Ask me anything   Film and television news with a big emphasis on award shows. Academy Awards and the Emmys are our friend.

New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/2015-oscar-predictions-update-hello-emma-stone-benedict-cumberbatch-agita/

2015 Oscar Predictions Update: Hello Emma Stone, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Agita

EmmaStone_BirdmanTelluride is just about over, Venice is coming to an end, Toronto begins on Thursday, and NYFF starts screenings in two weeks to the press.  David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars is said to have a push back, Birdman is a sure-fire contender, and The Imitation Game looks to be a solid ticket for Benedict Cumberbatch.

For an Oscar prognosticator, all this is pretty hard to keep track of.  I’ve taken the liberty of updating several of the categories including all the majors, and a few of the techs.  I’ve stayed heavy on Birdman for the time being while Morten Tyldum’s Alan Turing biopic has moved up considerably in a few places.  We have some speculation and thoughts that Steve Carell could have a sure-fire path to a Best Supporting Actor win if he chooses to do so for Foxcatcher.

There are so many thoughts but you can see all that in the commentary section of each contender.  Check out the latest updates to the Oscar Predictions.  I’m stressed out by all this speculation and it’s only September.  Include your thoughts and predictions in the comment section.  You can also listen to our super-sized Power Hour where we breakdown the entire race thus far.

— 2 hours ago with 1 note
#Academy Awards  #Birdman  #Featured Post  #Foxcatcher  #Map to the Stars  #Oscars  #Rosewater  #Steve Carell  #The Imitation Game  #The Theory of Everything 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/maps-stars-acquired-focus-world-2015-release/

'Maps to the Stars' has been acquired by Focus World for a 2015 release

maps-banner-11-8Well, it appears like we can cross Julianne Moore off from our predictions. David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars has been searching for U.S. distribution (even though for the longest time it was tipped to hit at some point in September, but now that it’s September I think we knew that wasn’t actually going to happen) and now has found it in Focus (particularly their smaller branch Focus World). Much like they did a few years back with Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines though, they’ve picked it up for release next year. Yes, barring an unexpected qualifying run at the end of this year (which I doubt considering it’s Focus World, not Focus Features handling this), Maps to the Stars is now a 2015 release, not a 2014 one. That would remove Moore from either the Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress race this time around, though it won’t preclude her from being in play next year. Still, I was hoping to figure out how big a contender she was in a few weeks at the New York Film Festival screening. Alas. Variety is reporting on the matter and doesn’t currently know if a qualifying run is even being discussed, but 2015 is when this flick will really be bowing. I’ll still be eager to see if this film can reverse Cronenberg’s downward trend at the upcoming screening during NYFF, but the movie now has a longer run to screens than we expected. Stay tuned for more on Maps to the Stars when we have it…

maps_to_the_stars
-Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

— 3 hours ago
#2015 Release  #book adaptation  #david cronenberg  #Featured Post  #Focus World  #Julianne Moore  #Maps to the Stars  #Oscar hopeful  #Release date changes 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/tcm-top-ten-september-2014/

The TCM Top Ten for September 2014

TCMTop10School’s back in session and that means we’re officially nearing the end of the year! September is the last gasp before the onslaught of holiday themed films so let’s try to get as far away from those as we can since, come October, we won’t be escaping them.

All times are Eastern. TCM can change the schedule at their discretion. 

Most Dangerous GameSeptember 1st is my birthday and I gotta say I’m sad that TCM isn’t honoring me this year (one day!). With that, I went with a movie I’ve technically already seen, but not for several years. I recall enjoying The Most Dangerous Game with its exotic jungle settings and Joel McCrea and Fay Wray as the prey. I remember this being an entertaining action/adventure we don’t see enough of. Hopefully, my thoughts haven’t changed. The Most Dangerous Game airs September 1st at 4pm.

Our TownI’ve studied Our Town and have an interest in watching it translate to film. For a play all about a lack of sets and theatrical storytelling, how can Hollywood not do their best to turn it into an A-list production, and with William Holden, no less! Our Town is an early morning movie, 6:30am, on September 2nd.

