NYFF 2013: HER Review

by     Posted 293 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-slice-1

We ascribe technology a personality and vice versa.  We say our machines “hate” us when they break down.  Programs illustrate the interests of the user.  Spike Jonze’s Her may seem like an outrageous concept—a man falling in love with a computer—the idea is closer than we think, and its immediacy isn’t just a social concern.  It’s an existential concern as the film attempts to provide the contours of a soul through the absence of a body, a past, and society.  Her is a fragile, delicate movie that requires the audience’s absolute indulgence, but the rewards are some head-spinning questions coupled with a tender, funny, and touching love story.

NYFF 2013: NEBRASKA Review

by     Posted 297 days ago

nebraska-bruce-dern-will-forte-slice-1

In the past, I’ve made jokes about how progress on social issues is inevitable because the people holding antiquated values will die off soon.  Nebraska made me feel a little guilty about those jokes.  I don’t feel guilty because I’ve come to agree with their discriminatory viewpoints, and the movie doesn’t address those kinds of attitudes associated with the red-state heartland.  I feel guilty because I’ve been so casual with the lives of old people who probably never had much to begin with.  With his newest film, director Alexander Payne has created a deeply compassionate picture of elderly life, social decay, economic immobility, and put it into a moving father-son road trip story.  Anchored by strong performances from Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb, Nebraska is funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.

New Trailer for THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Plus the 25-Minute New York Film Festival Press Conference

by     Posted 298 days ago

the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-ben-stiller-slice

20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for The Secret Life of Walter MittyBen Stiller (who also directed the film) stars as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn).  Steve and I saw the movie this weekend.  He liked it; I didn’t.  The trailer is a fair representation of the film, and even though it goes through a lot of the plot, the trailer doesn’t really give anything away since everything is so spaced out and mixed up.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the New York Film Festival press conference.  The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, and Patton OswaltThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.

NYFF 2013: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Review

by     Posted 300 days ago

the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-ben-stiller-slice-1

The problem with platitudes is that they may profess a nice sentiment, but the statement tends to be an obvious one, and it will be a fleeting memory by the time you finish reading that t-shirt or bumper sticker.  Platitudes can’t cut deeper and provide a thoughtful, lasting impression that would cause us to seriously take stock of our lives and values.  Ben Stiller’s two-hour platitude, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, may seem like it’s championing bravery and adventure, but the presentation, while initially enjoyable, quickly becomes hollow, frivolous, and overbearing.  It’s a movie where a man’s facial hair defines his character more than his actions.

NYFF 2013: THE IMMIGRANT Review

by     Posted 301 days ago

the-immigrant-marion-cotillard-slice

There are some settings that don’t quite work with a soft, romantic approach.  There’s no romanticizing child labor or human trafficking or abject poverty.  James Gray’s The Immigrant shows there’s also no romanticizing prostitution in New York City in 1921.  Gray attempts to spin a complicated love triangle though an elegant web, but two of the three main characters get stuck in mushy, bland roles despite the best efforts of the actors.  What’s meant to carry an air of tragedy, damnation, and the hint of redemption ultimately comes off as silly due to Gray’s misguided approach.

NYFF 2013: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Review

by     Posted 308 days ago

captain-phillips-tom-hanks-slice

In the past, director Paul Greengrass has demonstrated a unique and incredible ability to use a documentary-like style that captures the immediacy of a real-life event without ever feeling like a heavy-handed, exploitative dramatization.  Greengrass attempts to bring this approach to his new film, Captain Phillips, but instead of focusing on an event that changed the course of a country, he tries to keep the focus on two men.  Unfortunately, he has no room to maneuver, and his fidelity to Richard Phillips’ story handcuffs the film into a cold procedural.  Strong performances from the lead actors as well Greengrass’ intelligent depiction of neglected people helps draws us in, but the film tries too hard to play up the “thrilling” action, which only highlights how little investment we have in the hostage and his captor.

Full New York Film Festival Lineup Includes INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, NEBRASKA, THE IMMIGRANT, and More

by     Posted 347 days ago

inside-llewyn-davis-slice

Each year, the fall film festival season is where studios present their awards fare and kick off months of rigorous campaigning in hopes of Oscar glory.  We recently examined this year’s contenders in the inaugural installment of our new column Oscar Beat, and at the time it appeared that the Toronto International Film Festival was poised to once again be the heavy hitter.  However, the 2013 New York Film Festival has now announced its full lineup, and it definitely gives TIFF a run for its money.

In addition to previously announced films Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Her, NYFF will play host to screenings of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, James Gray’s The Immigrant, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and plenty more.  Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.  The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.

Spike Jonze’s HER to Close New York Film Festival

by     Posted 358 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-slice

This year’s New York Film Festival is poised to be bookened by two high-profile premieres.  Last week it was announced that director Paul Greengrass’ real-life dramatic thriller Captain Phillips will open the 2013 New York Film Festival, and today the fest announced that director Spike Jonze’s excellent-looking romance Her will act as the closing film.  Jonze’s pic stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely writer who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and judging by yesterday’s trailer debut, Her looks to be characteristically offbeat and charming.

The New York Film Festival will also play host to the premiere of Ben Stiller’s directorial feature The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, bringing the current total of bona fide Oscar contenders that will be first seen at the fest to three.  The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.

Paul Greengrass’ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS to Open New York Film Festival; New Images Released [UPDATED]

by     Posted 1 year, 3 days ago

captain-phillips-slice

Director Paul Greengrass’ upcoming dramatic thriller Captain Phillips has been selected to open the New York Film Festival this year.  The film stars Tom Hanks as real life ship captain Richard Phillips who allowed himself to be taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009 in exchange for the safety of his crew.  Sony Pictures no doubt has high awards hopes for this one, and a NYFF premiere is a swell way to kick off the film’s awards campaign—Life of Pi premiered at the festival last year, going on to win four Oscars including Best Director.

Hit the jump to check out a few new images from the film, and click here to watch the first trailer.  Captain Phillips opens in theaters on October 11th. [Update: We've updated the article with high-resolution versions of the images.]

Click Here