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Film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel": Andersonian Whimsy, Matured

"The Grand Budapest Hotel": Andersonian Whimsy, Matured

At this point, you're either with Wes Anderson or you're against him. Genuine indifference no longer seems like an option, which of course is part of what makes the now sprawling Anderson filmography so great or/and irritating to begin with.…
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Film, "The Invisible Woman": Ralph Fiennes Channels Dickens, the Ladies' Man

"The Invisible Woman": Ralph Fiennes Channels Dickens, the Ladies' Man

As a sort of counter-programming to the relentless pep of American Hustle or The Wolf of Wall Street, may we suggest Ralph Fiennes' stoic and tastefully oblique Charles Dickens biopic? In his sophomore feature as a director, Fiennes avails himself…
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Film, "Coriolanus": Another Unnecessary Shakespeare Adaptation

"Coriolanus": Another Unnecessary Shakespeare Adaptation

Updating Shakespeare seems doubly condescending: the implication that we need help relating to the text, and that the text needs to be made relevant. In the case of Ralph Fiennes's adaptation of Coriolanus — a knotty tragedy about a warrior…
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Film, <i>Fire</i> Flies

Fire Flies

The part with the dragon is really cool. Might as well cut to the chase, right? It's not as though you need anybody to tell you the basic premise of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; if you somehow…
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Film, Say Cheese

Say Cheese

Ah, Wallace and Gromit. Who doesn't get a little lift at the sound of those names? Who doesn't feel the edges of her mouth begin to tickle toward a smile, her heart grow warmer with images of the love between…
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Film, Low Yield

Low Yield

At the opening of The Constant Gardener, Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles' adaptation of the novel by John le Carré, we hear a conversation before we see it. The screen remains black, still running credits, as a man and a woman…
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Film, Love Stings

Love Stings

"Hell is a sort of high-class nightclub," wrote George Orwell, "entry to which is reserved for Catholics only." This sentiment is on stark display in the work of novelist Graham Greene, whose adulterous relationship (with the very married Catherine Welston,…
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The Glass Menagerie

Oscar and Lucinda Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Written by Laura Jones, from Peter Carey's novel. Starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett. Opens Friday, Jan. 23, at the Embarcadero Center. Set in 19th-century Australia, this tale of two gamblers -- Oscar,…
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