Is Bleeding.” So when it was announced that Brian De Palma was attached to direct one of the most beloved books in the noir canon, James Elroy’s “The Black Dahlia,” fans cheered. Surely, the director of stylish cocktails like “Body Double,” “Blow…
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If you want to win a big race, is it better to be out front early, or be patient and make your charge at the end? As they say, the only thing that matters is who’s on top when it’s all said and done. Sometimes, being dubbed the prohibitive favorite is a curse, rather than a blessing. Just ask Howard Dean. Though we’re dealing with movies rather than political campaigns, some things remain the same.