Matt writes: Though the 2019 Sundance Film Festival wrapped this past Sunday, RogerEbert.com is still adding to its coverage of the various cinematic highlights, all of which can be found in our official Table of Contents. There you will find reviews and interviews penned by Brian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Tomris Laffly and Monica Castillo, as well as special dispatches from this year's trio of Ebert Fellows: Niani Scott, Whitney A. Spencer and Tiffany Walden.
An interview with Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss and Deborah Kolar, daughter of Robert Shaw, about Steven Spielberg's "Jaws."
I'm under the impression that people settle on an all-time favorite movie at a relatively early age. With time they become increasingly difficult to displace, no matter what cinematic greatness may follow. This is what best describes my experience with "Jaws" (1975). Eventually I may have acquired a greater admiration for "The Godfather" films but by then it was too late. My first viewing of "Jaws" felt perfect. I later learned it wasn't.
Sometimes an actor's face tells so much about his character that the movie doesn't have to waste its time describing the character's past to us. Roger Michell's "Venus" (2006) doesn't tell us in details how famous its hero was as an actor, but that's not a problem because he is played by Peter O'Toole, a living legend who gave us a bunch of memorable larger-than-life characters including Henry II of England, Eli Cross, the 14th Earl of Gurney, Alan Swann, and, above all, Lawrence of Arabia. When we look at him in the movie, we instantly remember how magnificent he was, and that aspect is naturally incorporated into his character.
Of late, I've been thinking about how I got here. Here, in love with movie watching and movie making. Here, in a design school in India, and not an engineering college or a medical school like predetermined for most Indian students. Here, in correspondence with a huge role model of mine. Here, doing what I love.
Richard Roundtree turned up at the crack of dawn the other morning to be on a Chicago TV show, and right away he knew he was in trouble. First, they wouldn't let him smoke. Second, they had his name on the screen and it read: Richard (Shaft) Roundtree. That was when he knew he needed a cigarette.
"I'm really a director now," Maximilian Schell was saying. "That's how I've thought of myself for the last few years. It's just that once in a long while a role comes along that I simply can't turn down. This was a role like that - how could I say no to it?"
It's said that Winston Churchill himself asked Carl Foreman to make a movie out of Churchill's "My Early Life." The great man made his request after seeing Foreman's "The Guns of Navarone." Now it may seem strange that the foremost statesman of his time would want his autobiography produced by a man who had just made a straightforward action picture. But then again, maybe not. We live in a time when people tend to do more or less the same thing all of their lives. Churchill did not. He had several careers before he settled into his final role as the World's Greatest Statesman. He spent quite a bit of his life, in fact, being an Eminent Failure. More than once, he committed what looked like political suicide. And his early life was filled with more action than thought. "You are my greatest disappointment," Lord Randolph Churchill rumbles at his son, somewhere around the middle of Foreman's "Young Winston." "I cannot imagine what will become of you." The audience is supposed to dig each other in the ribs at this moment, I suppose; our knowledge of how Churchill really turned out is what gives his early story such a nice irony. But Foreman, who wrote and produced, and his director, Richard Attenborough, don't work the irony too hard. "Young Winston," opening Wednesday at the U.A. Cinema One in Oakbrook, has been conceived as part history, part autobiography and two parts swashbuckling adventure.