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Is Joaquin Phoenix Set To Play Jesus In Mary Magdalene Film?


Joaquin Phoenix Rooney Mara

Joaquin Phoenix is said to be in consideration for the role of Jesus, in Garth Davis’ upcoming Mary Magdalene film opposite Rooney Mara, according to Deadline. The three time Oscar nominee is said to be in early talks for the role, with production on the film due to begin this summer.

Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix is said to be in talks to play Jesus.

Phoenix is known for his versatility, having previously portrayed country legend Johnny Cash, for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. He also reviewed nominations for his roles in 2000’s Gladiator and The Master in 2012.

Continue reading: Is Joaquin Phoenix Set To Play Jesus In Mary Magdalene Film?

16 Times Actors Excelled As Onscreen Musical Legends


Zoe Saldana Michael Shannon Brian Wilson Chadwick Boseman Joaquin Phoenix

We love a good biopic about a musical legend and with a new movie about Nina Simone coming soon starring Zoe Saldana, let's reflect on some of the best incarnations of famous musicians. Of course, not all of them were thoroughly well-received by their subjects' family members or even the subjects themselves, but others are still mind-bogglingly accurate.

Not all of these movies were released theatrically, and some feature more than actor in a musical role, but these are a few of the most gripping musical biopics that have ever hit our screens:

O'Shea Jackson Jr. in Straight Outta ComptonO'Shea Jackson Jr. played his father Ice Cuba in Straight Outta Compton

Continue reading: 16 Times Actors Excelled As Onscreen Musical Legends

A Week In Movies: Cannes Kicks Off, Tomorrowland Premieres, Cameras Roll In Miami And Trailers Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Meryl Streep And Anne Hathaway


Cannes Film Festival George Clooney Miles Teller Jonah Hill Woody Allen Joaquin Phoenix Emma Stone Ed Helms Meryl Streep Robert De Niro Anne Hathaway

The 68th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on the French Riviera this week with acting icon Catherine Deneuve, who stars in the opening night film Standing Tall. She was joined on the red carpet by a glamorous line-up including Lupita Nyong'o, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller and Jane Seymour.

Catherine Deneuve at Cannes Film FestivalCatherine Deneuve at Cannes Film Festival

More: See pictures from Cannes Film Festival

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Cannes Kicks Off, Tomorrowland Premieres, Cameras Roll In Miami And Trailers Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Meryl Streep And Anne Hathaway

Benedict Cumberbatch Set To Play 'Doctor Strange' As Gosling Talks Fail


Benedict Cumberbatch Joaquin Phoenix

Benedict Cumberbatch, the British actor in-line for a possible Oscar nomination for The Imitation Game, is in negotiations to play Marvel's Doctor Strange in a movie slated for July 8, 2016.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch could be going from playing Alan Turing to Doctor Strange

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Ryan Gosling had taken the usual step of opening talks to play the character - set to be one of the biggest new heroes in the Marvel movie canon. However, those talks appear to have failed, and rumors of Jared Leto, Tom Hardy, Justin Theroux, Ethan Hawke or Keanu Reeves taking the role appear to be just that.

Continue reading: Benedict Cumberbatch Set To Play 'Doctor Strange' As Gosling Talks Fail

A Week In Movies: Stars Turn Out In New York, Cruise Shoots In London And Trailers For Interstellar, Inherent Vice, Taken 3 And Blackhat


Ben Affleck Rosamund Pike Julianne Moore David Cronenberg Tom Cruise Christopher Nolan Joaquin Phoenix Josh Brolin Liam Neeson

Gone Girl

A week before it arrived in cinemas, the anxiously awaited thriller Gone Girl had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, where Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and more turned up to walk the red carpet.

Video - Neil Patrick Harris Photographed On The Red Carpet During 'Gone Girl' Premiere - Part 1

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Stars Turn Out In New York, Cruise Shoots In London And Trailers For Interstellar, Inherent Vice, Taken 3 And Blackhat

Joaquin Phoenix Plays A Crooked Cop In The Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"


Joaquin Phoenix Paul Thomas Anderson Reese Witherspoon Josh Brolin

Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson are back with another team effort. The trailer for Inherent Vice dropped on Monday and, going on that alone, we’ll call this a must-see. It’s an adaptation of Thomas Pichon’s novel of the same name and follows stoner P.I. Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) as he investigates the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend’s (Katherine Waterston) wealthy boyfriend. Besides Phoenix himself, the film stars Josh Brolin as the stuffy LAPD detective Christian “Bigfoot” Bjornson, while Reese Witherspoon plays deputy DA Penny Kimball. Owen Wilson, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, and Benicio Del Toro round out an all-star cast.

Watch the full trailer here:


 

Continue reading: Joaquin Phoenix Plays A Crooked Cop In The Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"

'Maps To The Stars' For NY Film Festival, But It's All About 'Foxcatcher'


Steve Carell Robert Pattinson Channing Tatum Joaquin Phoenix Bennett Miller

David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is one of the more eye-catching movies announced for the 52nd New York Film Festival though the drama starring Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore will not be involved when the Oscars are handed out come February 2015: other festival inclusions including Gone Girl, Mr Turner, Birdman, Inherent Vice and Foxcatcher could be.

Maps to the StarsRobert Pattinson in David Cronenberg's 'Maps to the Stars'

We already know that David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel will earn its world premiere in New York and the mystery drama is joined by a host of hugely anticipated films on this year's bill.

Continue reading: 'Maps To The Stars' For NY Film Festival, But It's All About 'Foxcatcher'

With Emma Stone And Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Allen's New Movie Could Fly


Woody Allen Emma Stone Joaquin Phoenix

Emma Stone has joined Joaquin Phoenix in the cast for Woody Allen's next movie. The currently untitled project will be written, produced and directed by Allen, following the director's Oscar winning movie Blue Jasmine.

Emma StoneEmma Stone at the Met Gala 2014

Plot details are unknown but Variety report that the movie will shoot this July. It is also without a distributor, though Sony Pictures is the front-runner, given its allegiance with Allen on numerous of his previous projects.

Continue reading: With Emma Stone And Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Allen's New Movie Could Fly

10 Of The Best Musical Biopics: Will The Hendrix Movie Join The List?


Joaquin Phoenix

With Andre 3000's Jimi Hendrix film, 'All By My Side' being premiered next week at SXSW festival, we thought it was about time to dig out some of our favourite music biopics of all time. Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison have all got the big screen treatment, so let's predict how the Hendrix movie will rank against these 10 musical masters.

The DoorsOliver Stone Helmed 'The Doors'

1. The Doors

Continue reading: 10 Of The Best Musical Biopics: Will The Hendrix Movie Join The List?

Valentines Film Releases UK: What's Out And What You Should Avoid?


George Clooney Joaquin Phoenix Nick Frost

Valentines Day is one of the biggest days in the film calendar, proving that people would rather sit in a dark room, facing forward and taking in a story than actually spending real time together. Luckily, there are some great films to not spend the evening with your other half… with. Then again, there are some rubbish ones too.

Monuments MenAre you sure it isn't good?

Monuments Men

Continue reading: Valentines Film Releases UK: What's Out And What You Should Avoid?

Oscars Dark Horse 'Her' Is A Gorgeous, Heartbreaking Movie


Joaquin Phoenix Spike Jonze

Since its debut at the New York Film Festival last October, Spike Jonze's new film Her has become the dark horse of the awards season, gathering best film awards from the American Film Institute, National Board of Review and critics groups in Los Angeles, San Diego and Austin. 

Joaquin Phoenix HerSpike Jonze's 'Her' Stars Joaquin Phoenix

And Jonze's screenplay has racked up the prestigious Writers Guild award and the Golden Globe, plus prizes from both broadcast and online critics, as well as 10 regional critics groups. Of the film's five Oscar nominations, it's the favourite to win for Best Original Screenplay. Check out our 'Her' review.