Come SeptemberMaybe it’s the lack of exotic vacations in my life, but I love the plot about “three girls travel to Europe;” I’ve even reviewed one (The Pleasure Seekers). Come September has Rock Hudson playing chaperone to trio of American girls visiting Italy. I’m sure hijinks and love are found, and it’s probably mired in silliness. Travel to Italy via the magic of television when Come September airs September 3rd at 6am.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter watching Edward Dmytryk’s Murder, My Sweet I looked through his IMDB profile and saw he was quite the chameleon. TCM has several of his films on tap throughout the month, and I chose one of his weirder titles. You know I love the bizarre plots Hollywood used to come up with and the insanity of this movie should be evident in the title: Hitler’s Children. I expected some weird movie about Hitler stealing babies or having a secret gaggle of kids, but apparently it’s about a German-American woman forced to join the Hitler Youth. Talk about a letdown from my expectations. Either way, I have to indulge in this bit of wartime propaganda. Hitler’s Children airs September 4th at 1pm.

How to Murder Your WifeThe plot of How to Murder Your Wife sounds like Unfaithfully Yours with a writer instead of a composer (going purely based on their respective plot summaries). In this case, Jack Lemmon plays the writer who marries a woman and inserts fantasies of murdering her into his writing. I’m sure by the end it’ll all be a comic misunderstanding…unless this is a dark comedy and he does end up killing her! Did Jack Lemmon ever play someone ACTUALLY evil? I can’t picture it. I love Lemmon either way. You can learn How to Murder Your Wife on September 6th at 6am.

The Story of Temple DrakeThe Friday Night spotlight for September is Classic Pre-Code (hey, maybe they are giving me a birthday present after all), so it was hard avoiding a complete ten list of just movies from this era. The Story of Temple Drake is considered one of the essential pre-Codes, probably explains why it’s airing here, for its depiction of sexual assault. It’ll be interesting watching star Miriam Hopkins – who I love – playing comedy in Trouble in Paradise, airing before this, and then being terrorized here. You can enjoy The Story of Temple Drake, September 12th at 2:30am (technically, September 13th).

Belle Du JourI probably shouldn’t have put another Luis Bunuel film on here after my disastrous viewing of Diary of a Chambermaid, a movie that felt so cold to me I turned it off halfway through. Belle Du Jour is one of the “must-see films” according to various lists, so I’m willing to give Bunuel a second chance. Belle Du Jour airs September 13th at 8pm during an evening devoted to houses of ill repute.

With Six You Get EggrollWith the rise of divorce rates post WWII and into Vietnam, the destruction of the nuclear family, and the creation of blended families became a source for cinematic chicanery. Much in the same way I enjoy stories about girls going to Europe and having fun, I’m a fan of family stories wherein families are attempted and things go awry. With Six You Get Eggroll sees Parent Trap star Brian Keith team up with Hollywood darling Doris Day for a movie that sounds like everything from Yours, Mine, and Ours to The Brady Bunch. I doubt it’ll reinvent the wheel, but it should be entertaining. With Six You Get Eggroll plays September 14th at 6pm.

The Shining HourMelvyn Douglas is the Star of the Month and this month’s top ten wouldn’t be complete without one of his features. I went with The Shining Hour, which tells the story of a nightclub dancer (Joan Crawford) butting heads with her new sister-in-law. Hate to tell the sister-in-law, but no one is a match against Joan! The Shining Hour airs September 18th at 8:30am.

Employees EntranceEmployees Entrance was one of the films screened at this year’s TCM Film Festival, and I’ve heard nothing but raves about it since. I skipped it, so I’ve decided to rectify the situation. Employees’ Entrance follows a department store manager who’s a little less than savory. Cue the pre-Code! Employees’ Entrance airs September 26th at 2:30pm.

THE TCM TRIO
LaurenBacallI would be remiss if I didn’t give this month’s TCM Trio spot to the lovely Lauren Bacall who recently passed away. September 15th and 16th will be devoted to her. The trio I’m recommending starts at 9pm on the 15th with Bacall teaming up for the first time with future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not. Then, at 11pm, Bogie and Bacall reteam for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. Finally, at 1am, Lauren, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe scheme to find out How to Marry a Millionaire.

