Lydia Dean Pilcher

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Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party Presented By Perrier-Jouet, MAC Cosmetics & MaxMara

Kelly Bensimon - Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party Presented By Perrier-Jouet, MAC Cosmetics & MaxMara At Fig & Olive Melrose Place - West Hollywood, California, United States - Saturday 1st March 2014

John Demsey and Kelly Bensimon
John Demsey and Kelly Bensimon

Cutie And The Boxer Review


Noticed by Oscar voters, this offbeat documentary explores the life of two colourful artists who have an unusual marriage. And while revealing their creative processes and the interaction between them, the film finds some potent things to say about the nature of relationships and especially about what holds opposites together.

Ushio Shinohara is a globally recognised artist best known for his boxing-glove paintings, created in one flurry of action across a vast canvas. At 80 he still has a mischievous glint in his eye, and is fairly oblivious about everyone around him, including his long-suffering wife Noriko. But she's now emerging as an artist herself with a series of cartoons depicting the life of her alter-ego Cutie, who like her arrived in America at 19 and met a 41-year-old boxing painter. Also like Noriko, Cutie immediately got pregnant and had to give up her art to take care of the family, manage the studio and keep her husband from falling apart.

Director Heinzerling gives the film a reality-TV tone by following this odd couple around as they prepare for their first joint gallery show. And along the way, we get some startlingly intimate details about their life together, augmented by Noriko's striking paintings, which are cleverly animated on-screen. Heinzerling also unearths some wonderfully telling archival footage, including TV interviews and home movies. And it's assembled together with a scruffy sense of energy that echoes Ushio and Noriko's own life.

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Review


A terrific story is compromised by the demands of commercial filmmaking, adding action-thriller scenes to what should be an introspective drama while distractingly beefing up side-roles for American stars. But at the centre is another superb performance from Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), who again takes a complex, challenging approach to the subject of terrorism.

The narrative is fragmented into flashbacks as Changez (Ahmed) tells his story to an American journalist (Schreiber) in Pakistan while a tense hostage situation swirls all around them. Years earlier, Changez was a high-flying Pakistani student, graduating from Princeton and landing a prestigious job on Wall Street when an executive (Sutherland) recognises his talent. He also has a sexy artist girlfriend (Hudson). But all of this is shaken after the 9/11 attacks, when he is harassed by police and immigration officials. Fundamentally changed, he returns to Lahore to become a lecturer in violent uprisings. But this makes the CIA think that he's become a terrorist himself. Perhaps he has.

The various strands of the story are intriguing, and the actors are all watchable as they add layers to Changez's overall story. But the jumbled structure of the film reduces the narrative to a series of seemingly unrelated scenes. Hudson and Sutherland are solid but add little beyond their characters' stereotypical American reactions to Changez's decisions. The always superb Schreiber is better used as a more shady figure. But other characters vanish just when they get interesting, such as Changez's parents, played by acting legends Puri and Azmi.

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Video - Kate Hudson, Matthew Bellamy And Riz Ahmed Arrive At 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' Premiere At Tribeca

Stars of 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' including Kate Hudson with her Muse frontman boyfriend Matthew Bellamy, Riz Ahmed and Kiefer Sutherland arrive at the film's premiere at New York's 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Director Mira Nair and producer Lydia Dean Pilcher are also snapped on the red carpet as well as Mohammed Al Turki who is the executive producer of 'Adult World' which was also screened at the festival.

Continue: Video - Kate Hudson, Matthew Bellamy And Riz Ahmed Arrive At 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' Premiere At Tribeca

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Premiere

Lydia Dean Pilcher and Mira Nair - TFF Presents NY Premiere of The Reluctant Fundamentalist at BMCC NYC - NY, NY, United States - Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Producer and Lydia Dean Pilcher

Amelia Review

This terrific true story has been so overproduced that there's virtually no life left in it. Even though every frame looks exquisite, not one scene rings true because the filmmakers leave all humour and passion off the screen.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart (Swank) bursts onto the dawning aviation scene as a confident pilot giving men a run for their money. Quickly snapped up by promoter George Putman (Gere), her aerial achievements instantly grab media attention. Reluctantly agreeing to marry George if she can keep her independence, she works rather too closely with the government's first aviation chief Gene Vidal (McGregor). And then in 1937 she sets off to fly around the world with navigator Fred Noonan (Eccleston).

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The Darjeeling Limited Review

It was a boarding school in Rushmore, a gorgeous city home in The Royal Tenenbaums, and a grand oceanic vessel in The Life Aquatic; Wes Anderson has a jones for condensed spaces. In The Darjeeling Limited, it's a luxurious locomotive rolling through the sublime terrain of Darjeeling, India. Stowed away amongst the German tourists and the toppling luggage are the Whitman Brothers (Jack, Francis, and Peter), a gang of American buffoons trying to find enlightenment, salvation, and relief amidst the sand dunes.

The eldest Whitman brother, Francis (Owen Wilson), found time for an epiphany as he lay on the ground after a motorcycle accident, leaving to wonder why his younger brothers weren't with him. His remedy consists of a brotherly train trip accompanied by a surprise visit to their estranged mother's parish. Don't worry: There's a laminated itinerary if you get confused. The youngest, Jack (Anderson staple Jason Schwartzman), comes aboard to shed the skin of his ex-girlfriend while Peter (Anderson newbie Adrien Brody), the middle brother, has begun feeling desperation over his impending fatherhood. Moreover, they are digging and scratching at every surface to hide the grief over their father's passing; the event that caused their initial scattering.

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The Namesake Review

Mira Nair's latest film, a translation of Jhumpa Lahiri's emphatically praised book The Namesake, caps off a theme that has been heavy in her work thus far: assimilation and cultural duty. Though she's been making films since the mid-'80s, Nair didn't attain commercial attention until 2002 with Monsoon Wedding, an exuberant comedy about a New Delhi wedding between a woman who just ended an affair with a married producer and a native of India prospering in Texas. The modest hit gave her enough clout to secure her a director's chair on the last adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, an England-based novel given an Indian flair on the big screen.

Monsoon Wedding turned the slow grinding of cross-culture gears into a comfy piece of visual pop. It confronted the situation but seemed complacent enough to leave the confrontation in simple, digestible terms; a stylized My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In contrast, Vanity Fair, originally a satire of England's manners and traditions, was taken deep into the mystic, hitting its most absurd note when Reese Witherspoon seductively belly danced with a tribe of women from India. Though it was easy to see where these moments were pointing, The Namesake gives Nair a broad canvas and a more concise frame to study the American identity and its effects on other cultures without any affectation or pretense.

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Vanity Fair Review

Mira Nair has groomed her sumptuous adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair for Oscar contention, and the period epic easily could compete in a number of technical categories. Pencil the handsome film down for costume design, art direction, and makeup nominations. Declan Quinn's cinematography certainly deserves a nod, too. It's a little early to tell how all the races will shake out, but leading lady Reese Witherspoon could even surprise a few people by seeing her name on a short list of Best Actress nominees.

Too bad no one is going to pay to see the film. Most mainstream filmgoers would opt for root canal over having to sit through a 19th century social commentary piece. Take Ang Lee's Sense And Sensibility as an example. It earned seven Oscar nominations back in 1995, but only grossed $42 million in the States.

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Lydia Dean Pilcher

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