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Golden Piffle

“Never go full retard.” – Kirk Lazarus (aka Robert Downey Jr), Tropic Thunder

 

Writer/director David O. Russell used to go “full retard.” This is to say that in search of making meaningful art, he was willing to offend folks (which is why there is a cultural slur in the statement above). Russell’s latest, Silver Linings Playbook, chooses to adhere to that mantra, spoken by fictional actor Kirk Lazarus when he...


Les Swing and Les Miss

Two minutes in: You can do this, Ryan. Sure, a three-hour film version of a Broadway musical is a dry way to waterboard you, but people say Les Misérables is the best adaptation yet. Maybe this is the one that finally changes your mind.

Five minutes in: No. No, It isn’t. This is hell. This is my personal hell.

Twenty minutes in: If anyone finds this message, please get word to director Tom Hooper that there’s...


Cutting Room for January 4

  • Sorry to start out your year with tears, but this is too good not to share. Although the Internet is most often used to rip into the flimsy psyche of others or to explore “what’s new in porn these days,” sometimes it does good things. A week or so after a story about a man named Dan who is a huge Star Trek fan and who has terminal cancer was posted all over the web, director JJ Abrams got word of it. Despite...


Cotillard’s Coattails

Given that France is America’s go-to national punching bag for milquetoast xenophobic jokes, it is a testimony to her towering talent that Marion Cotillard is an Oscar-winning box office draw. Even reducing her physical presence by a third in her latest, Rust and Bone, does nothing to stunt her on-screen magnetism, or what the French call “Le, daaaamn!”

Writer/director Jacques Audiard and screenwriter Thomas...


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