— 9 hours ago
#TCM  #Turner Classic Movies  #what to watch 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/secret-santa-vittoria-%e2%98%85%e2%98%85%e2%98%85%c2%bd/

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (★★★½)

Secret of Santa VittoriaThe secret in Santa Vittoria is where a million bottles of wine are stashed, a mundane plot for a WWII comedy, right? Director Stanley Kramer, whose work expressed the hilarity and devotion to pride (see It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), crafts a comedy mired in darkness but able to discover the thin strip of light at the end of the tunnel. With hilarious performances by Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani, Twilight Time’s latest release will compel you to learn the secret.

Town drunk Bombolini (Quinn) is elected the mayor of Santa Vittoria as a patsy for when the Nazis eventually arrive. Fearing the loss of their valuable wine cache, the town bands together to hide it in a cave. When the Nazis finally make their appearance, headed up by Captain von Prum (Hardy Kruger), it becomes a battle of wills between the officer and Bombolini as to where the wine is hidden.

The entirety of The Secret of Santa Vittoria is based in the absurd. From the minute idealistic university student, Fabio (Giancarlo Giannini) arrives with news that Fascism is over and the town reacts apathetically, the audience realizes this isn’t a conventional war-set tale. Exuberantly played by Anthony Quinn, Bombolini, an Italian Don Quixote who fashions himself as a student of Machiavelli, transforms into a competent, if not still ridiculous, mayor. Quinn always played macho roles, but the characters themselves remained likeable due to their ignorance. The moments between Bombolini and his daughter, Angela (Patrizia Valturri) prove this. He tries to bond with her, but the minute she starts talking about sex and other “womanly” pursuits, he sends her to her mother.

The comedy, with a script by Ben Maddow, sizzles in its near anachronistic lines. This may be a WWII movie, but it’s got enough cursing and risque material for a film made in 1969. Angela, especially, is a modern young girl desperate for “information” about sex and love. Unfortunately, said information isn’t coming from her bitter mother and flustered father. It also doesn’t help matters that Angela keeps going around talking about how Fabio makes the “juices flow” within her (it’s a spit-take line for sure). Later on, when Fabio declares his love for Angela during a night-time seduction, the event is ruined through parental interference. The script pointedly attacks the double standard in relationships as Bombolini’s wife, Rosa (Magnani) tells him of what’s happened. Bombolini, not realizing the girl is his daughter, is originally proud of Fabio for his conquest…until he realizes his daughter is the paramour.

This is a relationship drama despite the Nazi storytelling. There’s two dueling young lovers: the aforementioned Fabio and Angela, but also the wealthy countess Caterina (Virna Lisi) and the poor Tufa (Sergio Franchi). The latter’s story lacks the comedy, but Lisi and Franchi are fantastic as the doomed couple whose hatred eventually turns to love. Of course, one can’t forget the relationship of our main character. Rosa is a sympathetic character unloved by the town, one of whom calls her a “loudmouthed bitch.” But Rosa’s bitterness comes from caring for a husband in a constant state of inebriation. When she talks love with Angela, she can’t hide the original love she feels for Bombolini, a romance rekindled through the hiding of the wine. I’ve adored Anna Magnani since The Rose Tattoo, and she’s just as fiery in this. The men tell Bombolini to give his wife a punch, but not even he’s willing to take that risk!

All this talk of relationships, what about the Nazis? The Nazis’ arrival turns this “town of jackasses” in a unified front of its own. The lengthy lines of people, passing bottles hand to hand, represents the chain of unity they find within each other. It’s this unity, this proactive nature, which eventually restores the love between Rosa and Bombolini. But, when you get right down to it, fighting over wine becomes a bit ridiculous. The Nazis can take away our freedom, but they’ll never take away our vino! Kramer and crew are aware of this, and Bombolini himself says the wine isn’t great but it’s the one thing they pride themselves on. Kruger’s von Prum is also prideful. No matter what his officers say about their being no wine, he refuses to give in. When von Prum finally leaves, Kruger holding defeat in his eyes, he still desperately wants to know where the wine is hidden.

For a movie with a premise as uneventful as wine hiding, the secret in The Secret of Santa Vittoria is how compelling wine hiding is made. A small town’s one resource becomes the beacon for standing up against oppression…but with humor. Quinn, Magnani, and Kruger are all empathetic – yes, even the Nazi – and genuine. Twilight Time’s latest release is a diamond in the rough.

