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Oct 04, 2015   Leave a Comment Upcoming / Spotlight

13. Spotlight
Always a director who’s drawn great performances from his ensembles—we’ll set aside the disastrous The Cobbler for a moment—actor-turned-filmmaker Tom McCarthy has made his best drama since his first, 2003’s The Station Agent, with this stripped-down depiction of the Boston Globe’s 2001 investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual misconduct. Starring the likes of Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery, Spotlight is about nothing more than watching smart, passionate reporters do their job, digging into a story and using their savvy and moxie to bring it to the world. The cast lets its characters’ jobs fill in the backstory of their lives, and in the process Spotlight does what Zodiac, The Insider and All the President’s Men did before it: let us appreciate the difficulty and rigor required for good journalism. Special kudos to best-in-show Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes, a ruthless bloodhound of an investigative reporter who may inspire a lot of impressionable high school juniors in the audience to take up the profession. —T.G. Read More: // here

Actor Billy Crudup has a simple theory why his true-life indie drama The Stanford Prison Experiment is striking a chord with movie audiences. “It is disturbing in the exact right way,” states the 47-year-old star who plays Dr. Philip Zimbardo — the infamous university professor who directed one of history’s most shocking social experiments. Filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s award-winning Sundance hit dramatizes the 1971 experiment in which Zimbardo (played by Crudup) randomly assigned students to either the role of sadistic guard or submissive inmate, then studied as the subjects soon grew horribly abusive in a simulated jailhouse environment. Read More: // here

Sep 20, 2015   Leave a Comment 'Almost Famous'

It is a time tested truth that nostalgia fogs up one’s memory of the past worse than downpour hitting the windshield of a bus careening down a highway during a rainstorm. One cannot truly remember without that said memory being filtered through every feeling, obsession, interaction, and nuance that existed in the time in which the memory takes place. When one recalls the past, the past is shown cloaked in a blanket of personality and subjectivity. Not many people understand this as well as Cameron Crowe does. With Almost Famous, what is likely the best film he has made, Crowe crafted a lush and wistful portrait of a particular time (based on his experiences reporting for Rolling Stone in high school) precisely as he remembers it: idealized and stylized, laregly uncynical, and most of all, happy. Read More: // here

Sep 20, 2015   Leave a Comment Upcoming / Spotlight

After its Toronto screening, the already well-received Spotlight now seems a lock for awards season. Read More: // here

Sep 20, 2015   Leave a Comment 'Almost Famous'

The 15th anniversary of Almost Famous is approaching, and to celebrate, director Cameron Crowe has been sharing some rare behind the scenes photos and artwork from his acclaimed semi-autobiographical drama. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the world was introduced to Stillwater, the Enemy, and the manic pixie stylings of Kate Hudson. But yes, you’re older now. Don’t be so shocked. Crowe has been posting memories from the making of Almost Famous on Twitter, starting with some poster art, fake concert tickets and album covers: Read More: // here