Author Archive

Adrien Brody for President: Humility and passion from the hometown longshot.

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Okay, so the man’s not a politician. But based on his appearance at the 75th annual Academy Awards, where he picked up a best actor statuette for his elegant, minimalist performance as a persecuted Jewish musician in the WWII drama The Pianist, he’s definitely a grace-under-pressure kind of guy. Because most people expected the award [&hellip
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Dependable King: A horror movie worth defending.

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Stephen King, Tom Clancy and John Grisham are like security blankets to the major studios—something they can cuddle up to when they’ve had a run of bad luck and aren’t quite sure what the future will bring. Directors treat these best-selling authors in pretty much the same way—as a near-foolproof method of getting on the [&hellip
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Third World Wars: Two films about Africa that can’t stand the heat.

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

These days, you rarely hear Africa described as the Dark Continent unless the speaker is trying to seem worldly, sarcastic and disapproving. But movies are doing a pretty good job of keeping the old stereotype alive. Two new African-themed dramas are showing on local screens—the big-budget Bruce Willis military epic Tears of the Sun and [&hellip
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Sticky Web: A mental patient recalls his childhood-or does he?-in the latest Cronenberg film.

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

I wouldn’t recommend the new David Cronenberg movie, Spider, to very many people, even though I really liked it. It’s too fragile and odd to connect with a large number of people. Based on the 1990 novel by Patrick McGrath, the film is named for its title character, a mental patient (Ralph Fiennes) trying to [&hellip
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Rising Again: A four-hour lullaby about how (and what) the Confederacy lost.

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

If you thought the white South got a raw deal during the Civil War, Gods and Generals is your movie. Ron F. Maxwell’s mammoth, technically competent but artistically uninteresting war picture may be the most sympathetic to the Confederacy’s idealized view of itself. Maxwell’s screenplay suggests that the war was largely about Yankee greed to [&hellip
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Stone Reader

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

"All good books have one thing in common: they are truer than if they had really happened." So said Ernest Hemingway, one of the many great writers whose words of wisdom are quoted in Stone Reader, an autobiographical documentary about a filmmaker’s search for an obscure literary hero. Hemingway’s words presumably helped inspire writer-director-producer Mark [&hellip
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It Was a Very Good Year

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

 Last year was a terrific year for movies—maybe as good or better than 1989, which was outstanding in nearly every way. In the parched late-winter months, as distributors dump their time-wasters, my thoughts keep returning to the great movies released last year, and to the not-so-great ones that nevertheless contained moments, scenes or images that [&hellip
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Amen.;In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

The latest in a wave of Holocaust dramas, Costa-Gavras’ Amen., offers the director’s usual mix of propulsive narrative storytelling, moral outrage and a sense of rightness that seems, in the end, a bit too easily claimed. Based on the true story of Kurt Gerstein (Ulrich Tukur), an SS officer and scientist who tried to blow [&hellip
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