— 9 hours ago
#Blu-ray review  #Classic Film  #Featured Post  #Historical Circuit  #Historical Circuit review  #REVIEW  #Twilight Time 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/awards-circuit-power-hour-episode-112-telluride-venice-masterpiece-status/

Awards Circuit Power Hour Episode 112: Telluride, Venice, and “Masterpiece” Status

POWERHOUR_LOGO_NEW1Welcome to another edition of the Awards Circuit Power Hour, our weekly podcast diving deep into all things film, television, and entertainment.

The awards season festival circuit has begun.  We discuss the word on the films that have screened thus far at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals.

  • Is “Birdman” the frontrunner for the Oscar?  What does it mean for Michael Keaton?
  • Foxcatcher” is still strong.  Is there a possibility that Steve Carell moves campaigns to supporting?
  • Is Benedict Cumberbatch this year’s Colin Firth for “The Imitation Game?”
  • Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater” debut to solid reviews.  Will it make a dent in the race?
  • Is Reese Witherspoon our first legit Best Actress contender for “Wild?”
  • Is there room for a small film like “99 Homes” with Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon?
  • We also take a bunch of your questions!

*NOTE – From now on, if you have a question for us for Power Hour, you can either Tweet it with the hashtag #ACPowerHour OR you can leave it in the comment section of the newest episode.

Follow on Twitter@AwardsCircuit
LIKE Us on FacebookThe Awards Circuit Facebook Page
Download us on Stitcher Radio!
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SUBSCRIBE to the Podcast by the FEED

— 15 hours ago
#99 Homes  #Academy Awards  #Awards Circuit Power Hour  #Birdman  #Featured Post  #Oscars  #Podcast  #Podcasts  #Rosewater  #Telluride Film Festival  #The Imitation Game  #Venice Film Festival  #wild 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/09/01/clip-al-pacino-david-gordon-greens-manglehorn/

Clip of Al Pacino in David Gordon Green’s ‘Manglehorn’

manglehorn-al-pacino-636-380One of the more under the radar titles screening at the Venice Film Festival currently that I’m really looking forward to is David Gordon Green‘s newest work Manglehorn. After getting Nicolas Cage to turn in his best work in about a decade with Joe earlier this year, Green is apparently at it again with Al Pacino in this one. Early reviews have been mixed but generally positive on the film, though pretty much everyone seems to agree that Pacino hasn’t been this good in a very long time. Well, our first real look at the movie is here in a short clip of Pacino and co-star Holly Hunter. It’s pretty simple and charming, which only makes me more excited to hopefully see this one later on in 2014. there’s currently no domestic distribution set up for the flick, but that shouldn’t be the case too much longer. Written by Paul Logan, Green’s film also has filmmaker in his own right Harmony Korine in the cast, as well as Chris Messina. I have my doubts that this one will turn into any kind of an awards player, but hopefully it comes out this year and makes a mark (unlike the well reviewed and real good Joe, which was DOA upon release). Manglehorn seems like an interesting bit of cinema, so take a look at the clip below and stay tuned to see when it comes out. If it hits this year, we’ll bring you even more coverage of it…

Here’s the clip:

-Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

— 15 hours ago
#2014 release  #Al Pacino  #Chris Messina  #David Gordon Green  #Featured Post  #First Clip  #first look  #Harmony Korine  #Holly Hunter  #Manglehorn  #Paul Logan 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/08/31/believe-it-or-not-guardians-of-the-galaxy-is-now-the-highest-grossing-film-of-2014/

Believe it or not, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is now the highest grossing film of 2014

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— 1 day ago
#2014 release  #box office  #Guardians of the Galaxy  #James Gunn  #Marvel Cinematic Universe  #random  #Summer Blockbuster 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/08/30/birdman-bird-man-masterpiece-telluride-word-big/

Is ‘BIRDMAN’ a bird, a man, or a masterpiece? - Telluride Word is Big

emmastone_birdman

Yesterday, Telluride brought us solid word on Wild and great word on The Imitation Game.  Telluride Day 2 brings us rapturous word on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.  The praise is pretty wild.  Sasha Stone even says she doesn’t think anyone can top Michael Keaton for Best Actor.  I might be switching my pick for Best Cinematography.  Check out some instant tweet reactions from the critics on the ground in the Rockies:

— 2 days ago with 1 note
#Alejandro González Iñárritu  #Best Actor  #Best Cinematography  #Best Director  #Best Original Screenplay  #best picture  #Best Supporting Actor  #Best Supporting Actress  #Birdman  #edward norton  #emma stone  #Emmanuel Lubezki  #Featured Post  #Michael Keaton  #Oscars  #Telluride 
New Post has been published on AwardsCircuit.com - By Clayton Davis

New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/08/30/take-look-dozen-new-images-david-finchers-gone-girl/

Take a Look at a Dozen New Images for David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’

new gone girl image 14Having received the schedule for the New York Film Festival, I can now literally begin counting the days until I first lay eyes on David Fincher‘s new film Gone Girl. As a bit of a tease/something to hold all of us over today, I’ve got a whole bunch of brand new images from the movie to share with you all. There’s the one above and eleven of them below, making for a dozen in total to gaze at and study for clues. Obviously Fincher is directing the flick, adapted by Gillian Flynn from her hit novel of the same name, with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the lead roles. Notable supporting parts will be played by the likes of Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Neil Patrick Harris, Scoot McNairy, and Emily Ratajkowski, to name a few. The film comes out on October 3rd and could be headed for all sorts of awards consideration (up to and including the Academy Awards, of course), so take a look above and below at the images and continue to get excited about this movie. I don’t know if Oscar will go for Gone Girl or not, but right now there’s no reason to doubt Fincher and this flick. Stay tuned for Clayton and I to report in on it from NYFF, but for now we’ll all have to make due with just these stills…

Here are the images:
new gone girl image 15
new gone girl image 12
new gone girl image 9
new gone girl image 13
new gone girl image 1new gone girl image 3

new gone girl image 5
new gone girl image 10
new gone girl image 8
new gone girl image 6

new gone girl image
-Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!

— 2 days ago
#2014 release  #Ben Affleck  #book adaptation  #David Fincher  #Featured Post  #Gillian Flynn  #Gone Girl  #Neil Patrick Harris  #Oscar hopeful  #Rosamund Pike  #Tyler Perry 
New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/08/29/two-faces-january/The Two Faces of January (★★★)Ambitious, gorgeous, even brave at times, though not always assured, Hossein Amini’s beautiful and cautiously constructed thriller The Two Faces of January is an admirable piece featuring a trio of impressive performances from Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, and Kirsten Dunst.    Oscar-nominee Amini, who writes and directs, showcases an intriguing aesthetic in his directorial debut that stands out as one of the most interesting and satisfying features of the summer.
The film tells the story of Chester (Mortensen) and Colette McFarland (Dunst), a con-artist and wife on the run in Greece in 1962.  When one of them gets caught up in the death of a private investigator, a local American named Rydal (Isaac) assists them in attempting to flee the scene of the crime.
Mortensen has always seemed to be an underutilized chameleon in film despite acclaimed and recognized performances in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Eastern Promises.  As Chester, he lavishes in a new type of slimy demeanor that stands out as one of the actors most dynamic.  He enjoys the aura and demeanor of Chester, unrelenting and unwilling to compromise on an escape but driven by jealousy and rage, Mortensen displays some of his most authentic and creative ticks.  
The wonderful Kirsten Dunst sets another example of why she should keep her focus on independent cinema at the moment.  With past works in Melancholia and On the Road, Dunst continues to improve her range and show new and richer pieces of her soul.  As Colette, she operates as a new vixen, more mature and unpredictable.  We haven’t seen something like this since her turn in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides.  In a borderline supporting role, Dunst confidently and impressively engages her character with poise.  She handles Colette with patience and resolve.  There’s an enigma that surrounds her story, one that is never fully answered.  A scene involving a little girl on a bus is more layered and telling that initially thought.  Dunst is a powerhouse.
Less than a year after missing out on an Oscar nomination for Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac shows another side in which he proves to be one of the most exciting and invigorating actors working today.  We constantly are on the lookout for our next generation of movie legends.  Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, movie stars of the golden age of cinema, not working as much anymore and will one day pass on to the next step in life’s journey.  Great up and comers like Isaac make the future of cinema much more bright.  His performance as Rydal signals some of the actor’s greatest strengths and almost none of his weaknesses.  He handles him with charisma and ease.  Determined to make his breakthrough, Isaac will be one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, mark my words.
What Hossein Amini does exceedingly well is allowing the robust and beautiful scenery of Greece become a character.  Its motions, landscapes, and wonderful usage of colors, mostly thanks to cinematographer Marcel Zyskind, is an optimal display of imagery.  It’s stylish and beautiful.  One of the best looking films of the year so far.  Unfortunately, we the film falters is in a less-than-stellar third act resulting in a “showdown” of sorts that doesn’t live up to the premise laid out by Amini and his team.  
While The Two Faces of January is tightly wound from the beginning, it ultimately runs out of gas by the film’s end.  The performances will pull you through successfully, displaying some of the year’s finest acting works.  It’s definitely worth a see.
THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY is now available on iTunes/OnDemand and in theaters September 26, 2014.
Official Site: http://www.magpictures.com/twofacesofjanuary/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetwofacesofjanuary
#TWOFACESOFJANUARY