Continue reading: Oscars Dark Horse 'Her' Is A Gorgeous, Heartbreaking Movie

Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice': Everything You Need To Know


Paul Thomas Anderson Joaquin Phoenix

'Inherent Vice' the lastest movie from director Paul Thomas Anderson, and starring Joaquin Phoenix, has just gained Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood as the composer. The film which is currently in post-production could end up being one of the year's most exciting releases. There's no release date yet but in preparation here's everything you need to know about 'Inherent Vice'.

Director Paul Thomas AndersonDirector Paul Thomas Anderson

What’s the plot?
Inherent Vice’ is based on the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. It's set in Los Angeles between 1969 and 1970 and uses the events of the Manson family trial as its backdrop. It’s a sort of comedy-crime-stoner story, focusing on private investigator Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, a ‘pothead’ detective who whilst helping his ex-girlfriend becomes embroiled in the disappearance of her current boyfriend, a real estate mogul. Pynchon doesn't usually allow his works to be adapted for the screen, but he has reportedly given his blessing to this project.

Who’s behind 'Inherent Vice'?
Boogie Nights’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’ director Paul Thomas Anderson has taken the reins. This is kind of his pet project and could be what he needs after his last film, ‘The Master’ failed to have any commercial success, despite getting strong reviews. Anderson has also written the script and is serving as producer. It has just been announced that Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood will compose the score which will be  recorded this month with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London - this it will mark his third collaboration with Anderson. Also joining Anderson again is cinematographer Robert Elswit who also worked on 'Boogie Nights' and 'Punch Drunk Love'.

Continue reading: Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice': Everything You Need To Know

A Week In Movies: Awards Season Gathers Pace, Superhero Movie Rumours Abound, Expendables 3 Drops A Teaser


Mark Wahlberg Taylor Kitsch Idris Elba Naomie Harris Joaquin Phoenix Dwayne Johnson Denzel Washington Harrison Ford Antonio Banderas Mel Gibson

Lone Survivor

Things always go quiet in the film industry over the holidays as everyone takes one last break before the full onslaught of awards season campaigning. Nominations for both Oscars and Baftas come in the next two weeks, and there's also action for the influential writers, directors, producers and actors guilds. 

Awards-worthy movies expanding into cinemas this weekend include Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor, Spike Jonze's Her, the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the Cambodia documentary The Missing Picture. All have picked up attention from critics groups over the past month and are looking to catch the eye of Oscar voters. Read our review of 'Lone Survivor', watch the trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her', read our review of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' or our review of 'The Missing Picture'.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Awards Season Gathers Pace, Superhero Movie Rumours Abound, Expendables 3 Drops A Teaser

The Producers Guild Of America Nominate '12 Years A Slave,' 'Her,' 'Blue Jasmine' And More For Daryl F. Zanuck Award


Steve McQueen Chiwetel Ejiofor Tom Hanks Joaquin Phoenix Ryan Coogler Woody Allen Sandra Bullock George Clooney Martin Scorsese Will Forte

The members of The Producer's Guild of America have cast their vote and the list of nominee's for their annual Daryl F. Zanuck Awards - their Best Picture category - have been cast. Formerly known as the Golden Laurel Awards, the PGA's are usually pretty accurate at predicting which films will go on to be nominated in the Best Picture category at the Oscars, and their winners rarely differ too.

12 Years A Slave
Chiwetel Ejiofor's powerful performance in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave has made it a favourite for the top honour

American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street make up the full list of nominees up for awards this year, so don't be surprised to see these films still being discussed vigorously until the beginning of March.

Continue reading: The Producers Guild Of America Nominate '12 Years A Slave,' 'Her,' 'Blue Jasmine' And More For Daryl F. Zanuck Award

River Phoenix Has Been Dead For 20 Years


River Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix

Today, the 31st October 2013, marks twenty years to the day since River Phoenix died after taking Heroin and Valium in the West Hollywood nightclub, The Viper Room. Crowds gathered this morning outside the bar with tears in their eyes and sporting tributes to the actor who was 23 when he overdosed.

River Phoenix
River Phoenix In 1988's 'Little Nikita.'

The teen sensation, who had appeared in 1988's Running On Empty and Little Nikita, had been out celebrating his brother Joaquin's 19th birthday at Johnny Depp's club on that fateful night in 1993. Joaquin, who has since appeared in films such as Walk The Line and Gladiator, made the frantic call to 911 that has been immortalised in a recording.

Continue reading: River Phoenix Has Been Dead For 20 Years

The Worst Tasting Carrot: Michael Fassbender To Eschew Oscars Race


Michael Fassbender Joaquin Phoenix Steve McQueen

Michael Fassbender is following the lead set by Joaquin Phoenix and will not campaign for an Oscar at the Academy Awards in March, despite his movie 12 Years a Slave considered the strong favorite for awards glory.

Phoenix famously called the Oscars race "the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life," though his outburst wasn't enough to stop him gaining a best actor nomination for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.

"I think it's bullshit," he told The Guardian at the time, "I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other. It's the stupidest thing in the whole world."

Continue reading: The Worst Tasting Carrot: Michael Fassbender To Eschew Oscars Race

Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jones, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde - The 51st New York Film Festival - 'Her' - Press Conference - New York City, United States - Sunday 13th October 2013

Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jones, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde
Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jones and Amy Adams
Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jones and Amy Adams
Joaquin Phoenix

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and director Spike Jonze - the Closing Night Gala Presentation Of 'Her' during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on October 12, 2013 in New York City. - New York, NY, United States - Sunday 13th October 2013

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Director Spike Jonze
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Spike Jonze - NYFF Presents Her A Spike Jonze Love Story - NYC, NY, United States - Sunday 13th October 2013

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Spike Jonze
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Spike Jonze
Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams - 2013 New York Film Festival Closing Night Gala Presentation of " Her : A Spike Jonze Love Story" - Manhattan, NY, United States - Sunday 13th October 2013

Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara

Joaquin Phoenix - The Lunchbox Fund hosts Annual Fall Fete to launch new app,' Feedie' held at Buddakan - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 9th October 2013

Spike Jonze's 'Her' Leaves Us Intrigued [Trailer]


Spike Jonze Joaquin Phoenix Scarlett Johansson

Some directors demand attention for every project they work on, and Spike Jonze is one of them. This is even more impressive when you total up his films: they amount to three – Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things are.

Joaquin PhoenixPhoenix promoting The Master in Toronto last year

His latest – ‘Her’ – tells the story of Theodor (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely word-a-day man in the big city, which, from the trailer, seems to be in the not-so-distant future. When he encounters the "world's first artificially intelligent operating system” – named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) – his life changes.

Continue reading: Spike Jonze's 'Her' Leaves Us Intrigued [Trailer]

Too Early For Best Actress Punts? Marion Cotillard Stuns In 'The Immigrant'


Marion Cotillard James Gray Joaquin Phoenix

Marion Cotillard is the talk of the Cannes Film Festival for her stirring performance in The Immigrant, James Gray's sensitive movie about the immigration experience in New York, circa 1920. The movie sees Gray re-team with Joaquin Phoenix - after We Own The Night and Two Lovers - though all talk focuses on the French actress' performance as a young Polish woman trying to get a foothold in modern America.

The Immigrant plays a major role in several of the 'Oscars 2014 tips' articles on the internet, though the reception to the movie was a mixed bag. As Todd McCarthy at the Hollywood Reporter points out, The Weinstein Company are now likely to focus the spotlight on Cotillard's performance alone in the search for silverware from The Immigrant during awards season. In his review of the film, McCarthy wrote, "Speaking in a completely convincing Polish accent with a slight hint of German due to her character's origins in Silesia and at times speaking in Polish, Cotillard makes the movie, creating a haunted figure who may one day be able to go on to a new phase but is certainly permanently marked by her multiple harrowing ordeals." The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw - who offered up a five-star review for Ryan Gosling's Only God Forgives earlier in the week - gave The Immigrant short shrift, though agreed on Cotillard's performance, writing, "Cotillard herself is incapable of giving a bad performance and she certainly carries the movie's opening act, lining up with her ailing sister in Ellis Island, having tensely endured the unspeakable boat journey from the old country."

