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    Review: Roland Emmerich's 'Anonymous' Still Manages To Destroy Something -- Its Own Authenticity

    Combining the life-meets-art origin stories of “Ray” with the history-as-high melodrama of “Braveheart,” “Anonymous” marks a departure from director Roland Emmerich’s previous work as a purveyor of blockbuster destruction, but he still manages to destroy any credible sense of history with his speculative portrait of the man who might have been responsible for the works of William Shakespeare. Emmerich, casting his vote for the “Oxfordian” view of the playwright’s actual identity, turns what could have been an intelligent and provocative examination of fact and fiction into an overwrought and cretinous historical thriller that’s too busy disap...

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    FNC ’11: Alexander Sokurov’s 'Faust' An Odd, Dense Adaptation Of Goethe's Classic

    By Nikola Grozdanovic reporting from the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal.

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    NYFF Review: 'Goodbye First Love' Looks At Young Romance Without Affection

    Television and movies love to indulge us in pre-adulthood nostalgia. Whether the bait is loose (young hooligans causing a ruckus) or more specific and event-oriented (prom, which we've seen less of lately because, well, prom sucks), the powers that be tug at our heartstrings and force us to look back at a time free of major responsibilities and full of fresh experiences. The glazed schmaltz can be off-putting for some, but occasionally sincerity shines through and we get something that captures the emotions extraordinarily well (for this writer's money, "The Virgin Suicides" and "The Girl" are uneven but nail certain feelings on the head). Bu...

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    LFF '11 Review: 'Wild Bill' Is An Immensely Likable Directorial Debut From Dexter Fletcher

    For whatever reason, directorial debuts by British character actors tend to lean towards the gritty kitchen-sink drama; Tim Roth, Gary Oldman and, more recently, Paddy Considine have all broken their filmmaking cherry with uncompromisingly tough, bleak subject matter. Considering that it involves abandonment, council estates and the risk of being taken into care, one might be forgiven for expecting the same from Dexter Fletcher's first film, "Wild Bill." But then, Fletcher's best known for being one of the central quartet, alongside Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng and Nick Moran, in Guy Ritchie's debut "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," and ...

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    Review: 'Norman' A Well-Observed, Tender & Moving Ode To Adolescence & Loss

    Being a teenager is hard enough, but for Norman (Dan Byrd), the minefield of emotions he is forced to navigate is almost absurd in its proportion. Certainly not popular, but not a total exile either, Norman seems to exist in his own bubble at high school, one that keeps his pervading depression and suicidal thoughts as a close companion. But if this weren't enough, Norman, still reeling from the tragic death of his mother in a car accident, is also bearing witness to his father (Richard Jenkins) wasting away in the final stage of stomach cancer, with this painful experience compounded by the worry that the bills around the house are starting ...

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    Review: 'Le Havre' Another Hilarious, Humane & Moving Film From Aki Kaurismaki

    The following is a reprint of our review from Cannes.

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    Review: 'Margin Call' A Compelling 24-Hour Slice Of The Start Of The Economic Collapse

    The following is a reprint of our review from Cannes.

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    VIFF '11: Lo-Fi Puppets And A Big, Hilarious Heart; 'Kooky' Is Destined To Be A Family Cult Classic

    In many ways, “Kooky” harkens back to the halcyon days of yore (read: in particular the ‘80s) when things were scary in kids’ movies. Or maybe we're just starting to show our old age, but didn't it seem like filmmakers back then were unafraid to at least hint at the possibility of actual threat and potential harm to characters, if not follow through on it completely? It was certainly a different time. Maybe they were untethered by the whims of insanely over-protective parents and ludicrous MPAA ratings strictures that insist on rounding off every sharp edge, creating a bland cinematic landscape these days that all-too-often wears down a movie...

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Play' Is A Confident, Complex Look At Social Issues In Sweden

    Festivals can be a great place to discover new, brilliant cinema, but often times the unknown films get drowned out by the heavily buzzed or the latest by a longstanding director. How many of us at the New York Film Festival saw "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "The Kid with a Bike" but, for whatever reason, happened to miss out on "The Loneliest Planet"? It's highly likely that this writer isn't alone. Still, one person generally can't see everything a festival has to offer, so flicks that don't have Palme d'Or helmers behind them or a truckload of auspicious praise for their "breakout performer" tend to get shafted. Still, it's a must to atte...

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    VIFF '11: In Belgian 'Bullhead' Sympathy For The Devil Is A Mark Of Quality

    “No matter what you do or think, one thing is for sure, you’re always fucked. Now, tomorrow, next week or next year, until the end of time, fucked.”

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