American film audiences aren't exposed to as many foreign films as they perhaps should be, but if they do come across an Italian import in recent years, there's a good chance that it was made by Paolo Sorrentino. The highly-lauded writer/director is responsible for the gems "Il Divo" and "The Great Beauty," and is also the creator of the HBO series "The Young Pope." His last American-language film, "Youth," was one of the best films of that year.
His most recent film, "The Hand of God," (now available to stream on Netflix) may not be his best or most effective film, but it is definitely his most personal. It's an autobiographical tale about a young boy and his colorful upbringing in 1980s Tuscany, Italy, that leads him to a life of film...a fate that he may never have had a chance to escape from.
Following up his 2017 Best Picture winner "The Shape of Water," director Guillermo del Toro adapts "Nightmare Alley," a 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham. It's a seemingly natural fit for the director who loves to deconstruct the concept of what makes someone (or something) a "monster," so it's no surprise really that this would be a premise that is right up his...alley.
It may include the greatest ensemble cast of A-Listers and talent that you'll ever see: Meryl Streep. Jennifer Lawrence. Leonardo DiCaprio. Jonah Hill. Timothée Chalamet. Mark Rylance. Ariana Grande. Ron Perlman. Rob Morgan. Cate Blanchett. Tyler Perry. Melanie Lynskey. Himesh Patel. And even Kid Cudi.
It's very easy to get hypnotized by their brilliance, and swept in on the sheer star-power of those sharing the screen together. "Don't Look Up" is a brash and super-funny political satire from the mind of Adam McKay, director of "Vice" and "The Big Short" in recent years, not to mention his iconic films with his old business partner Will Ferrell, like the two "Anchorman" movies, "Step Brothers," "Talladega Nights" and "The Other Guys."
But for all it gets right, it's also a bit of a mess, with way too much jammed into its over-long run time (2 hours and 18 minutes). Still, it's maybe the best comedy of the year, and could yield a few acting nominations as well this awards season, especially for Leonardo DiCaprio, who is given a big "Network"-level monologue at one point that could land him an Oscar on the strength of that one scene alone.
Sandra Bullock flexes her dramatic muscles in the deeply troubling and mostly forgettable drama, "The Unforgivable."
At first glance, Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem would not have been my first choices to play the iconic TV couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. However they will win you over with their loving, spirited portrayals in "Being the Ricardos," a captivating and funny glimpse into the lives of this mega-famous pair.
It's more than a challenging task to remake a movie that is already known to be a classic, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Steven Spielberg.
The iconic musical "West Side Story" was the highest-grossing film of 1961, earning 12 Oscar nominations (winning 11 of them including Best Picture), and set a new standard for what the movie musical could be.
The good news is that any fans of the original will most likely love what Spielberg has done, creating a splendid cinematic doppleganger while maintaining much of the 1961 film's charm, not to mention its rough - or what could be considered to be "outdated" - edges.
It doesn't quite justify an answer to the overriding question some might have though: Why? Why remake "West Side Story"?
The Detroit Film Critics Society unveiled their 2021 Nominations across 13 categories this morning. The AppleTV+ film "CODA" led all films with 5 total nominations, with "King Richard" and "Don't Look Up" taking 4 a piece. All three films were nominated for Best Picture.
The Winners in all categories were announced on Monday, Dec 6th. Please visit www.detroitfilmcritics.com for more information and to support this year's batch of Detroit-centric film critics.
Read on for this year's full list of nominations, with WINNERS in bold.
Joaquin Phoenix couldn't have chosen a performance more distant than his last to follow-up his Oscar-winning turn as the star of "Joker." In "C'mon C'mon" he listens, reacts and ultimately shows a more vulnerable side...where Joker demanded your eyes in every scene, his portrayal here is inverted. It's newcomer Woody Norman that steals the show, and Phoenix, melting away, is his perfect, giving screen-partner.
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