Tag Archives: Frances McDormand

Three Billboards: Pain and Redemption

I had the opportunity to see this film at an early stage; it had been screened only at the film festivals in Venice and Toronto. I enjoyed it very much, but felt a little conflicted afterwards, something that stayed with me over the night and was reflected in a too-hasty original review for this site. … Continue reading Three Billboards: Pain and Redemption

Wonder Boys

UNDEPENDABLE. UNPREDICTABLE. UNFORGETTABLE. Pittsburgh university professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) teaches creative writing while desperately trying to finish the follow-up novel to the book that made him famous; one of his students (Tobey Maguire) is peculiar and brilliant… Curtis Hanson followed the success of L.A. Confidential (1997) with this dramedy set in a wet and … Continue reading Wonder Boys

Primal Fear

SOONER OR LATER A MAN WHO WEARS TWO FACES FORGETS WHICH ONE IS REAL. Chicago attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere) happily takes on a high-profile case where a confused former altar boy, Aaron (Edward Norton), stands accused of having murdered the Archbishop. It’s not often an actor making his screen debut gets to shine as … Continue reading Primal Fear

Raising Arizona

A COMEDY BEYOND BELIEF. After getting hitched, a former career criminal and a police officer (Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter) learn they can’t have kids… and decide to kidnap one of a furniture magnate’s five babies, the ”Arizona Quints”. The director, writers, cinematographer and composer behind Blood Simple. (1984) returned for a comedy that borrows from … Continue reading Raising Arizona

Hail, Caesar!

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ABDUCTION. In 1951, Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) juggles a busy life, including trying to find out where the studio’s biggest star (George Clooney) has disappeared… The Coen brothers on familiar turf, with yet another kidnapping and a comedy set half a century ago. The biggest appeal here is how lovingly the … Continue reading Hail, Caesar!

My Emmy Predictions 2015

In the clip above, the always entertaining (and gifted) Margo Martindale is interviewed on the Creative Emmys red carpet by a GoldDerby reporter. Later that evening, September 12th, she won an Outstanding Guest Actress award for her work on The Americans; it was her fourth Emmy nomination and second win (after Justified in 2011). That night, Reg E. … Continue reading My Emmy Predictions 2015

Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop

1964. WHEN AMERICA WAS AT WAR WITH ITSELF. There are many heinous cases that must have compelled federal authorities to finally back comprehensive civil-rights legislation that specifically targeted the South. One of the worst is the disappearance of three civil-rights workers, two white and one black, in Mississippi in 1964 who were later found murdered. … Continue reading Mississippi Burning: Death by Cop

Winners of the 2015 Golden Globes

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are returning this Sunday for their third hosting stint at the Golden Globe awards. Thank God for that; recently, this show has been more reliable than the Oscars. In the promo above, the hosts promise not to keep it fresh their third time ’round. Sounds very reasonable in this case. … Continue reading Winners of the 2015 Golden Globes

Olive Kitteridge: Til Death Do Us Part

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SIMPLE LIFE. [youtube=http://youtu.be/ZTHtPIilE6c&w=540&h=320]   Six years ago, Frances McDormand read “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout. This was at a time when the actress had watched The Wire (2002-2008) and realized how a sprawling story could be told in a television format. In McDormand’s mind, “Olive Kitteridge” could not be … Continue reading Olive Kitteridge: Til Death Do Us Part

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Wig out. In a desperate attempt to get back to New York City, runaway zoo lion Alex and his friends leave Africa… and end up joining the circus. Not many franchises keep getting better with each new outing, but this one does. Number three would merit a higher rating were it not for the simple … Continue reading Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Moonrise Kingdom

In 1965, an orphaned boy scout and his new-found girlfriend (Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward) run away from home, which prompts a search. This will no doubt satisfy die-hard fans of Wes Anderson who has made another dollhouse of a movie, one that offers meticulously designed scenes that mirror Anderson’s sepia-toned artistic vision and fondness for … Continue reading Moonrise Kingdom

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

When Optimus Prime’s old mentor is pulled out of a wreck on the moon and brought back to life, the Decepticons unexpectedly find another chance to strike at mankind. The third chapter in this series boasts the finest 3D effects since Avatar (2009)… but little else. Michael Bay once agreed that he had made mistakes with the second … Continue reading Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Fargo: A Game Changer for the Coens

A HOMESPUN MURDER STORY. [youtube=http://youtu.be/rpdOXSEkvO8&w=540&h=320]   It’s been said that William H. Macy fought hard for this film. Ethan and Joel Coen were not sure that he was the right guy to play Jerry Lundegaard, a loser who plans to have his wife kidnapped. But Macy knew better. As soon as he had read the … Continue reading Fargo: A Game Changer for the Coens