Weekend Forecast: 2/1/08

Director/writer/star Nadine Labaki’s Caramel opens in limited release The January movie doldrums are behind us and now it’s time for…the February movie doldrums. Here are the wide releases: The Eye. A remake of the 2002 Hong Kong horror film of the same name. Jessica Alba is a young blind woman who receives a double corneal (read…)


In the absence of actual awards news, Variety‘s Adam Dawtrey looks into his navel and finds similarities and differences between the film nominees of the U.S. and British film academies. In order to do so, he’s forced to use the world “Blighty” three times. I’ll translate some of it sans Varietese. Besides hometown favorite Atonement (14 BAFTA nominations vs. 7 (read…)

Deleted Scene From Morris’ Abu Ghraib Documentary

Jay C. at The Documentary Blog had this YouTube clip, a deleted excerpt from Errol Morris’ new Abu Ghraib documentary Standard Operating Procedure. The clip features portions of an interview with Col. Janis Karpinski (formerly a Brigadier General) who was commander of the prison at the time of the controversy and later in charge of Saddam (read…)

BIFF Bang Pow

The lineup for the 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival was announced yesterday. As had previously been reported, Berlinale will open with Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones concert film/documentary. The festival will continue through February 17th. 21 films will compete for the Golden Bear award including Errol Morris’ Abu Ghraib documentary Standard Operation (read…)

‘Once’ a Nominee, Always a Nominee

David Carr reported last night that the music branch of the Academy has let the Best Song nomination for Falling Slowly stand and that the song would appear on ballots  that shipped to voters this morning. Questions about the eligibility of the key song in the indie hit Once had arisen because it had appeared on two different recordings before (read…)

“I got here the same way the coin did.”

If I don’t post something about No Country for Old Men at least once a week, gnomes will come into my house, turn polka music up loud on the stereo, drink all my booze and then trash the joint. Here’s one of the best scenes. If you haven’t seen the movie: A) what are you (read…)

Reminder: Living in Cinema Readers Top 10

The deadline to participate in the Living in Cinema 2007 Readers Top 10 is Thursday, January 31st at Midnight PST (GMT -8). In order to be sure your Top 10 is included, remember to email it to topten@livingincinema.com. If you’ve already mailed your top 10 but want to make a change, you may do so (read…)

Review: Rambo (2008) *

61-year-old Sylvester Stallone gets it up with .50 caliber Viagra in Rambo (2008) There are three reasons I hesitate to review Rambo. First, I’m just going to sound like a scold and a buzz kill. I swear I’m not completely joyless. I take pleasure in movies that exist for no other reason than to push (read…)

Actors Award Their Own

The Screen Actors Guild handed out the hardware this evening: Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away From Her Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee, American Gangster Hard to really argue with any (read…)

Elswit wins ASC for ‘Blood’, Coens Grab DGA for ‘Country’

The American Society of Cinematographers awarded Robert Elswit the Outstanding Achievement Award in the feature category for his work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. In addition to Elswit, Roger Deakins was nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country For Old Men; Janusz Kaminski was (read…)

Sundance Announces Awards

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival jury and audience award winners were announced this evening during the Festival’s closing awards ceremony host by William H. Macy. The Grand Jury Prize for dramtic feature went to Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River. The Grand Jury Prize for documenatary feature was given to Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Trouble the Water. (read…)

Oscar: Tone Deaf?

Will sing 4 Oscar  First AMPAS disqualifies Jonny Greenwood’s magnificent score for There Will Be Blood because only 35 minutes of it were original compared to 46 minutes that were comprised of various classical pieces and portions of Greenwood’s own pre-existing work (including the eerie Popcorn Superhet Receiver which you can stream from the BBC). Then (read…)

Sundance: A New American Realism?

Algenis Perez Soto in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s Sugar As she prepares to head home a few days before the festival’s official close, Manohla Dargis calls it “an unexpectedly rewarding week.” Choosing to look past “the usual grousing…about the films and the inhospitable location,” she stares into the heart of Sundance and there she (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 1/25/08

Anamaria Marinca in the harrowing 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Opened in NY on 1/25  and hits LA and other cities on 2/1.  Another tepid January movie weekend. If you live in New York, go see 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Otherwise, maybe you should read a book or clean out (read…)

Sundance: Jeffrey Wells is Over

Elle Fanning in Daniel Barnz’s Phoebe in Wonderland  Not that anyone was asking, but five days into Sundance, Jeffrey Wells pulled a Walter Cronkite and declared the festival “over.” It’s his considered opinion that Sundance always ends 5 1/2 days after it starts. “The voltage turns down,” he yawns, “there are fewer people on Main Street, all the presumably (read…)

