Jean Doumanian

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August: Osage County Review


Tracy Letts adapts his own prize-winning play into a blistering depiction of one of cinema's most dysfunctional families ever. It's still rather theatrical, throwing a mob of top actors into a room for what feels like a fight to the death, but it's so well written and so beautifully observed by the actors that we can't look away. And of course Meryl Streep walks off with the show.

Everything kicks off when Beverly Weston (Shepard) goes missing, leaving his ruthlessly straight-talking, pill-popping wife Violet (Streep) to assemble the family in their rambling Oklahoma home. They have three equally feisty daughters: Barbara (Roberts) is a tightly wound bundle of anger with an estranged husband (McGregor) and surly teen daughter (Breslin) in tow; Karen (Lewis) is a free-spirited floater with yet another random boyfriend (Mulroney); and Ivy (Nicholson) is fed up with being the dutiful daughter who stayed close to home. Also on hand is Violet's sister Mattie Fae (Martindale), whose husband (Cooper) is the family patriarch now that Beverly is gone, which means their son (Cumberbatch) feels even more useless than normal.

What plot there is centres on skeletons rattling out of closets and relationships imploding spectacularly. The film is a series of brutally intense encounters between people who probably still love each other in vaguely undefined ways and express it through bitter bursts of witty cruelty. Streep has the meatiest role as the imperious Violet, who knows a lot more than she's letting on. And her chief rival is Barbara, played with unnerving intensity by Roberts. The only person we even remotely like is Mattie Fae, and the always-superb Martindale finds all kinds of layers in the character.

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The Weinstein Company Presents The LA Premiere Of "August: Osage County"

Jean Doumanian - The Weinstein Company Presents The LA Premiere Of "August: Osage County" - Los Angles, California, United States - Monday 16th December 2013

Jean Doumanian
Jean Doumanian

NY Premiere Of August: Osage County - Arrivals

Jean Doumanian - The New York premiere of August: Osage County held at the Ziegfeld Theatre - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 12th December 2013

Jean Doumanian

The Premiere Of 'Hit The Wall'

Austin Pendleton, Michael Shannon, Tom Wirtshafter, Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Eric Hoff, Ike Holter, Tracy Letts, Mare Winningham, David Cromer and Josh Schmidt - The premiere of 'Hit The Wall', held at the Barrow Street Theatre - New York City, United States - Sunday 10th March 2013

Austin Pendleton
Austin Pendleton
Austin Pendleton

'Hit The Wall' Press Day, Held At Christopher Park/Barrow St. Theatre

Jean Doumanian - 'Hit The Wall' press day, held at Christopher Park/Barrow St. Theatre New York City NY United States Friday 1st February 2013

Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian and Tom Wirshafter

Small Time Crooks Review

Woody Allen always does his best work when he's both in front of and behind the camera. Small Time Crooks give us Woody once again as the star, once again making us laugh by proving that he and only he knows how to deliver the exact and peculiar cadence of his written humor.

An unabashed comedic fable, Small Time Crooks presents Woody as Ray Winkler, an ex-con living in a New York rathole and scraping by as a dishwasher. His wife Frenchy (Tracy Ullman) does nails by day, gives Ray a whole lot of lip by night. And when Ray comes home with a new "master plan" that promises to make them rich so they can retire to Florida (the dream to end all dreams in Small Time Crooks), Frenchy becomes a reluctant partner.

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Deconstructing Harry Review

The Wood-man cometh, and he goes for broke this time.

Pretty much taking pot-shots at everyone he's ever known, every establishment he can think of, every vice there is, and--mostly--himself... that's your basic summary of Deconstructing Harry. Allen is vulgar and crass, wholly unlikeable... but hysterical. Maybe the funniest part of the film is the cast of stars he's lined up, all of whom do nothing but get spit upon the whole time! Suckers! (The movie is told half in reality, half as visualizations of writer Harry Block's (Allen) stories, thus, the large cast.)

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Celebrity Review

Another fall, another movie from the Woodman.

Shot in black and white and filled with about 30 big-name stars, Celebrity is a welcome return to old-school Allen, his first really good film since 1994's Bullets Over Broadway.

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Sweet And Lowdown Review

Woody Allen loves jazz. He loves jazz so much that he regularly skips the Oscars to play clarinet with his jazz combo. He talks about jazz all the time.

I love Woody Allen, really I do. I'm probably the only living critic who enjoyed Celebrity. I love jazz, too. Every Wednesday for two years, I saw a classic jazz quartet play tunes like "All of Me," "Rosetta," and "Old Man Time" in a dank cellar bar.

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All The Real Girls Review

David Gordon Green's All the Real Girls (the follow-up to his astonishing 2000 debut George Washington) exhibits the same gently lackadaisical rhythm and acute perception of human joy and misery that made his debut such a success, even as it charts new territory. A dreamy tale of the wondrous elation and sometimes terrible sorrow that accompanies love, the Sundance hit - about the budding relationship between an immature rabble-rouser and the sister of his best friend - occasionally threatens to devolve into laughable sentimentality. But Green's assured direction and two outstanding lead performances never allow this minor masterpiece to lose its course, and the results are a sumptuous romance that pulsates with the passionate ecstasy of the smitten heart.

Paul (Paul Schneider) is a local guy working for his uncle and living with his mother in the same house he's always called home, and his abundant sexual conquests have earned him a well-deserved reputation as a licentious heartbreaker. He spends his free time with a group of lifelong buddies, drinking and looking for his next female conquest. As one former girlfriend wisely observes, Paul's the type of sleazy good-for-nothing who'll never amount to more than what he is now: a drunken, childish buffoon with no ambition. His mother puts it more bluntly: Paul is "not educated, honest, or strong."

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Wild Man Blues Review

Woody Allen the filmmaker we know. But Woody the jazz musician? Barbara Kopple's documentary follows the Woodman around a tour of Europe with his scrappy New York jazz combo, only to fan adoring fans enamored with... his movies. Soon-Yi Previn provides a lot of insight into Allen's appeal, while he exhibits traditional Allenisms: hypochondria, fear of a dog licking him, displeasure with a Spanish breakfast, and inability to climb out of a small wading pool. As a classic jazz fan, the "primitive New Orleans music that no longer exists anywhere on earth" is quite good. The feel-good insights into Allen's life are rather shallow and fleeting at best (Kopple is an obvious fan who softballs the whole picture -- probably a neccessary evil, however, in even getting the picture made). Overall, if you'd like to see what 90 minutes of Woody's neurotic home life is like, punctuated by some clarinet blowing, this is the movie for you.

Just Looking (1999) Review

Growing up can be difficult no matter what era you are from. Of course, how many of us have heard the old "when I was your age..." speech from someone older than you? But even though the years may move forward, the more things change, the more they can stay the same, as evidenced by this self-proclaimed "semi-autobiographical" look at growing up in the 50's, presented by screenwriter Marshall Karp.

Just Looking is the story of Leny (played perfectly by Ryan Merriman) who is a boy like any other 14 year old, curious about sex. So much so that his goal for the summer of 1955 is to see two people "engaged in the act of love" as he puts it. But his innocent curiosity ends up getting him caught and his mother (Patti LuPone) and stepfather decide to ship him off to "the country" (also known as the Bronx) where he meets a new set of friends who just happen to share a similar interest.

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The Spanish Prisoner Review

"What I learned while watching The Spanish Prisoner," by Christopher Null.

1. Don't trust nobody.

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Jean Doumanian

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