Tag Archives: Cate Blanchett

Elizabeth: The Golden Cage

DECLARED ILLEGITIMATE AGED 3. TRIED FOR TREASON AGED 21. CROWNED QUEEN AGED 25. The opening credits are thunderous and intimidating, suggesting that this is perhaps a horror movie. They are followed by a grisly sequence where people are burned at the stake. However, what appears is a film that is quite obviously and cleverly inspired … Continue reading Elizabeth: The Golden Cage

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

WOMAN. WARRIOR. QUEEN. In the 1590s, Queen Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett) is attracted to a dashing pirate, Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), but England is under threat from the Spanish King and his armada. Blanchett revived the part that made her career, but this is a lackluster sequel. The operatic grandeur of Elizabeth (1998) was almost too much, and … Continue reading Elizabeth: The Golden Age

The Shipping News

DIVE BENEATH THE SURFACE. Timid widower Quoyle (Kevin Spacey), his daughter and aunt (Judi Dench) move to a small Newfoundland community where he starts working as a reporter and gets to know a woman (Julianne Moore) who is nothing like his late, psychotic wife (Cate Blanchett). A Lasse Hallströmified version of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel; … Continue reading The Shipping News

The Talented Mr. Ripley

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO BECOME SOMEONE ELSE? Here’s director Anthony Minghella’s sophisticated, good-looking remake of the less complex but equally gorgeous classic Purple Noon (1960), featuring a fine performance by Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, the psychopath who makes friends with a wealthy young man (Jude Law) in Italy, then kills him and … Continue reading The Talented Mr. Ripley

Return of the King: At Journey’s End

THIS CHRISTMAS THE JOURNEY ENDS. So, we’re at journey’s end. Peter Jackson’s final chapter of his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was hailed at the 2004 Academy Awards and many chose to see the overwhelming praise as some kind of summary reward for the whole trilogy. So do I, because there’s nothing in this film … Continue reading Return of the King: At Journey’s End

The Two Towers: Pillars of Evil

A NEW POWER IS RISING. So here’s the middle child of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. A middle child is likely to feel like they never get any attention from the parents, but this one is equal to the others. It’s just as grand. It’s just as exciting. And it’s just as intelligent. … Continue reading The Two Towers: Pillars of Evil

Fellowship of the Ring: The Beginning

ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL. Once upon a time, there was a maker of films called Peter Jackson. This rotund, bearded man had made a few films that were internationally acclaimed. Sure, a few of them were simple splatter flicks, but he also won the approval of most critics with a drama called Heavenly Creatures (1994). … Continue reading Fellowship of the Ring: The Beginning

The Missing

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO, HOW MUCH WOULD YOU SACRIFICE TO GET BACK WHAT YOU HAVE LOST? New Mexico, 1885; Magdalena Gilkeson’s (Cate Blanchett) daughter is kidnapped by slave traders and she’s forced to work with her estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) who knows how to track them down. A surprisingly involving (and occasionally cruel) … Continue reading The Missing

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Fans of Jacques Cousteau are either going to be very amused or very insulted by Wes Anderson’s colorful but inconsequential film about a deep-sea explorer (Bill Murray) who mounts an expedition to find the mysterious jaguar shark that killed his best friend. Along for the ride is the explorer’s son (Owen Wilson); the absent father … Continue reading The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Pushing Tin

A COMEDY ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AIRPLANES AND OTHER BUMPY RIDES. Mysterious air-traffic controller Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton) gets a job at a New York airport; one of his colleagues, Nick Falzone (John Cusack), “accidentally” sleeps with his wife. The best part of this movie is its both humorous and sober portrayal of life in … Continue reading Pushing Tin

The Aviator: The Way of the Future

SOME MEN DREAM THE FUTURE. HE BUILT IT.  Any filmmaker who had just spent an obscene amount of time working on a huge production the size of Gangs of New York (2002) would be forgiven for taking a few years off after completing the film. Especially when that filmmaker happens to be in his 60s. … Continue reading The Aviator: The Way of the Future