Rabu, 4 Disember 2013

The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

Pass or fail?


SOME unlikely films did surprisingly well on the Bechdel test, while some you'd think would pass, failed miserably.

> All the Alien movies pass (the first one is a borderline case though), except for Alien3 which had only ONE named female character. Corpse Newt and Alien Queen Embryo don't count.

> The biggest film franchises of the millennium, Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings, fail.

> White House Down doesn't exactly pass, but fares better than Olympus Has Fallen (which has a strong woman character, the Secretary of State, who unfortunately doesn't talk to the other women characters). Roland Emmerich's flop has multiple named female characters, but they only talk about men; specifically, Channing Tatum. There you go.

> The Wolverine passes (Yukio and Mariko's friendship) while Iron Man 3 doesn't quite make it (Pepper and the Extremis lady only ever talk about Tony Stark and Aldrich Killian).

> James Wan's The Conjuring passes, while his Insidious: Chapter 2 fails.

Related story:

Grading the Bechdel test

New York critics choose 'American Hustle'


The movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper is the top choice at an awards ceremony.

The New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle, a film about 1970s con artists forced to work with the FBI, as best film of 2013 and gave its top acting prizes to Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in the first major movie honours in the run-up to the Oscars.

British director Steve McQueen won the best director prize for 12 Years A Slave, the historical drama about a free black man sold into slavery and based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup. The awards pit director David O. Russell's American Hustle, which will be released in US theatres later this month, and 12 Years A Slave, the winner of the top prize at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, as early contenders in the race for the Academy Awards.

Redford picked up the best actor award for his solo performance in the survival drama All As Lost, and Blanchett was named best actress for her portrayal of a pill-popping former socialite forced to deal with reduced circumstances in Woody Allen's film Blue Jasmine. Actor Jared Leto won the best supporting actor prize for his role in Dallas Buyers Club as an HIV-positive transgender woman who helps smuggle medication not approved in the United States to AIDS patients.

The New York Film Critics Circle, which announced the awards on Twitter, gave Jennifer Lawrence, last year's best actress Oscar winner for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, the best supporting actress prize for playing the ditzy, bored housewife in American Hustle. The film also won the best screenplay award for Eric Singer and Russell.

Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is among the oldest critics groups in the United States. It is made up of members of newspapers, magazines and online publications. Their awards will be followed by the top film prizes from the National Board of Review. The awards are seen as a bellwether for Hollywood's Oscars, the film world's highest honours, which will be awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 2.

The New York Film Critics Circle prize for best foreign language film went to Blue Is The Warmest Color, a French lesbian love story by director Abdellatif Kechiche that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Stories We Tell, a Canadian film directed by Sarah Polley, which delves into storytelling and memories, picked up the best documentary award.

The group awarded Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler's directorial debut about the real-life story of a young, black man shot to death by a white, transit policeman, the best first film prize. Bruno Delbonnel won the best cinematography award for Inside Llewyn Davis, a film by Joel and Ethan Coen about the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961. The Wind Rises, by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, was named best animated film. — Reuters

'Ilo Ilo' director Anthony Chen gets recognition in Hollywood


Singapore's award winning director to be honoured at Palm Springs International Film Festival.

ANTHONY Chen is getting Hollywood's attention.

The Singaporean has been named one of trade magazine Variety's 10 Directors To Watch, in the list announced on Monday.

This year's list has 11 names, including American actor-writer Ben Falcone, who directs his wife Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, 2011) in the upcoming road trip comedy Tammy, and American writer Maya Forbes (Monsters Vs Aliens, 2009), who directs Zoe Saldana and Mark Ruffalo in the upcoming family comedy Infinitely Polar Bear.

British director Clio Barnard was highlighted for The Selfish Giant, her contemporary interpretation of Oscar Wilde's fairy tale which won praise at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

American duo Aron Gaude and Gita Pullapilly, who are married to each other, are on the list for their teen drama Beneath The Harvest Sky.

Chen was named for Ilo Ilo, which has won him a string of prizes at festivals from Cannes to Golden Horse.

The directors will be profiled in Variety's Dec 17 issue and honoured at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan 5.

Variety's previous 10 To Watch picks include Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Christopher Nolan and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild, 2012). – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

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