The Immigrant is in competition for the Palme d'Or at Cannes though bookmakers Paddy Power has the movie at 10/1 to win the prize. The lesbian romance movie Blue is the Warmest Colour is the current frontrunner after a wave of strong reviews.

Continue reading: Too Early For Best Actress Punts? Marion Cotillard Stuns In 'The Immigrant'

Cannes Line-up For 2013 Hints At Possible Oscars Race [Analysis]


Alexander Payne Joaquin Phoenix Coen Brothers

The line-up for the Cannes Film Festival 2013 has been announced and with it, a clearer picture of the possible contenders for the Oscars in February 2014. In a hugely American-heavy shortlist, Cannes will welcome the likes of Alexander Payne, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh, James Gray, James Franco, Sofia Coppola, all opening up their latest efforts to the scrutiny of Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who sits at the head of the jury this time around. The selected movies - announced in a press conference and via Twitter on Thursday - look certain to make it an A-list affair, with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and Robert Redford attached to some of the movies screening. There was no place for Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) or Lee Daniels (The Butler) however, despite speculation as to possible entries.

Of course it's possible the Oscar winner for Best Picture in 2014 will not feature at Cannes - last year's entries included Moonrise Kingdom, On The Road, Cosmopolis, Rust & Bone, Killing Them Softly and The Paperboy, with the eventual Palme d'Or winner emerging in the shape of Michael Haneke's Amour - however, this time it looks likely that we may get a glimpse of the potential Oscar winner. 

The main competition includes Alexander Payne's hotly tipped Nebraska, a father-son road-trip movie that Paramount Pictures plans to release as Oscar-bait in the fall. According to the Los Angeles Times, many had expected the film, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, to wait for the late-summer festivals, though it will now premiere in France. Elsewhere, Soderbergh's HBO financed movie Behind the Candelabra about the flamboyant pianist Liberace stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. It appears to the director's last work for some time. 

Continue reading: Cannes Line-up For 2013 Hints At Possible Oscars Race [Analysis]

The Oscars Are Asinine: Ethan Hawke Slams Major Movie Awards Ceremony


Ethan Hawke Joaquin Phoenix Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

“Look at how many forgettable, stupid movies have won Oscars and how many mediocre performers have Oscars above their fireplace.” This is just one of the derisory comments that actor Ethan Hawke made about The Oscars, which, if you weren’t already aware (and if not, where have you been hiding, exactly?) take place this Sunday, February 24, 2013.

The comments were made in an interview with Gotham magazine (and reported online by New York Post, echoing Joaquin Phoenix’s recent views that the Oscars are nothing more than a load of bull. Slamming the high profile ceremony as “asinine,” he explained that awards ceremonies in the movie industry simply breed unnecessary competition, rather than focusing on the artistry at hand. “Making a priority of chasing these fake carrots and money and dubious accolades, I think it’s really destructive, he vented. “People want to turn everything in this country into a competition [so] it’s clear who the winner is and who the loser is… It’s why they like to announce the grosses of movies, because it’s a way of saying ‘this one is number one.’

This year’s Oscars ceremony, should you take a different view of competition within the movie industry, will take place on February 24, 2013 and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane. Ethan Hawke is not nominated for any Oscars this year so at least he’ll avoid the hypocrisy that an acceptance speech may have brought him. 

Continue reading: The Oscars Are Asinine: Ethan Hawke Slams Major Movie Awards Ceremony

Joaquin Phoenix - Celebrities arriving at LAX airport - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 11th February 2013

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper - EE BAFTA arrivals London United Kingdom Sunday 10th February 2013

Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix and Bradley Cooper

Joaquin Phoenix - Weinstein BAFTA after party London United Kingdom Sunday 10th February 2013

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix - The Weinstein Company Post-BAFTA Party at LouLou's London United Kingdom Monday 11th February 2013

Joaquin Phoenix

Odds Are On For No One As Oscars Look To Be Close


Steven Spielberg Hugh Jackman Daniel Day Lewis Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow James Cameron Joaquin Phoenix Sally Field

With the nominations for 2013's Academy Awards being revealed today, all the fields are open in the four major categories as there seems to be no real, clear cut contenders for the top prizes.

Lincoln has taken the brunt of the nominations, with twelve nominations in total, so it looks as though Steven Spielberg's historical epic might be favourite for some of the top awards too- Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg and the film itself looking odds on favourite with Oddschecker.com. But still, are things really as clear cut as they seem? Maybe not, with the odds aside, the close(ish) ones at that, nothing really seems that clear really.

Avatar was the odds on winner back in 2010, but it was the former Mrs James Cameron, Katherine Bigelow, to see her film sweep the awards. Day-Lewis in particular has some competition in his field, with Cannes winner Joaquin Phoenix and first time nominees Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman biting at his heels. Both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty look as though they could take the top award of the night from under the president's nose, but with no Ben Affleck, it does look as though Ang Lee may be Spielberg's only competition to top director gong.

Continue reading: Odds Are On For No One As Oscars Look To Be Close

Joaquin Phoenix and Academy Awards Los Angeles, California, United States The 85th Academy Awards - Nominations Announcement held at The AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater Thursday 10th January 2013

Joaquin Phoenix and Academy Awards

The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film


Quentin Tarantino Leonardo Dicaprio Daniel Day Lewis Rachel Weisz Naomi Watts Helen Mirren Richard Gere John Hawkes Joaquin Phoenix Denzel Washington Maggie Smith Michelle Dockery Ben Affleck Marion Cotillard Christoph Waltz Ang Lee

The Golden Globes are one of the biggest film and television awards in the world. Winning an award from them will almost always top the C.V.s of anyone involved in film. 2012 has been one of the best years in film for a long time, with many films being deemed 'instant classics'. Although, of course, that's said every year, with just a quick glance at the calibre of performances, narrative and cinematography this year it's easy to see why it's being said.

2012's nominations were revealed today with few surprises. The favourites during speculation included Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and The Master, and they haven't failed to impress in the Globes' nominations. Lincoln's set to be a big winner with seven nominations, while Argo has 5 nominations, Zero Dark Thirty has 4 and The Master has 3. All four, except The Master, are also in the running for Best Motion Picture, competing alongside Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Quentin Tarantino's re-envisioning of a slave narrative, Django Unchained

Tarantino's film received 5 nominations, which included two in the category for Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, for Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio, which proves to us that it's more than worth the watch. Best Director nominations mirrors the Best Motion Picture, and include Ben Affleck (Argo), Stephen Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), which is no surprise really. 

Continue reading: The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film

Silver Linings Playbook? Argo? Lincoln? Your Oscars Cheat Sheet For Best Picture!


Ben Affleck Steven Spielberg Tom Hooper David O Russell Joaquin Phoenix Philip Seymour Hoffman Michael Haneke Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence Kathryn Bigelow Daniel Day Lewis Hugh Jackman Helena Bonham Carter Russell Crowe Anne Hathaway Paul Thomas Anderson Ang Lee Quvenzhane Wallis

David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook - a stunning dark comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper - appears to have hijacked the Oscars race. Russell was tipped for a golden statuette with The Fighter, though missed out on the directing prize to Tom Hooper (The Kings Speech). His latest movie has certainly thrown a spanner into the works for the greatest film prize of them all, so we've compiled an Oscars cheat sheet for Best Picture in 2013. So read on, before cleverly dropping the information into conversations with your friends.

Who's the frontrunner?

