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Film Festivals

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ Yes, says Telluride

Melissa McCarthy is earning the best reviews of her career for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which just premiered at Telluride, certainly since her Oscar-nominated performance in Bridesmaids.  Veteran British actor Richard E. Grant is also earning stellar praise and could be on his way to his first Oscar nomination. Director Marielle Heller and writer Nicole Holofcener join McCarthy and …

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‘Boy Erased’ means well but falters at Telluride

Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased made its world premiere at Telluride but without its star, Lucas Hedges, in tow. He was busy with a play in New York that he couldn’t get out of (rehearsals for The Waverly Gallery; word is it will also keep him from Toronto next week) but Edgerton (who is also in the film playing a pastor) …

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Looking at the LGBTQ films at TIFF 2018

TIFF is raising the bar of what makes an LGBTQ film The LGBTQ selections at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival spread over continents, genders, nationalities and colors. They feature intense family dramas, personal coming out stories, historical biopics and dark comedy. One of the most misunderstoods letters of the LGBTQ acronym is the Q (queer). A ‘queer’ film doesn’t …

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Telluride: Nicole Kidman sizzles in noir potboiler ‘Destroyer’

One of the most anticipated films of the season, most especially because we had but a single still (above) and no trailer, Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer laid waste to Telluride, earning Nicole Kidman some of the best notices of her career. Likening her physical transformation to that of Academy Award winner Charlize Theron in Monster and being called “gritty” and “barrier-breaking.” …

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‘A Star Is Born’ hits a high note with critics at Venice

It looks like the buzz and hype were real: A Star Is Born is coming out of the gates with a full “HAAAAAAAA AH AH AH AHHHHH” and finding critics falling over themselves to praise the film, Bradley Cooper’s direction and the performance and starpower of the Lady Gaga.  The Playlist’s Jessica Kiang says:  It’s particularly good in its rousing, …

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2019 Oscars: The State of the Foreign Language Film Oscar Race – Part 2

Venice and Telluride have just begun. Toronto has announced its lineup and starts in less than a week.  That means another installment of AwardsWatch’s The State of the Foreign Language Oscar Race is due and I am joined again by AW foreign correspondent Mina Takla. As of right now we have 14 official submissions for Oscar consideration including Cannes and Berlin …

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‘The Favourite’ offers a royal romp for Venice

One the fall’s major Oscar hopefuls, and featuring a wealth of juicy actress performances, The Favourite is appeasing critics left and right.  Lauded performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz plus raves over the period detail, cinematography and costume design – on top of the rip-roaring screenplay, the film is already looking like well, a festival favourite.  It’s early …

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Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘ROMA’ takes Venice by storm

In his first film since the Oscar-winning space drama Gravity, Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón’s comes down to Earth for his most personal film yet, ROMA. Set in Mexico City and inspired by the women in his life, ROMA chronicles a year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City.  Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker Cleo …

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Hugh Jackman is Gary Hart in ‘The Front Runner’

A political scandal that changed the way we see and report American politics forever. Academy Award nominee Hugh Jackman stars as the charismatic politician Gary Hart for Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman in the The Front Runner. The film follows the rise and fall of Senator Hart, who captured the imagination of young voters and was considered the overwhelming front runner for the …

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