 
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New Post has been published on http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/08/29/two-faces-january/

The Two Faces of January (★★★)

two_faces_of_january_ver5Ambitious, gorgeous, even brave at times, though not always assured, Hossein Amini’s beautiful and cautiously constructed thriller The Two Faces of January is an admirable piece featuring a trio of impressive performances from Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, and Kirsten Dunst.    Oscar-nominee Amini, who writes and directs, showcases an intriguing aesthetic in his directorial debut that stands out as one of the most interesting and satisfying features of the summer.

The film tells the story of Chester (Mortensen) and Colette McFarland (Dunst), a con-artist and wife on the run in Greece in 1962.  When one of them gets caught up in the death of a private investigator, a local American named Rydal (Isaac) assists them in attempting to flee the scene of the crime.

Mortensen has always seemed to be an underutilized chameleon in film despite acclaimed and recognized performances in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Eastern Promises.  As Chester, he lavishes in a new type of slimy demeanor that stands out as one of the actors most dynamic.  He enjoys the aura and demeanor of Chester, unrelenting and unwilling to compromise on an escape but driven by jealousy and rage, Mortensen displays some of his most authentic and creative ticks.  

The wonderful Kirsten Dunst sets another example of why she should keep her focus on independent cinema at the moment.  With past works in Melancholia and On the Road, Dunst continues to improve her range and show new and richer pieces of her soul.  As Colette, she operates as a new vixen, more mature and unpredictable.  We haven’t seen something like this since her turn in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides.  In a borderline supporting role, Dunst confidently and impressively engages her character with poise.  She handles Colette with patience and resolve.  There’s an enigma that surrounds her story, one that is never fully answered.  A scene involving a little girl on a bus is more layered and telling that initially thought.  Dunst is a powerhouse.

twofacesofjanuary_imageLess than a year after missing out on an Oscar nomination for Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac shows another side in which he proves to be one of the most exciting and invigorating actors working today.  We constantly are on the lookout for our next generation of movie legends.  Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, movie stars of the golden age of cinema, not working as much anymore and will one day pass on to the next step in life’s journey.  Great up and comers like Isaac make the future of cinema much more bright.  His performance as Rydal signals some of the actor’s greatest strengths and almost none of his weaknesses.  He handles him with charisma and ease.  Determined to make his breakthrough, Isaac will be one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, mark my words.

What Hossein Amini does exceedingly well is allowing the robust and beautiful scenery of Greece become a character.  Its motions, landscapes, and wonderful usage of colors, mostly thanks to cinematographer Marcel Zyskind, is an optimal display of imagery.  It’s stylish and beautiful.  One of the best looking films of the year so far.  Unfortunately, we the film falters is in a less-than-stellar third act resulting in a “showdown” of sorts that doesn’t live up to the premise laid out by Amini and his team.  

While The Two Faces of January is tightly wound from the beginning, it ultimately runs out of gas by the film’s end.  The performances will pull you through successfully, displaying some of the year’s finest acting works.  It’s definitely worth a see.

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY is now available on iTunes/OnDemand and in theaters September 26, 2014.

Official Site: http://www.magpictures.com/twofacesofjanuary/

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetwofacesofjanuary

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