Marie Antoinette

Tom Hardy has had a break-out few years, pulling himself out of the ensemble obscurity he found himself in even in larger movies (don’t pretend you picked him out of the line up in Black Hawk Down). Sure, he was solid in the Guy Ritchie and Guy-Ritchie-like films, but it wasn’t until Bronson that he really emerged as a major force in the film fan world. That’s when he became a household name in households that have Terry Gilliam-signed Brazil quads hanging in their foyers. Fortunately, he was able to translate that insider appeal into broad-based worship by stealing scenes in Inception and becoming the man that broke the bat in The Dark Knight Rises (which, ironically, means a giant part of the movie-going world still doesn’t know what he looks like). He’s proven himself fearless, and like many actors, he’s had an unusual road to get to the top. In a way, he’s a That Guy character actor who’s become a leading man, so let’s take a short, strange trip into the roles of his rising career. It begins in the ancient time of 2001.

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Culture Warrior

Yesterday the Twittersphere (a place where topics are only discussed in rational proportions) was abuzz with the news that Terrence Malick’s long-awaited magnum opus Tree of Life was booed at its Cannes premiere. While the reaction to Malick’s latest will no doubt continue to be at least as divisive and polarized as his previous work has been, for many Malick fans the news of the boos only perpetuated more interest in the film, and for many Malick non-fans the boos signaled an affirmation of what they’ve long-seen as lacking in his work. (Just to clarify, there was also reported applause, counter-applause, and counter-booing at the screening.) Booing at Cannes has a long history, and can even be considered a tradition. It seems that every year some title is booed, and such a event often only creates more buzz around the film. There’s no formula for what happens to a booed film at Cannes: sometimes history proves that the booed film was ahead of its time, sometimes booing either precedes negative critical reactions that follow or reflect the film’s divisiveness during its commercial release. Booed films often win awards. If there is one aspect connecting almost all booed films at Cannes, it’s that the films are challenging. I mean challenging as a descriptor that gives no indication of quality (much like I consider the term “slow”), but films that receive boos at the festival challenge their audiences or the parameters of the medium in one way or another, for better or […]

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Somewhere is the exact type of film you expect from Sofia Coppola. Thematically, it’s very similar to her other works. And its lead protagonist, Johnny Marco, is a celebrity. A celebrity (like Bob in Lost in Translation) that is empty and nearly invisible. There are a lot of people who can’t sympathize with those with success. It’s a cynical response, and Coppola doesn’t seem to understand it as well. There’s something saddening and universal about Johnny Marco that people without large bank accounts should be able to connect with. Most of Coppola’s leads are always lost and trying to find footing in their lives. Coppola explores similar themes quite frequently from isolation to empty success, and revisiting those themes and trying to keep it fresh is something the acclaimed director discussed below. Coppola was swift in her responses, but always to the point. Thankfully, I had plenty of time with her and found her to be quite pleasant and passionate.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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