Tag Archives: Amy Adams

Vice

It’s understandable why Adam McKay’s Vice wants to remind us that Bush’s presidency was a massive failure, and he does so by focusing on the power-hungry puppeteer in the passenger seat. But this biopic of Dick Cheney, a dark quasi-comedy, feels like a debate tournament PowerPoint, not an insightful look at what makes Cheney tick. McKay reuses all of his magic tricks from The Big Short, but they don’t make sense here. Despite good performances, Vice is sophomoric, not satisfying as a traditional biopic or as a satire.

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Oscars Week: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

It’s always instructive who merits an Oscar campaign and who doesn’t. The three ladies of Hidden Figures would have had better odds if their highly successful movie had premiered earlier in the season. As it played out, there was only one vulnerable slot in Supporting Actress, and Octavia Spencer snuck in. Similarly, with so much talent in Moonlight, […]

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Mysterious, grotesque, and insatiably stylish, Nocturnal Animals pulls us headfirst into the abyss. Tom Ford’s second directorial effort feels like a movie Brian de Palma would make today: Everything’s on the surface, designed to shock and titillate.

ARRIVAL

The best way to approach Arrival is to avoid knowing too much. So you really should bookmark this page until after you see it. I’m not going to tackle the ending here – but you’ve been warned.

Our Top Nine, and Other Year-End Lists

Well, we caught up on our Oscars to-watch list. A Top Ten would be traditional, but we’ve noticed the Academy has only nominated nine movies since 2011. Thus, we present our Top Nines: Nicholas: 1. American Hustle 2. 12 Years a Slave 3. Before Midnight 4. The Conjuring 5. Blue Jasmine 6. Philomena 7. Captain Phillips 8. […]

HER

Twenty years ago, Tom Hanks fell in love with Meg Ryan’s disembodied voice. Sleepless in Seattle sidestepped some traditional rom-com tropes—the leads don’t even kiss!—but still built to the moment when Ryan’s spirit becomes a realized woman. Spike Jonze now takes this to the next level: loner Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his operating system. […]

AMERICAN HUSTLE + THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

David O. Russell’s American Hustle is a fractured fairy tale of cons and corruption, starting with the epigraph, “Some of this actually happened.” What did actually happen was the Abscam scandal (short for “Arab scam”) of 1979-1980, in which the FBI used small-time con artists to bribe public officials. Not one to settle for mere facts, Russell […]

Actor in Focus: Amy Adams

During the past few years, Amy Adams has had an interesting career turnaround. When she came on the scene with her Academy-nominated supporting performance in Junebug, Adams played the role of the “perky, sweet girl,” and seemed in some ways typecast with a variety of similar roles from the singing and dancing Princess Giselle in […]