There's still a handful of likely Oscar contenders to be released, though the eight or ten movies most strongly tipped to get nominated for Best Picture are now in place. The list is headed by two movies: Ben Affleck's thriller Argo and Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln. The bookmakers cannot choose between the two, but most give the former's movie the edge as recent history suggests this type of film is likely to please the younger looking Academy. The Hurt Locker famously usurped Avatar in 2009, and Affleck's slick movie has much in common with Kathryn Bigelow's classic Iraq War film. As mentioned, both films are pretty much neck-and-neck in the betting, though Argo is generally available at 3/1 while Spielberg's epic is around 4/1.

Continue reading: Silver Linings Playbook? Argo? Lincoln? Your Oscars Cheat Sheet For Best Picture!

Is Sacha Gervasi's 'Hitchcock' Really Generating Oscars Buzz?


Anthony Hopkins Helen Mirren Sacha Gervasi Alfred Hitchcock Daniel Day Lewis Joaquin Phoenix Denzel Washington Jennifer Lawrence Sally Field

Read anything on Sacha Gervasi's new movie Hitchcock, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the legendary Hollywood director, and you'll probably come across the phrases "Oscars buzz" and "Oscar tipped." The movie has enjoyed decent reviews from critics, though the press seem to have it nailed on for a nomination. It may well not be that straight forward.

History suggests that Hitchcock is the type of the movie the Academy will reward and with Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren in the lead roles, it certainly boasts an appealing cast. However, the concluding months of 2012 have thrown up several serious contenders for the golden statuettes and Hitchcock may well be the movie to make way. Hopkins - who won Best Actor for Silence of the Lambs - has already decided to stop playing "nauseating games" with the Academy in order to win an Oscar and told Entertainment Weekly that he was too busy making films to launch a serious awards' season campaign for Hitchcock. "People go out of their way to flatter the nominating body [the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] and I think it's kind of disgusting. Having to be nice to people and to be charming and flirting with them. That's always been against my nature", he added.

So what do the bookmakers think of Hitchcock's chances?

Continue reading: Is Sacha Gervasi's 'Hitchcock' Really Generating Oscars Buzz?

Daniel Day-Lewis A Fan Of The Hangover, Says Bradley Cooper


Daniel Day Lewis Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence Steven Spielberg Denzel Washington Joaquin Phoenix

They may be potential Oscar rivals, but that doesn't mean that Daniel Day-Lewis and Bradley Cooper don't respect each others work as Cooper admitted that the double Oscar winner told him that he is a fan of the hit comedy The Hangover, which Cooper stars in, and as it happens Cooper is quite the Day-Lewis fan himself.

Cooper was speaking with Metro when he mentioned that he bumped into the Brit actor during a telethon for Haiti when Day-Lewis told him: "oh, I loved The Hangover." 

Cooper wasn't quite so reserved in his praise however, describing him as "the greatest" and admitting that during the meeting Cooper told him "how much I loved him." Get a room guys.

Continue reading: Daniel Day-Lewis A Fan Of The Hangover, Says Bradley Cooper

Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Skyfall, Lincoln, In Their Skin, Nature Calls


Daniel Craig Sam Mendes Daniel Day Lewis Joaquin Phoenix Selma Blair Joshua Close James D'Arcy Johnny Knoxville Patton Oswalt

With the drama and devastation that befell the East Coast of America, with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy last week, US movie fans seem to have opted for the feel-good factor with their box office choices. Wreck It Ralph currently sits atop the US Box Office chart but the generation-spanning animation should prepare to be ousted this week, with the release of two major players: Skyfall and Lincoln.

Skyfall has already been hailed as the best Bond movie ever. Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall marks the 50th anniversary of Bond movies and has already proved to be a box office sensation in the UK and Europe. There’s a question mark hanging over how much longer Daniel Craig will play Bond, which is only adding to the sense of urgency in getting to the movie theaters to check out Skyfall.

Watch the Skyfall trailer

Continue reading: Hot Tickets! This Weekend's US Movie Releases: Skyfall, Lincoln, In Their Skin, Nature Calls

A Week In Movies Featuring: Star Wars, Midnight's Children, The Master, X-Men And Much More


The big news this week is that George Lucas has finally admitted that yes, he did indeed plot out Star Wars episodes VII, VIII and VIX more than 30 years ago. And now that he has sold his Lucasfilm empire to Disney (for $4 billion), the sequel trilogy is finally being made. Episode VII is expected in 2015, and rumour has it that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill might be back in their original roles.

A Week In Movies - 2nd November 2012

Meanwhile, the James Bond team was spotted in Rome this week, as Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, director Sam Mendes and series producer Barbara Broccoli attended the Italian premiere of Skyfall, posing for the press at the elegant St Regis Grand Hotel. After last week's record-breaking opening weekend in Britain, the film opens around Europe, Asia and South America this weekend, then in North America on 9th November.

Gerard Butler Out And AboutIn New York just before Hurricane Sandy hit, a buff-looking Gerard Butler was out promoting his new film Chasing Mavericks, about surfers tackling monster waves. The paparazzi caught up with him in the streets between appearances on various TV shows. He slips through the crowd, but they catch up with him later.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies Featuring: Star Wars, Midnight's Children, The Master, X-Men And Much More

At The Movies: The Master Review Roundup


Joaquin Phoenix

It seems as if Paul Thomas Anderson can do no wrong. His previous films; Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood are all held in high regard, but does The Master live up, and even better his previous work?

The answer has to be a resounding yes. With an impressive and growing score of 85% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, and a host of excellent reviews, it looks like P.T Anderson's cinematic reputation continued on the ascendency. "An often brilliant '50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty," beam Empire Magazine, while The Los Angeles Times chimes in, saying, "It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior, the interplay of troubled souls desperate to find their footing." The newspaper primarily involved in fiscal matters, The Financial Times were also doting over Joaquin Phoenix's latest outing: "This is a glorious movie, an omnivorous, many-coloured satire on the chameleon-hued carnivores of our souls," they say.

It was hard to find a negative review, but in the interest of balance, here's the most negative thing we could muster, from USA Today, "Aiming for epic, it's undeniably thought-provoking, but too ambiguous to fully satisfy." Even in that negative review, there was a positive, which goes to show just how good this film is. Go see it. 

Continue reading: At The Movies: The Master Review Roundup

Joaquin Phoenix On The Oscars: I Don't Want To Be Part Of It


Joaquin Phoenix Paul Thomas Anderson Daniel Day Lewis

The bookmakers have Joaquin Phoenix as the second favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor in February for his stunning turn as a drifter in John Paul Anderson's 'The Master.' Though there may be a problem: he doesn't want it.

Though nominated for two Academy Awards ('Gladiator' and 'Walk the Line'), it seems Phoenix is pretty disillusioned with awards' season and therefore will play no part this time around. When quizzed on his chances of an Oscar by Elvis Mitchell of Interview magazine, the actor unequivocally stated, "I'm just saying that I think it's ... I think it's total, utter ..., and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot." The actor called the whole awards process as "totally subjective," which is pretty hard to disagree with, though added, "It's the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that." It's certainly difficult to judge Phoenix's subtle performance in Anderson's modest drama, against, say, Daniel Day Lewis' epic turn in Spielberg's blockbuster 'Lincoln', though at the end of the day, the Academy has to opt for what they believe is the best performance of the year - something that doesn't sit well with the 29-year-old.

His remarks put him in the same company as award season' grouches like Woody Allen and Marlon Brando, though Phoenix is unlikely to scoop the prize anyway. Lewis' turn as Abraham Lincoln left bookmakers slashing his odds to just 5/4.


Joaquin Phoenix Labels The Oscars As 'Bullsh*t'


Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix doesn't pander to the etiquette so frequently conveyed by the Hollywood A-listers. He'll no doubt be in the running for an Oscar for his role in The Master, but what does he really think of the awards?