Review: Cloverfield (2008) ***

Ruh-roh  As Cloverfield begins with a distant, rhythmic booming sound, a title informs us that we’re about to see footage taken from a camera recovered near the area “formerly known as Central Park.” One wonders what happened to the park and, more importantly, the city around it. Since this is a monster movie, it surely (read…)

Picking the Peanuts out of Sundance

  Brad William Henke and Sam Rockwell work at a historical theme park in Choke We continue our coverage of Sundance from afar. It almost feels like you’re there, doesn’t it? Try to imagine me in gloves and scarf standing in front of a blue screen doing one of those fake “man on the scene” reports like (read…)

Heath Ledger, Actor: 1979 – 2008

Sad news. Several sources including the New York Times are reporting that actor Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain, I’m Not There) was found dead this afternoon in a SoHo apartment. According to The Times, Ledger was found by the housekeeper unconscious on a bed. Few details have yet been made available though the inevitable speculation has already begun. The (read…)

And the Nominees are…

The Nominees for the 80th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning with No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood making off with 8 nominations each, including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay. More importantly, Nick Plowman is the winner of the Name Those Nominees Contest selecting 39 out of 45 nominations. Alison (read…)

Still 700 Miles from Sundance

Sundance Film Festival: Lance Hammer’s Ballast  I’ve heard good things from various websites about Lance Hammer’s directorial debut Ballast. Karina at SpoutBlog gives it an especially nice write-up. Two twin brothers attempt suicide. One succeeds. The survivor ends up forming a tentative family of sorts with his brother’s 12-year-old son and the boy’s mother. Karina (read…)

Name Those Nominees: How You Voted

In the considered opinion of the readers of Living in Cinema, here is how the Oscar nominations in the major categories will shake out tomorrow morning. The the top 5 vote getters in each category are: Best Picture No Country for Old Men There Will Be Blood Michael Clayton Juno The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Best Director (read…)

AMPAS Rejects Greenwood Score

Awards Daily and others comfirm the rumor that  Jonny Greenwood’s terrific score for There Will Be Blood has been disqualified for an Oscar nomination. Variety’s Red Carpet District refers to Rule 15 of the Academy’s Special Rules for Music Awards precluding “scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or pre-existing music.” There Will Be Blood made (read…)

The Golden Tomato Awards

Rotten Tomatoes honors the best reviewed films of the year with the Golden Tomato Awards. Wide Releases: Ratatouille (87.46) No Country for Old Men (85.97) The Bourne Ultimatum (85.44) Sicko (84.18) Hairspray (83.85) Juno (83.85) Knocked Up (83.02) Gone Baby Gone (82.74) Enchanted (82.34) Zodiac (82.27) Limited Releases: Once (86.04) Away From Her (83.55) The (read…)

I Hate the Razzies

Razzie nominations for the worst movies and worst performances of 2007 were announced this morning and I couldn’t care less. I hate bad movies as much as anyone, but dwelling on them long after they’ve done their damage in theaters is absolutely pointless. Rather than waste time talking about things that suck, there is always (read…)

700 Miles from Sundance: Weekend Update

Christine Jeff talks about her new film Sunshine Cleaning at a post-screening Q&A at the Sundance International Film Festival. (Image courtesy of Sundance.org)  The 2008 Sundance International Film Festival plows through its first weekend and we watch with fascination from the comfort of our own home. Cinematical’s James Rocchi likes Stranded: I’ve come from a plane (read…)

Contest Reminder

Remember: The deadline to enter the Name Those Nominees contest is 12:00pm PST (-8 GMT) Monday, January 21st. Email your five picks in the following categories to contest@livingincinema.com today. Picture Director Actor Actress Supporting Actor Supporting Actress Original Screenplay Adapted Screenplay Cinematography

‘No Country’ Conquers the World – With a Cattle Gun

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men  You probably thought I was done talking about No Country for Old Men, didn’t you? Think again. I might just change the name of this blog to There Will Be No Bloody Country for Old Men. How do you like me now? Having sacked it’s home country to the (read…)

700 Miles from Sundance

Sundance founder Robert Redford, In Bruges director Martin McDonagh and festival director Geoff Gilmore at the opening press conference. (Image courtesy of IndieWire) The 2008 Sundance Film Festival officially began Thursday, but my designer ski wear is at the cleaners so I’m not there. I haven’t decided if I’m going to shoot for daily coverage of one of the biggest (read…)

Directors in Tentative Deal with Bean Counting Stooges

Variety‘s got the details on what is being called a “groundbreaking and substantial” deal between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers giving rise to hopes that a deal with the Writers Guild of America will follow. Most importantly, the DGA was able to reach agreement with the (read…)

Asian Film Awards Nominees

I mention these mainly because Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine received a bunch of nominations and neither is getting the press or awards attention they deserve in the United States.  For the 2nd Annual Asian Film Awards, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society chose nominees in 12 categories honoring outstanding achievement in feature-length fiction (read…)

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