Tag Archive: anne hathaway


Dir. Tom Hooper
(2012, PG-13, 157 minutes)

I had never seen any version of Les Miserables on stage or screen, though the stage musical, which opened on Broadway in 1987 and ran for 16 years, is so famous I have inevitably heard selections from its song score. Tom Hooper‘s film version is my first complete experience of the musical, so I come not only to evaluate the director’s approach, but to consider for the first time the material itself.

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Dir. Christopher Nolan
(2012, PG-13, 165 min)

Heath Ledger‘s Joker in The Dark Knight was a game changer for superhero films. He was a villain of substance who didn’t operate under the standard protocols of crush-kill-destroy, world domination, or hellbent revenge. He was a deranged man with a warped, cynical, nihilistic, but not entirely implausible perspective on human nature, and that made him scarier. He reflected back at us the worst in ourselves.

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There came a moment early during the evening when I, and I’m sure many other close Oscar watchers, thought the foregone conclusion of The King’s Speech winning Best Picture might not have been so foregone after all. At the beginning of the show, Tom Hanks presented the first two categories, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography, mentioning an odd, mostly irrelevant statistic: no film had won those two categories as well as Best Picture since Titanic. The first envelope opened and Art Direction went to Alice in Wonderland. Then Cinematography went to Inception. So much for that.

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Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, and Anne Hathaway, in 'Alice in Wonderland'

Dir. Tim Burton
(2010, PG, 109 min)
★ ★ ½

Director Tim Burton goes to a lot off trouble to impress us in Alice in Wonderland, his CGI-heavy, live-action treatment of the Lewis Carroll classic, with a reported budget of $250 million. All that money is up there on the screen in lavish costumes, visual effects, and production design, and as spectacles go it’s genuinely diverting. But if it’s lacking in a greater sense of wonder, perhaps it has more to do with the presentation of the visual elements than the elements themselves.

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Academy Awards 2009: Oscars in Review

Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, and Penelope Cruz after winning at the Oscars

How did you do in your Oscars pool? My guess is very well. Like the rest of us. I made predictions for every category except the short-film races, which I knew little or nothing about. Of the categories I predicted, I was correct on every race but two: Sound Mixing (I picked The Dark Knight, the winner was Slumdog Millionaire) and Foreign-Language Film (I picked France’s The Class, the winner was Japan’s Departures). Was the Oscar telecast predictable? Resoundingly so. Was it boring? No.

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“Rachel Getting Married”

Anne Hathaway and Rosemarie DeWitt, in 'Rachel Getting Married'

Dir. Jonathan Demme
(R) ★ ★ ★ ★

Rachel Getting Married is so authentic, from its performances to its place settings, that we don’t question it for a second. Shot with a handheld camera, its shaky photography is at first irritating, but as I settled in I began to feel like I was holding the camera, shooting a documentary. It’s written by Jenny Lumet (daughter of Sidney) and directed by Jonathan Demme, who are so acutely perceptive of human behavior that it doesn’t play like fiction.

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