"I think it's bullshit," Phoenix told Elvis Mitchell in Interview magazine. "I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other ... It's the stupidest thing in the whole world." Well there you go, Academy Awards, you've been told. We firmly believe that Phoenix deserves an Oscar, as his portrayal of erstwhile vet. Freddie Quell, but we also quite want him to win just to see what he says when he does. Phoenix, by all accounts, doesn't care about how he's portrayed, and his documentary experiment, which delved into the lack of humanity in Hollywood, was a great example of his forward thinking and candid approach to western attitudes.

"It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that," Phoenix told Mitchell. "I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it -- and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it -- but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."

Lincoln Trailer Gets 2012 Presidential Debate Airtime


Daniel Day Lewis Steven Spielberg Paul Thomas Anderson Joaquin Phoenix Philip Seymour Hoffman Sally Field Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Lincoln trailer debuted in-between the 2012 Presidential Debate, giving the film a great audience for its teasing premiere.

Whether you were watching the debate unfold on ABC, CBS or CNN you will have struggled to miss the shiny new trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming presidential epic. Scenes from the Civil War open the trailer with Lincoln, portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis reciting The Gettysburg Address in the background, and quickly we see the president conflicting with members of his cabinet. The film also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field. The advertising and P.R buffs involved in the film must have been licking their lips at the chance to showcase the new trailer at the debate, as it looks like it was the perfect time to showcase the film. Lincoln hits selected theatres November 9, with a wider release planned for November 16.

Films such as Ben Affleck's Argo and Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman's The Master already are proven Academy Awards contenders through rapturous reactions from festival crowds or early theatrical audiences, but Lincoln may have something to say about that. With Oscar fever reaching higher temperatures by the day, many have already tipped Paul Thomas Anderson's post wartime drama to take the big prize, with the films protégé set to scoop the individual prizes, but early indications would suggest that Daniel Day Lewis could upset the odds.


Reese Witherspoon Names Baby Tennessee James Toth


Reese Witherspoon Ryan Phillippe Melanie Griffith Don Johnson Joaquin Phoenix

Reese Witherspoon has named her new baby boy Tennessee James, reports The Huffington Post. He was born yesterday (September 27th).

The 36-year-old's third child is guaranteed a shot at acting with a name like that. Witherspoon already has two little ones from her previous marriage with Ryan Phillippe; Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8. Linda Rosenkrantz, co-founder of Nameberry.com, has some explanations behind naming techniques employed by parents. "It's a trend that had its roots starting in the late 1980s," she said," with several celebs picking names from the American West, like Austin, Dallas and Dakota, including Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, whose now grown daughter Dakota is the star of a new sitcom. But lately the trend seems to be heating up and much more widespread." Celebrities seem to be obsessed with choosing never-heard-before names for their offspring, and are looking far and wide for names that fit the bill: "The current trend seems to be really exotic-sounding spots, like Morocco, Egypt and Asia, and states rather than countries or cities -- Alabama, Arizona, Indiana and yes, Tennessee."

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon made her name in 2001, with her breakout role as Elle Woods in the box office hit Legally Blonde, after bagging a Golden Globe nomination for the critically acclaimed Election. She also garnered critical praise for her performance in Walk The Line alongside Joaquin Phoenix.


Box Office Preview: Can ‘Dredd 3D’ Stop The Slump?


Paul Thomas Anderson Philip Seymour Hoffman Joaquin Phoenix Clint Eastwood Jake Gyllenhaal Emma Watson

With some big titles being released this weekend, many would be forgiven for thinking it’ll be a successful few days for the North American Box Office, but all indications point to another disappointing haul for film studios.

Lionsgate's comic-book adaptation Dredd 3D will be unleashed off the back of some positive reviews, but given a summer of Marvel action, it’s unlikely that the Judge will pull in the audiences required to boost figures. Also released, and probably the most high profile release of the weekend is The Master, although the Paul Thomas Anderson Scientology drama was given a limited release in New York and Hollywood already. Perhaps the acting prowess of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix will attract cinema goers, but indications aren’t good. Figures should total in the high-$90 millions through Sunday, which would be off from this time last year by as much as 20%, a bigger drop than any of the past three weekends.

Elsewhere, Clint Eastwood’s baseball flick Trouble With The Curve might gleam some extra attention due to the Western star’s infamous Empty Chair routine, and his other public political opinions. Then again, they might not. Relativity Media's thriller House at the End of the Street, End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Watson’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower round off this weekends big releases in cinema.




River Phoenix’s Final Movie Set For Release As Brother Joaquin Eyes Oscar


River Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix Paul Thomas Anderson

River Phoenix’s final movie ‘Dark Blood’ will finally be released on September 27, 2012, almost 20 years after the aspiring star died outside The Viper Room in Los Angeles. Phoenix –who had ingested a lethal combination of cocaine and heroin – stars in George Sluizer’s thriller about a young widow living in the desert on a nuclear testing site.

Phoenix – who was considered one of the finest young actors in Hollywood – died as he and Sluizer were putting the finishing touches to the movie. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the director, now 80, said of Phoenix’s death, “I was devastated…It was a terrible sadness.” The movie had roughly 11 days of production to complete when the actor died, with an insurance company making the call to abandon the project and pay out to the original investors. As the firm became owners of the movie, it sat in storage until 1999, at which point they decided to destroy it. “That’s when I said, ‘No, no, I’m going to save it from destruction”, said Sluizer, without going into detail as to how he took ownership of ‘Dark Blood’ once again. After suffering an acute aortic dissection while holidaying in France and spending months recovering, the director decided he had to finish the film, “I said, I want to finish the film before whatever happens,” adding, “At least I will finish my job as best as I could.” The movie will premiere at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht this week, and is competing for the festival’s Golden Calf award.

Meanwhile, River’s brother Joaquin Phoenix is tipped to receive an Oscar nomination for his turn in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master.


Joaquin Phoenix Friday 7th September 2012 Toronto International Film Festival - Celebrity Sightings

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix

Video - Joaquin Phoenix And Philip Seymour Hoffman Arrive At The Venice Film Festival 'The Master' Premiere


Arrivals for the premiere of 'The Master' at Italy's 69th Venice Film Festival included the film's stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Madisen Beaty. Valentina Cervi of 'True Blood' also arrived at the event along with Claudia Gerini ('The Passion of the Christ'), actress and director Nadine Labaki ('Caramel'), Isabella Ferrari ('Quiet Chaos'), and models Catrinel Marlon and Liliana Matthaus.

Valentina Cervi was one the photographers by the red carpet couldn't get enough of as she elegantly posed for photos in a floor length, sheer white gown with long sleeves and glittering collar whilst holding a pink-tipped rose she had been given

The Master Trailer


Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of the most intense struggles of his life, meets a charismatic and scholarly gentleman on a boat called Lancaster Dodd who writes books based on a new religious organisation that he founded following World War II. Quell becomes his main partner and the new religion begins to grab the nation's attention earning it a keen following. However, some of the members believe that Quell's erratic behaviour is beyond the help of the organisation despite Dodd's insistences that he can be helped. Quell begins to question the teachings of the man the calls himself the Master and starts feeling as if everything that he is being made to believe is one big made-up story.

