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While We're Young

While We’re Young searches for the blurry line we all cross once we’ve entered middle age, finds it and tramples all over it, but it…

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White God

Imagine an "R" rated "Lassie" by way of "Spartacus." That's Kornél Mundruczó's "White God," a brutal but stirring fantasy about street dogs rising up against…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Who will take home Oscar?

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Last year was the Year of the Hobbit at the Academy Awards. This year the academy will move away from the land of blockbusters and honor a film whose budget was less than the cost of the opening week's ads for just one-third of the "Rings" trilogy. Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby," which seemed to appear out of nowhere in mid-December, which had no pre-release publicity, which played no festivals and was screened for no focus groups, will win the Oscar as best picture.

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Oscar by the odds

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Nobody can predict with absolute certainty how the majority of the 5,800 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are going to vote in any given category. The best anybody can do is to go with a gut feeling and study the historical odds.

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Sundance #9: The Winners

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PARK CITY, Utah--Ira Sachs' "Forty Shades of Blue," the story of a marriage that does not work and never could have, won the Grand Jury Prize here Saturday night, as best feature film at Sundance 2005. Eugene Jarecki's "Why We Fight," a film about an America moving toward a state of continuous war, was named best documentary. Jarecki's brother Andrew won the same category in 2003 with "Capturing The Friedmans."

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Sundance #8: 'Forty Shades of Blue'

May Contain Spoilers

PARK CITY, Utah--I saw 27 films at Sundance this year, but of course I missed all the screenings of Ira Sachs' "Forty Shades of Blue," which won the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic feature. I had a chance to catch up, though; the festival showed it again Saturday night after the awards were (finally) over, and I found myself impressed, but more by the performances than by the story or direction. Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" remains, for me, the best film of the festival.

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Sundance #7: A bus to the best

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It happened like this. I was sitting in a movie that wasn't working for me. I walked out of the screening, thinking to take the shuttle bus to Prospector Square. But the next bus was going to the Yarrow, and so, what the hell, I went to the Yarrow.

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Ebert's Sundance 2005 photo album

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I have been shooting photos at film festivals for about eight years. It's not part of my job description, but I love taking pictures of some of the most famous faces in the world, and regarding their character, beauty and mystery. If the editors include my closeups of Robin Wright Penn and Glenn Close, for example, consider the sculpting in those miraculous faces.

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Sundance #6: The talent among us

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PARK CITY, Utah -- There's a man named Andrew Wagner who lives in the same condo where I'm staying at Sundance. At least, I think he does, although he seems to spend a great deal of his time hanging around outside the door. Three times I have encountered him there, and heard his pitch for "The Talent Given Us," the movie he has directed in this year's Sundance festival.

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Sundance #5: Talkin' bout revolution

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PARK CITY, Utah -- Rosario Dawson should be on those Sunday morning political talk shows, as a guest or a host, either way. She is so intelligent and fiercely opinionated that I forgot, for a moment, I was talking with a movie actress, and got into my Problems of the World mode.

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'Aviator' leads Oscar nominations

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"The Aviator" leads with 11 nominations. Jamie Foxx was nominated in two categories. A little film named "Sideways" won five nominations, but one of them was not for its star, Paul Giamatti. "Finding Neverland" was the dark horse, in a tie with "Million Dollar Baby" with seven nominations apiece.

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