Farewell Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967 – 2014)

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Philip Seymour Hoffman – award-winning actor, producer and director – died today of a suspected overdose in his Manhattan apartment. Hoffman, who has been nominated for no less than four Academy Awards since his debut feature performance in Triple Bogey On A Five Par Hole opposite Robbie Coltrane, had appeared at the Sundance Film Festival only two weeks prior to his death, in support of two films: A Most Wanted Man and God’s Pocket. Continue reading “Farewell Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967 – 2014)”

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Review: American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle

The third part in his own self-proclaimed reinvention (one that’s so far brought with it The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, two Academy Award winners), American Hustle finds David O. Russell at his most playful, tackling the infamous ABSCAM scandal – a hugely publicised FBI sting into political corruption – with a tremendous amount of wit, vigour and vibrancy. While certainly not without its faults, it’s a film that’s more often than not massively entertaining, and a constant platform for spectacular performances and outlandish 70s fashion. Continue reading “Review: American Hustle (2013)”

85th Academy Awards: Nominations

Academy Awards

The nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards were announced earlier today by host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone, both of whom brought some much-needed humour to the usually dull announcement. Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s historical biopic about former US president Abraham Lincoln’s endeavours to achieve passage of the constitutional amendment, was revealed as the frontrunner with a total of twelve nominations, with Silver Linings Playbook Continue reading “85th Academy Awards: Nominations”

Review: Margaret (2011)

Written and directed by filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (only his second directorial feature after the multi award-winning You Can Count On Me), Margaret is a rambling, overpowered modern drama that bravely taps into people’s post 9/11 fear and hostility. Delayed, re-edited and shrouded in several still unfolding lawsuits, Lonergan’s effort seemed unlikely to see the light of day. But, thankfully Margaret now makes its way to cinema screens, albeit in a limited capacity, bearing the mark of its six year journey.

When tumultuous college student Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) is involved in a horrific bus accident that claims the life of a compassionate woman (Allison Continue reading “Review: Margaret (2011)”

Review: The Descendants (2011)

Best known for writing and directing films featuring strong yet confounded male figures embarking upon life-changing journeys – think Jack Nicholson’s retired soul-searcher in About Schmidt, or Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church’s middle-aged hopeless romantics in Sideways – Alexander Payne makes a long awaited return with family drama The Descendants, admiringly carrying on that theme.

Here, George Clooney plays Matt King, an established Hawaiian land baron. After his wife (Patricia Hastie) suffers a horrific water-skiing accident, he’s forced Continue reading “Review: The Descendants (2011)”