Continue: The Master Trailer

Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix - Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix Wednesday 22nd February 2012 are seen shooting on set shooting the film, 'Low Life'

Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix
Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard Tuesday 31st January 2012 Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard filming Untitled James Gray Project on location in Brooklyn. New York City, USA

Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard

Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard Monday 30th January 2012 Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard filming Untitled James Gray Project on location in Brooklyn. New York City, USA,

Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix, Brooklyn, James Gray and Marion Cotillard

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard Friday 27th January 2012 on the set of 'Untitled James Gray Project' filming on location in Manhattan

Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard
Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard

Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium - Rain and Joaquin Phoenix Hollywood, California - arrives to the PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala And Humanitarian Awards at the Hollywood Palladium Saturday 25th September 2010

Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium
Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium
Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium

Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium - Rain Phoenix and Joaquin Phoenix Hollywood, California - PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium Saturday 25th September 2010

Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix and Palladium

Joaquin Phoenix Adriana M. Barraza / "2#115#Source="

Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Sullivan - Wednesday 22nd September 2010 at The Late Show With David Letterman New York City, USA

Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Sullivan
Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Sullivan
Joaquin Phoenix and Ed Sullivan

Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix Monday 22nd October 2007 at Beverly Hilton Hotel

Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix

Two Lovers Review


Excellent
Joaquin Phoenix has a reputation for diving heartily into roles, and his starring turn in James Gray's Two Lovers is no exception. In the film's first scene, Phoenix's dive is literal: A Brooklyn kid plunging into the bay in an arresting setup that rings of despair and confusion. It's an appropriate introduction to Phoenix's delicate character development, a performance that buoys an impressive romantic drama.

And that's a genre we don't see too often anymore: romantic drama. Today's cinematic romances are usually steeped in light comedy (even decent ones like Definitely, Maybe) or predictable form posing as drama. But Two Lovers is hardcore drama, with desire at its center. Or more accurately, two desires.

Continue reading: Two Lovers Review

Reservation Road Review


Weak
Director Terry George moves swiftly from an African tragedy to an American tragedy with his docile Reservation Road. Adapted from John Burnham Schwartz's novel by George and Schwartz, a hit-and-run accident on the titular length of blacktop becomes a catalyst for a study of grief and anxiety in two American families.

Road opens as Ethan Lerner (Joaquin Phoenix) and his wife Grace (Jennifer Connelly) watch their son Josh play cello in the school orchestra on a breezy fall evening. At the same time, Dwight Arno (Mark Ruffalo) and his son Lucas are enjoying a hot dog and a Red Sox game in overtime at Fenway Park. But his team's successful step towards reversing the curse doesn't alleviate Dwight's worry about getting Lucas back to his mother (Mira Sorvino) on time. While speeding home, Dwight accidentally swerves and hits Josh as the boy is letting some fireflies go outside of a gas station. And Dwight runs.

Continue reading: Reservation Road Review

We Own The Night Review


OK
James Gray has assembled what looks and sounds like a good, smart thriller with We Own the Night: a strong cast, serious aspirations, a specific time and place (Brooklyn, 1988). The story is shopworn, but not without dramatic potential: Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg play brothers on the opposite-ish sides of the law; Joseph (Wahlberg) has followed in the footsteps of their father (Robert Duvall) and joined the NYPD while Bobby (Phoenix) rebels by running a seedy nightclub. With a drug dealer inching into Bobby's territory, he's forced to reconsider his loyalties.

Meanwhile, the movie forces me to reconsider my own, because it spends a lot more time seeming like a good movie than actually being one. For a film with such an ominous, encompassing title, We Own the Night is content to skim the surface of the NYPD, lacking the obsessive attention to detail that distinguishes other crime-heavy glimpses into bygone American eras as diverse as Gangs of New York, Zodiac, or The Assassination of the Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Even Night's period details feel half-assed and incidental, like background songs that sound more like bits of '90s soundtracks to '80s-set movies instead of 1988 itself. In fact, though an early subtitle says so, the year doesn't even seem to be 1988 in particular but a vague, amorphous "eighties," Wedding Singer style.

Continue reading: We Own The Night Review

Walk The Line Review


Excellent
You've got to give the filmmakers of Walk the Line a lot of credit, as they're about to take a lot of guff after this film debuts. I mean, how do you create a feature film that captures the story of a man as big and full and complex as Johnny Cash? That's the question that every Cash fan and country music enthusiast has been asking ever since this project kicked off in the late '90s.

The truth is that no film, book, or TV mini-series can really present the entirety of the giant that is Johnny Cash. So instead, what the filmmakers have created here is a tribute to what Cash seemed to hold so dear to himself about his own life: his triumph over his demons and the love of the "greatest woman" he ever knew, who gave him the strength to overcome.

Continue reading: Walk The Line Review

Return To Paradise Review


Very Good
Surprisingly effective, if highly unlikely, drama of the soul and the conscience. If some guy you hardly knew was sentenced to hang in a Malaysian jail unless you went back and did 6 years in a third-world slammer, would you go?

Continue reading: Return To Paradise Review

U Turn Review


Excellent
I can't imagine U Turn in any director's hands except Oliver Stone's. Breaking free from his political obsessions, Stone explores new territory, giving the material a stark edge, innovation, and a thick, memorable atmosphere. In one film he investigates adultery, incest, bad luck, Indian philosophy, gambling, paranoia, murder, deception, fraud, money, and the Russian Mafia. This is an original tale with a full plate, but surprisingly U Turn never feels crowded, contrived, or recycled. It's a feast for the senses, as long as you have a strong stomach.

Similar to Natural Born Killers in style, the film includes black & white inserts, frequent use of hand-held cameras, overexposed shots, vivid close-ups, zip-switches from smooth to grainy, unique camera angles, time-lapse sequences, and hallucinogenic effects. Stone rounded up some of his Nixon crew to establish the technical aspects of the film, including director of photography Robert Richardson, production designer Victor Kempster, and editors Hank Corwin and Thomas Nordberg. The crew shot U Turn in just 42 days, entirely on location in the actual town of Superior, Arizona, fully utilizing the vast landscape. According to the film's production information, the filmmakers revamped four blocks of Superior's main street, even creating new restaurants out of unused storefronts.

Continue reading: U Turn Review

Buffalo Soldiers Review


Essential
Delayed from release for two years due to the world political climate, Buffalo Soldiers is a movie that is categorically worth the wait.

A dark comedy on par with Pulp Fiction, Aussie director Gregor Jordan (in his second film) transports us to Germany in 1989, on an American Army base during the waning days of the Cold War. These enlisted troops aren't your Officer and a Gentleman go-getters. They're criminals, offered the option to serve their country in lieu of staying in jail. But since there's no war on, getting in to trouble is the only thing to do. As our protagonist says, "There was nothing to kill but time."

Continue reading: Buffalo Soldiers Review

Brother Bear Review


Good
Brother Bear is the very Disney tale of a young bear-hating man named Kenai (voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) transformed into a bear and embarking on a journey with an orphaned cub. It's beautiful look at, but minor and sort of inert. I don't deny Disney the right to make a minor cartoon now and then (part of the industry's problem is the expectation that every cartoon should be a $200+ million blockbuster), but Brother Bear is oddly thin. Even the gorgeous visuals fade from your head as you leave the theater.

It goes down pleasantly enough as you watch. In fact, Brother Bear is rife with wonderful details. A prologue establishes only that the story takes place "a long time ago"; this allows the artists a certain freedom in their creation of a vaguely North American environment. There are rustling trees, blocks of ice, and swirls of light, all with an unfussy natural flow, not to mention gorgeous colors (it's not for nothing that the frame switches to a wider aspect ratio once the lead character turns into a bear).

Continue reading: Brother Bear Review

The Village Review


Very Good
The Village comes to us with more manufactured hype than should be allowed by law. First the Sci-Fi Channel produces a "documentary" about its director, M. Night Shyamalan, called The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan, purporting to reveal all sorts of juicy dirt about the director. The week that The Village is set to open, Sci-Fi confesses it's all a hoax. Details of the plot have been minimal. No one will do press. No one will talk about the movie at all. Come screening week, security is tight at advance previews: Online press are strictly disallowed at the advances; instead we're shooed into a late Thursday-night showing, giving us mere hours to whip up a review just in time for the Friday crush of traffic. So here I sit, pushing midnight, ready to give you my thoughts on The Village.

Why all the misdirection from Shyamalan? Well, here's the truth: The Village isn't a really a traditional suspense flick at all. The first full hour is largely comprised of a romance - or various romances - between its stars. Joaquin Phoenix is a quiet lad named Lucius living in an 1897 village formed in a clearing in the woods in Pennsylvania, where some 30 or so folks reside. Bryce Dallas Howard (the girl who looks like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill) plays his eventual girlfriend, Ivy, the blind daughter of the town's leader of sorts, Edward (William Hurt). Lucius and Ivy take a long while to fall in love - meanwhile we slowly learn about the village. Here, they grow their own vegetables, they do a mean square dance, and then there's the matter of the monsters in the woods.

Continue reading: The Village Review

Ladder 49 Review


Excellent
Firefighter movies resemble westerns in the singular fact that I can see one decent one every five years or so and be completely satisfied. Ladder 49 happens to be an excellent flame jockey adventure, a stirring audience-pleaser that accurately captures the fear, fearlessness, and physicality associated with entering a burning room and, possibly, not exiting. Relatives of firefighters will embrace it lovingly, while the rest of us will appreciate its unquestionable sincerity.

At the same time, Ladder and its creators make no bones about the fact that the film is pushing our emotional buttons. It manipulates our heart strings and tugs at our tear ducts in its quest for inspirational cinema. Admittedly, it's a bit slick and overdone, but it's difficult to fault a picture that wears its intentions on its soot-stained sleeve and holds the serviceman position of firefighter on such a lofty pedestal.

Continue reading: Ladder 49 Review

8mm Review


Weak
Looking to delve into the smarmy underbelly of hard-core porn, even snuff filmmaking? Well, 8MM isn't going to take you there. 8MM (Eight Millimeter) is something of a joke, and reports of how "disturbing" it is are highly overrated. As horror, 8MM didn't even give me a jump. As an over-the-top "think about this!" piece, 8MM is even less successful. Why? The film's premise (rich widow hires Cage, P.I., to investigate whether her husband's secreted snuff film is real or not) is wholly unbelievable because, as the audience, you know the film isn't real. The dead girl has a credit at the end, for God's sake!

Continue reading: 8mm Review

Quills Review


Excellent
Come frolic with the Marquis de Sade deep in the bowels of the Charenton Asylum, where he'll tickle your fancy with lavish descriptions of bestiality, flatulence and the dimples of a fat mademoiselle's bottom.

As portrayed in Quills, based on the Obie Award-winning play by Doug Wright, the Marquis is an earthy, dirty, jolly old soul with the unquenchable desire to write his perverse dreams on paper. He's the unflinching id in the face of mediocrity and tolerance, the middle finger held like a candle to the powerful hypocrites, and the loud fart in the house of God, an affront to restrictive dogma.

Continue reading: Quills Review

Gladiator Review


Good
"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?" Hey, who doesn't!?

The awe-inspiring trailers for Gladiator may have you dreaming of Spartacus and Ben-Hur, but you may be surprised to find this film in reality a less palatable mélange of Braveheart and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. This isn't altogether a bad thing, but those expecting a new Roman epic that will stand the test of time (like Spartacus and Ben-Hur) are in for some surprises.

Continue reading: Gladiator Review

Clay Pigeons Review


Very Good
Lester, the uh, MO-lester... a character I'm not likely to ever forget. Vince Vaughn could make a career out of playing psychos and womanizers -- I wouldn't mind. Clay Pigeons is a glorious black comedy that shows off his prodigious wit and borderline insanity, with Phoenix playing the patsy for Vaughn's murders.

It's All About Love Review


Weak
If this is all about love, then I'm a monkey's uncle. One of the most roundly criticized films in recent memory (reports have most of the stars disowning it before release, with poor Claire Danes reduced to tears by it), this is a sci-fi bit of nonsense that covers the gamut from human cloning to global warming/freak weather to fear of flying. Yes, there's a love story -- which has Joaquin Phoenix having second thoughts on a divorce from Danes, both of whom affect awful faux Polish accents. For some reason, they decide to "escape" New York, which lands them in a snowbound ice age in July. I challenge you to make any sense out of this thing -- and I'm led to question my previous esteem for Celebration director Thomas Vinterberg -- but hey, Claire Danes sure is purty. Look, a squirrel!

Signs Review


Excellent
Crop circles: real or hoax? M. Night Shyamalan (of the masterful The Sixth Sense and the iffy Unbreakable) stabs at answering that question in the quite good Signs, inspired by patterns found in the cornfields of Pennsylvania. (And yes, it turns out they really do grow a lot of corn up there.)

While you might be expecting a cool-headed mystery about the origins of crop circles, Signs is actually a bizarre mix of V, Independence Day, and Panic Room. Even stranger, it's actually watchable, though at times I was ready to slap Mel Gibson for his stilted performance, which frequently drags down the movie as he pontificates.

Continue reading: Signs Review

Hotel Rwanda Review


Very Good

In 1994 an attempted genocide in Rwanda left over 1 million dead. The response of the international community was tepid, at best. The response of one hotel manager, however, was heroic. Hotel Rwanda tells his story with some insight, but perhaps too much restraint.

As the film begins, two tribes are at war. A Hutu majority faces a Tutsi insurgence. A disembodied voice on the radio fans the flames of hate, instigating Hutu violence against anyone even suspected of being Tutsi. None of this seems to affect Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a hotelier at the posh Hotel Mille Collines, which caters to European tourists and the local military elite. He keeps politics at arms' length, using his charm and skill with negotiation to please his clients and superiors. Whatever pull he has is kept in reserve for when he might need it for his own family in the future. This is especially important since, while he is Hutu, his wife Tatiana (an impeccable Sophie Okonedo) is Tutsi.

All of that changes once a coup replaces the moderate president with a Tutsi-hating junta leading an increasingly uncontrollable militia bent on genocide. Paul must hide his Tutsi relatives and friends in his hotel while the UN stands guard outside. As the situation worsens, his negotiating prowess must serve over 800 refugees, all of whom are only a favor or payoff away from execution.

Don Cheadle is outstanding as Paul, at first depicting his quiet ease as a businessman, then his desperation as everything he takes for granted begins to crumble. The moment comes when Paul realizes who his real friends aren't, and Cheadle's performance resonates the horror of what Paul has become and how completely he's been deceived. This, in turn, makes Paul's conviction all the more believable when he chooses to use his skills, at great risk to himself and others, to save as many Rwandans as possible.

Also serving well in a small but memorable role is Joaquin Phoenix, as a photographer who captures footage of the atrocities while recognizing the ultimate futility of their broadcast. "If people see this they'll say 'Oh, my God. That's horrible,'" he explains to Paul, "Then they go on eating their dinners." Nick Nolte makes a nice turn as a compassionate, but ultimately impotent UN peacekeeper. He points out just how little Paul and his people mean to the rest of the world. "You're not even a nigger," he tells him, "You're an African."

One of the things the film does very effectively is in pointing out the disconnect between the horrors taking place in Africa and the response of the world community. Paul tells his refugee residents that they must "shame" the world into taking action. Rwanda seems to be nothing more than an investment or a tourist destination to the powers that be. This is captured perfectly when, as the European guests of the hotel are evacuated and the Rwandans are left behind, a man on the exiting bus snaps a photo.

What the film doesn't do quite as effectively is capture the visceral horror of the event. It's very difficult to do a PG-13 film about genocide. To some extent, director Terry George pulls it off. The psychological strain is evident in Cheadle's performance and in the fear evoked in his guests by each new threat. But this is one of those rare cases where it seems the presentation isn't violent enough. It feels like the blow has been softened, and this is one punch that should not be pulled. In effect, the audience feels like they're being given the tourist version of the massacre instead of the real thing. Adding to this watered-down effect is the dialogue, which occasionally lapses into movie-of-the-week caliber. The story here is stronger than the actual screenplay, which is too bad, since this is a tale that deserves to be told with as much impact as possible.

