Treat Williams, William Forsythe, James Woods and Robert De Niro - 52nd New York Film Festival - 'Once Upon a Time in America' Extended Director's Cut Collector's Edition - Premiere - Manhattan, New York, United States - Saturday 27th September 2014
Based on a true story, this Brazilian drama has a lush authenticity as it tells a story that has strong historical relevance even as it sometimes slips into heightened melodrama. Filmmaker Bruno Barreto recreates the events with sensitivity, bringing the real people to life in complex, emotional ways. So while it's sometimes a bit tormented, it's also fascinating.
In 1951, American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) leaves her boyfriend (Treat Williams) in New York to travel to Rio de Janeiro to visit her old university friend Mary (Tracy Middendorf) and her new girlfriend, the noted architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Gloria Pires). They live in idyllic splendour in Lota's country estate, where the painfully shy Elizabeth is pried out of her shell by an overt display of affection from Lota. When Mary gets jealous, Lota agrees to adopt a baby, as long as she can keep Elizabeth as well. So they create a rather tense family together, which is strained badly by emotions as the years go by. But they find common ground when they get involved in the election campaign of their politician friend Carlos Lacerda (Marcello Airoldi).
This three-way relationship is clearly never going to last, but these women give it a go. Lota's complete rejection of society's rules is intriguing as it leads to some of her more iconic design work, but her Latina temperament also gets the best of her as she can't bear to let Elizabeth out of her sight. Intriguingly, the script reflects but never exaggerates repressed 1950s and 60s attitudes, layering in all kinds of dark meaning between every line of dialogue. Which makes every scene feel rather gloomy.
Continue reading: Reaching for the Moon Review
The puppeteer who gave life to beloved children's puppets on 'Captain Kangaroo' show has died.
Cosmo Allegretti, the talented puppeteer behind Captain Kangaroo's friends on the CBS show of the same name, has passed away aged 68 after falling ill with emphysema. His attorney and friend John Munzel confirmed that Allegretti had suffered with the respiratory disease and had died on 26th July, in a statement on Wednesday (7th August).
Watch A Clip Of Cosmo Allegretti's Puppetry On Captain Kangaroo:
The Associated Press reports that the puppet and voice actor died in Arizona where he had a New River home in addition to a Hampton Bays residence in New York. He was briefly married during the 1950s to Carol Lawrence, a Broadway actress who would go on to appear on TV series such as Saved by the Bell and Sex and the City.
Continue reading: Cosmo Allegretti: The Man Behind 'Captain Kangaroo' Puppets Dies Aged 86
With a focus on messy family relationships, this thriller's deranged comical touches almost make up for its contrived plot and annoyingly thin characters. Director Ruzowitzky (an Oscar winner for The Counterfeiters) makes the most of the snowy landscapes and an eclectic cast, but the jarring combination of grisly violence, black humour, romance and drama never quite comes together.
In a northern Michigan blizzard, Addison (Bana) is on the run with his sister Liza (Wilde) after a casino heist. When their car crashes in the snow, they decide to head for the Canadian border separately. Liza is picked up off the road by Jay (Hunnam), a hunky ex-con boxer who's stopping to see his parents his parents (Spacek and Kristofferson) while running from the cops himself. Addison encounters a variety of local characters himself as he tries to catch up with Liza. And the local sheriff (Williams) relentlessly picks on deputy Hanna (Mara), his daughter, as they track the fugitives through the snow.
Every relationship in this film is deeply dysfunctional, and the actors have a great time playing with the soapy wrinkles. Bana and Wilde play up the creepy innuendo between the siblings, while the contrived romance between Wilde and Hunnam is like the set-up for a porn movie. Meanwhile, Mara's ambitious cop is so belittled by her awful dad and his equally sexist deputies that we don't really mind it when they start dying one by one in their encounters with Addison. And holding everything together is the wonderfully level-headed Spacek, who carries on cooking dinner while her husband goes out to shoot a deer, then cheerfully serves pie even with a shotgun levelled at her head.
Continue reading: Deadfall Review
Published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl launched the Beat Generation with its mix of soulful yearning and rage at injustice. When the publisher (Rogers) faces charges that the poem is obscene, Ginsberg (Franco) refuses to attend the trial in San Francisco. And after hearing the lawyers (Strathairn and Hamm) and witnesses (Parker, Daniels, Nivola and Williams), the judge (Balaban) rules in favour of both artistic expression and freedom of the press.
Continue reading: Howl Review
Marley (Hudson) is a high-flying New Orleans advertising exec who doesn't believe that romance is necessary. Although she does have loyal friends: ditsy colleague Sarah (Punch), happy family woman Renee (DeWitt) and cheerful neighbour Peter (Malco). On the other hand, she tries to avoid to her estranged, warring parents (Bates and Williams). Then during a medical test, she has a vision of God (Goldberg), who grants her three wishes before she dies of cancer. But she certainly isn't seeking the love that grows between her and Julian (Garcia Bernal), her doctor.
Continue reading: A Little Bit Of Heaven Review
In April 2003, adventure sportsman Aron Ralston (Franco) heads into Utah's Blue John Canyon for a day of hiking. He meets two girls (Mara and Tamblyn) along the way, and stops to show them a cool underwater lake. Then he heads on his own into a narrow slit in the earth where a bolder falls and pins his right arm against the wall. Unable to move, he spends the next five days pondering for the first time his own humanity and mortality. And after trying everything imaginable, he only has one option left.
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The catch: Cassel's only doing it on a bet that he can turn any old jerk into the toast of the Cannes film festival.
Continue reading: Cannes Man Review
Continue reading: Once Upon a Time in America Review
Continue reading: Once Upon a Time in America Review