The Big Sick
Finds that laughter-through-tears sweet spot, often in the unlikeliest of places.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
Why Viggo Mortensen is off the grid; How Netflix became Hollywood's frenemy; Ted Kotcheff on "First Blood"; Insomnia and philosophy; Bruce Dern at 80.
The writers of RogerEbert.com on some of our favorite performances of 2015.
"Who is the National Board of Review, anyway?" is the question. The answer: one of the few major awards groups that's routinely capable of surprise.
An interview with director Kent Jones about his documentary "Hitchcock/Truffaut."
An analysis of Lawrence Michael Levine's "Wild Canaries" and its ties to classic rom-com capers.
An interview with Douglas Trumbull.
Ray Harryhausen's creature drawings; How hollywood killed death; Live-coverage of Hateful Eight reading; Masterful noir films; A short movie.
Richard Roeper reflects on his long friendship and professional association with Roger Ebert.
An exhaustive list of Top 10s by RogerEbert.com contributors.
The Oscars race has hit a holiday lull. It's a good time to pause and take stock of nominations.
Critics groups from around the country are giving awards. What impact do these awards have on the Oscar race, and how useful are they as predictors?
The National Board of Review selects "Her" as best picture; is Jennifer Lawrence the new Anne Hathaway?; Melissa Anderson considers Barbara Stanwyck; how to defend your high school musical; Afghanistan returns to the movies.
Erik Childress looks at the first awards of the season and their possible impact on the Oscar race.
How social media turn teens into "friends without benefits"; A.O. Scott suggests some reasons why the centuries-old "conversation about race" keeps surprising everyone and not really leading where it should; Bruce Dern gets the best part of his 77-year life.
Sheila writes: Todd Sanders is a self-taught neon sign artist. Roadhouse Relics, the gallery of his work in Austin, Texas, is filled with his beautiful vintage-inspired signs. His designs are all hand-drawn. He collects old magazines from the 1920s, 1930s, etc., to get inspiration for his neon signs. He does custom signs as well. You can check out Sanders' work, bio, and press kit at Roadhouse Relics. Neon brings up all kinds of automatic images and associations: seedy hotels, burlesque joints, cocktail bars. His signs evoke those images, but much more. For instance, look at his beautiful "Fireflies In a Mason Jar".
In the new book "Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses," Chris Nashawaty tells the story of the amazing life and career of Roger Corman through a collection of interviews, which Nashawaty has put together into a blow-by-blow collage account.
Now that the Cannes Film Festival is over, critics Ben Kenigsberg and Michał Oleszczyk take a look back over the festival.
Ben Kenigsberg recaps Cannes's post-awards press conferences and closing-night party.
Barbara Scharres reports on the winners at the Cannes Film Festival.
Bruce Dern and Will Forte reminisce about their father-son road trip in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska."
Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" brings black and white, to the competition, while "Omar" delivers moral shades of gray to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and "Michael Koolhaas" looks good in the long shots, but needs more emotional subtlety.
Barbara Scharres sets the stage the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Quentin Tarantino has found his actor in Christoph Waltz -- someone who can speak Tarantinian fluently and still make it his own. When Waltz uses a self-consciously ostentatious word like "ascertain" (as in, "I was simply trying to ascertain..." -- the kind of verbiage QT is as likely to put in the mouth of a lowlife crook as a German dentist, or a Francophile plantation slavemaster, for that matter), it sounds right. As someone to whom Tarantino's dialog often sounds cliche-ridden and cutesy, it's a pleasure to hear Waltz saying the words in character rather than simply as a mouthpiece for the writer-director.
Oh, stop. This isn't sounding the way I want it to.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO THE EBERT CLUB!
I've been enjoying reading Dave Kehr's book, When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade, a selection of pieces he wrote between 1974 and 1986. One of them, his choice for best film of 1976, is a review of Alfred Hitchcock's 53rd and final feature, "Family Plot," which I hadn't seen since the 1970s. Boy, did I enjoy the re-visit. The structure (screenplay by Ernest Lehman ["North by Northwest"], based on a 1972 novel, The Rainbird Pattern, by Victor Canning) concerns two couples: a "spiritualist" and her taxi-driver boyfriend (Barbara Harris and Bruce Dern), amateur sleuths trying to track down the lost heir of a rich client; and a pair of slick jewel thieves (Karen Black and William Devane, who sounds -- and sometimes looks -- so much like Jack Nicholson it's scary!). Their plots intersect at a point involving a case of... not mistaken identity, but concealed identity.
Kehr wrote: "There are things in 'Family Plot' that we haven't seen in an American film in a long time; things like care, precision, and detail. 'Family Plot' is probably the most beautifully crafted, thematically dense film that we're going to see this year."
Also, there are some fun Hitchcockian puns/jokes (DK has a lovely account of the spilled white "blood" that becomes a clue). Here are a few of them, just for the enjoyment of it: