Marion Cotillard

‘Two Days, One Night’ Uses a Fairy Tale Formula to Tell an Adult Morality Tale

It’s probably safe to assume that you recall the fairy tale of the Three Little Pigs. In case, however, you’re a folkloric vegetarian, it centers around a certain Big Bad Wolf who, like a wandering salesman, travels to the poorly constructed homes of three pig siblings, knocks on their respective doors, then begins huffing and puffing and blowing their houses down. His attack isn’t completely architectural: he then eats the pigs (all but the last, who, SPOILER, built his house out of bricks). But what, you might well ask, do the Three Little Pigs have to do with the Dardenne Brothers’ captivating new film, Two Days, One Night? More than you might think, in fact. … Read More

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Why Is the Weinstein Company Dooming Two of Its Best Oscar Prospects? [UPDATED]

If you have more than a passing interest in the Academy Awards, you’re probably well past the realization that the presumptive criteria for those awards — high quality — often has very little to do with the films that are nominated and awarded. Sure, merit doesn’t hurt, but it certainly isn’t necessary; far more important is the quality and quantity of a film’s Oscar campaign, mounted by studios and distributors with the intensity (and sometimes the cost) of a political operation, complete with advertisements, mailings, and glad-handing. And the modern Oscar campaign was perfected by Harvey Weinstein, the face of the Weinstein brothers, who turned Mirmax and the subsequent Weinstein Company into Oscar factories, via notoriously aggressive campaigning (and occasional alleged “dirty tricks” against opponents). And yet, as 2014 draws to a close, The Weinstein Company is all but burying two viable awards contenders — and the only plausible explanation is ego and spite. … Read More

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12 Must-See Movies at This Year’s New York Film Festival

Tonight, the New York Film Festival kicks off its 52nd (!) edition with the world premiere of David Fincher’s highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. We’ll have more on that film (and that premiere) in this space tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ve had the chance to check out several other NYFF selections that are well worth your time over the next two weeks (should you happen to be in the area), or in the months to come as they make their way to your theaters and on-demand platforms. … Read More

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Will ‘Snowpiercer’s’ VOD Success Change the Film Industry?

In January of 2006, Magnolia Pictures released Bubble, a micro-budget, semi-improvised independent film about the employees of a small-town doll factory. Two things were notable about the picture: it was from Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh, and it was the first “multi-platform” release of note — it was released, simultaneously, to movie theaters, DVD, and video-on-demand (still in its infancy at the time). This was a big, huge deal in 2006; theater owners all but rioted over the potential collapse of their exclusivity window, and about the only playdates the film could wrangle were in the Landmark chain (co-owned by Mark Cuban, who, not coincidentally, also co-owns distributor Magnolia). … Read More

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Here Are the First Posters from ‘Macbeth,’ Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard

Orson Welles and Roman Polanski each took a crack at adapting Macbeth, but neither of these masterful directors’ renditions of… Read More

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Deconstructing the Christian Imagery in David Bowie’s “The Next Day” Video

Given that it’s very heavy on Catholic imagery, and also on the idea of subverting and questioning such imagery, the new video for David Bowie’s “The Next Day” was always going to be controversial. It’s proven too much so for YouTube, which pulled it down this morning. Happily, you can still see it on Vevo, which has given us plenty of time to deconstruct all the iconography on show. If you’ve watched the video and wondered what it all means, then wonder no longer. (Or, at least, wonder a bit less.) … Read More

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Woody Allen’s Classic Leading Ladies and Their Contemporary Counterparts

When Freud wrote of female sexuality as “a dark continent,” he might as well have been writing about Woody Allen’s murky understanding of women. The director’s female characters invariably have abundant daddy issues, a slew of neuroses, and affairs with artists, professors, married men. They seek advice from therapists and fortune tellers, they’re tempestuous and stubborn; though they’re sometimes incredibly narrow, they’re often appealingly complex. Allen’s female characters are so obviously amalgamations of his fantasy woman – or rather women, plural – that one might contend they’re part of an ongoing, experiment in understanding women. Following this week’s news that Emma Stone is set to star in the next Allen film, we’ve conducted a little experiment of our own, looking back at the ladies of his canon, matching the women of his classic era with their contemporary counterparts. … Read More

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The Year in Film: 2012’s Sexiest Scenes [NSFW]

There was a remarkable disconnect happening this year between pop culture and political culture, with the former getting kinkier (the ubiquitous 50 Shades of Grey on bookshelves, the Presidential handjob-heavy Hyde Park on Hudson on movie screens) while the latter threatened to get more prurient and Victorian. Points for trying, but good luck — movies were plenty sexy this year, and after the jump, we’ve assembled ten of the year’s hottest moments. … Read More

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