The DVD includes two documentaries about the film and the massacre, plus commentaries from various players (including selected comments from Cheadle).

You must be at least this tall to participate in the junta.

The Yards Review


Extraordinary
The Yards begins with a rebirth of sorts. A subway train emerges from a tunnel into daylight. It is carrying Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg) out of the darkness and home, after his time in prison. He has taken the rap for an auto theft circle, one including close buddy Willie (Joaquin Phoenix), and is returning to a grateful homecoming. But The Yards is a dark crime drama, and Leo's future doesn't remain in the light for long in James Gray's impressive, classically styled mini-saga.

Gray, recently appearing with The Yards at the Boston Film Festival, based his tale of New York City subway vendor corruption on his own father's experiences. The filmmaker has given us a well-composed script, deftly flowing through intertwining relations of families, friends, enemies, and politicians. He sustains a hopelessly dim design throughout the film, even having the mind to steal wonderfully from a few Godfather scenes (he claims by accident), and lifting Gordon Willis' outstanding cinematography with his DP, Harris Savides (on purpose). Gray's direction gives us an overriding sense of doom that retains suspense far beyond that of a second-time filmmaker (his first being 1994's grim Little Odessa). But all that is nothing without Mark Wahlberg.

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Quills Review


Good

Director Philip Kaufman establishes the nebulously erotic atmosphere of "Quills," a fictional film about the Marquis de Sade, with an opening scene in which a pretty aristocrat, shown on screen in some kind of ecstasy, is described by Sade (in a voice-over) as a woman with a sexual appetite for torture.

His voice slithers as he relates how she one day "found herself in the arms of a man whose skill in pain exceeded even her own" as the camera focuses on two giant, dirty hands coarsely roaming her neck and shoulders while she shivers in fear. The camera pulls back to reveal that the woman is standing before the gallows, about to become the eighth or ninth severed head to roll into a basket below as a crowd of rowdy peasants cheers on. (This is 18th Century France, after all.)

The Marquis' narration drips (like blood from the blade of the gallows) with a kind of odious sensuality and pricks at the viewer's darker side with a twisted sense of humor that carries throughout this engrossing, seductive, and at times unsavory film.

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Buffalo Soldiers Review


Weak

A dark comedy about "soldiers with nothing to kill except time" -- convicted felons, junkies and high school dropouts serving in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall -- "Buffalo Soldiers" has designs on being a incisive satire somewhere between "M*A*S*H," "Catch-22" and "Dr. Strangelove."

But in its cheeky skewering of the U.S. military (which saw the movie much delayed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks and subsequent hawkish patriotism) its provocative ambitions are dragged down by characters as cartoonish as those in lowbrow in-the-army-now laffers like "Stripes" or "Private Benjamin."

Our anti-hero is a battalion clerk named Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) who is serving his country to avoid serving time. Being of a criminal mind, he's found his access to base goods and equipment a lucrative source of extra income on the East-West black market and he's got his fingers in everything from Mop 'n' Glo to guns and drugs to the base commander's bitter, frustrated wife (Elizabeth McGovern).

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The Yards Review


OK

Stylistically, "The Yards" is a vivid throwback to gritty urban dramas of the 1970s -- a character-driven morality tale, dank and moody, and photographed in dusky, cloudy, rusty hues.

Dramatically, however, its understated manner -- full of subtle unspoken expression and conflicted ethics and loyalties -- is never quite as gripping as was clearly intended.

A behind-the-scenes story of perilous corruption amongst New York City subway contractors, the picture stars the increasingly impressive Mark Wahlberg as Leo, a frayed recent parolee trying to put his life back together after taking the fall for an unnamed crime committed by a group of friends.

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The Village Review


OK

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is well aware that many fans now go into his spine-tingling thrillers hoping to out-smart him, dissecting every scene for advance clues to his celebrated plot twists. In "The Village," he plays into this expectation, leaving trace insinuations everywhere, most of which provide the film with curious touches of character while leading viewers with over-active imaginations in completely the wrong direction.

One actor in this latest unnerving endeavor is most blessed by this technique (although not necessarily a source of false leads herself). The delicate, expressively supple Bryce Dallas Howard (the offspring of director Ron Howard) makes a mesmerizing debut as young woman with a secret, supernatural gift for seeing people's auras -- but little else.

She plays freckled, crimson-haired Ivy, the plucky, spirited, near-blind, daughter of the head elder (William Hurt) in a 19th-century community strangely and willfully content in the isolation forced upon its tiny populace by petrifying mythical creatures that haunt the surrounding woods.

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Gladiator Review


OK

On the inevitable comparison scale of Roman epics, where "Spartacus" and "Ben-Hur" (both 1926 and 1959) are 10s and that debacle of a "Cleopatra" miniseries from last year is a zero, "Gladiator" is about a five. But it's a spectacularly handsome, relatively complex, and confidently directed five.

A stylish $100 million crowd-pleaser, it recreates the civilization of 180 A.D. in engrossing detail, from the huge, well-appointed sets to the CGI-rendered aerial shots of ancient Rome and the Colosseum -- which plays a pivotal role in the story.

But in addition to an assiduous production designer with carte blanche, every Roman epic needs an imposing, broad-shouldered hero. Therefore, enter Russell Crowe as a betrayed imperial general, sold into slavery as a gladiator, who fights his way back to Rome to avenge himself upon the devious new emperor that double-crossed him and murdered his family.

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Ladder 49 Review


OK

The third line of dialogue in "Ladder 49" is the all too familiar refrain "I'm gettin' too old for this s***!" -- an indicator that freshness and originality weren't the highest priority for this firefighter drama built around a post-9/11 brand of sacrificial All-American heroism.

But the formidable opening image of a towering warehouse embraced in the beautiful, horrible tentacles of a furious fire goes a long way toward gluing you to your seat anyway -- especially once fireman Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) is trapped inside by a floor collapse only seconds after saving a civilian's life.

As the injured Jack awaits what may be an impossible rescue, the film revisits in flashbacks his 10 years as a firefighter, husband and father, beginning with his practical-joke-filled first days at his Baltimore firehouse and at his first fire, where for the sake of character arc and moviegoer accessibility he's made to seem a little too inexperienced to be credible.

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Brother Bear Review


Weak

Perhaps a better title would have been "Oh Brother! Bear."

Disney's latest assembly-line cartoon about an orphan hero learning generic life-affirming lessons to the bland light-rock melodies of Phil Collins, "Brother Bear" is so overloaded with musical montage sequences of Northwestern nature and lip-service touches of ancient Native American culture that there's hardly room left for character development.

Joaquin Phoenix provides the voice of Kenai, a sullen Indian teenager who is hell-bent on tracking and killing a bear he blames for his guardian big brother's death -- until he's transformed into a bear himself by the spirits, hell-bent on teaching him to grow up and not go off half-cocked.

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Signs Review


Good

Imaginative writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has a distinctive talent for finding surprising new approaches to familiar film genres that once seemed sucked dry of the capacity for surprise.

His breakout film, "The Sixth Sense," was a positively chilling ghost story from the perspective of a ghost who doesn't know he's dead. Next came "Unbreakable," a cerebral superhero movie that put the audience in the shoes of a man who is just beginning to realize his psychic powers -- and who is re-examining his life as a result.

Shyamalan's latest is "Signs," an alien invasion movie that is the anti-"Independence Day." Like "Unbreakable," it strips away all the flash, gloss and action associated with its genre and depicts what may well be an attack on Earth from the perspective most of us would really have -- scared stiff inside a house with boarded-up windows, glued to the television for updates and listening to noises just outside that make both your heart and your mind race.

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Joaquin Phoenix

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Joaquin Phoenix

Date of birth

28th October, 1974

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male


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Joaquin Phoenix Movies

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