CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
Including films that achieve the correct button-mashing combo to earn fancy kudos and are positively lauded, there are only a select few from the whole bunch that have the significance of “definitive.”
CHICAGO – Why are those three Oscar winners – Susan Sarandon, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton – laughing on that fourth poster below? Because they managed to cash a paycheck on the way to participating in one of the Worst Films of 2013.
I’ve avoided saying it outright for a few years as it seems like an overwritten headline but one thing is too clear to ignore when looking back at this past year in television — we are currently in the most creatively vital time in the history of the form.
CHICAGO – The year caught up with me. 2013 was characterized by a soft start and a strong finish, but overall there were impressive contenders throughout the year and some fine examples of great storytelling and filmmaking. Risks were taken, some truth emerged and even in more “mainstream” films, there were flashes of promise.
It was too good a year for ten. The best year in cinema since 2007 saw such a diverse, fascinating array of art that included amazing works from some of our most well-known directors (Joel & Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, Hayao Miyazaki) alongside its newer voices (Shane Carruth, Destin Cretton, Joshua Oppenheimer, James Ponsoldt).
A fictional folk singer who feels real, a real moneymaker who feels fictional, a young woman dealing with her own wounds by helping to heal those of others, and a student discovering her sexuality through the first passionate relationship of her life — 2013 was one of the best years for lead performances in decades.
A divorced father looking for new love, a woman dealing with a relationship that turned from romance to routine years ago, a charismatic drug dealer who spies something new in his web, half of the most fascinating cinematic relationship of the year, and a slave & her brutal owner — 2013 featured numerous memorable performances but these are just a few of the ones that will stand the test of time.
CHICAGO – Tomorrow, November 22nd, 2013, is the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Beyond the numerous TV programs and tributes expected for the memory, which films have lent the best perspective over the years regarding that Day in Dallas? The following offers five films for consideration.
CHICAGO – The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, leading to the natural hand-wringing and chest-beating over who missed the cut. Before we get to the most egregious snubs of the year, a few places where the Academy unexpectedly, happily got it right:
CHICAGO – With Emmy ballots due this Friday and the natural human tendency to procrastinate, I’m betting a lot of you Academy members are still sweating some tough decisions this year. Let me help.