The Look of Love

2013 reject awards

Another year, another creeping sense of dissatisfaction with the standard awards program. Sure it’s important to celebrate the best of the best of the best in the usual categories, but it all becomes a bit stale when the Oscars will be the dozenth major body to denote a best actor or cinematographer or score. Instead, we offer this alternative: a look at the strongest work of the movie year through the lens of odd trends and pure randomness. To wit, a header image that features our task-master-in-chief Neil Miller wondering if he forgot to send out invitations to the gala (he didn’t). We’re repeating an award from last year because you demanded it, but 2013 gave us enough weird and wonderfulness to fill up a whole new ballot otherwise. Please feel free to make up your own awards in the comments section.

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Steve Coogan in The Look of Love

The Look of Love marks Steve Coogan’s fourth collaboration with Michael Winterbottom and it’s an ideal companion piece to their 24 Hour Party People (2002), offering another decades-spanning look at a seminal, if lesser-known, British cultural figure. It’s a complex character study that offers some of Coogan’s most interesting work and another testament to Winterbottom’s knack for period naturalism. Here, Coogan plays Paul Raymond, who was dubbed the King of Soho for his property purchases, proprietorship of the U.K.’s first strip joint and publication of erotica magazines including Men Only and Escort. The film traces Raymond’s three decades or so as his nation’s Hugh Hefner, wheeling, dealing to amass his empire.

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The Look of Love

Michael Winterbottom has made a lot of goddamn movies. Unlike most directors, though, he doesn’t really have a type of film that he sticks to or is known for. This lack of a label allows him to move effortlessly from comedy to drama, political to pornographic artistic, period to contemporary, and once and a while he’ll even dip his toes into the biographical. It’s that last category that his latest film, The Look of Love, resides… alongside strong elements of the dramatic, comedic, period and artistic, of course. Steve Coogan plays real-life multi-millionaire Paul Raymond, a man whose immense fortune came on the backs of nude women dancing in his clubs, posing in his magazines and playing in his bed. Starting in the near present with the death of his daughter, the film flashes back to his early days as proprietor of a classy gentleman’s club and traces his rise in wealth and fame alongside his descent into sleaze and immorality.

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Prince Avalanche

Expectations? This is my first Sundance Film Festival, so the only things I know I’ll encounter are movies, cold snow, overpriced sandwiches, and familiar faces. It should be a great time provided the movies are good, the snow is outside my boots, the sandwiches are tasty and the faces are friendly. Prepare for some very disgruntled tweets otherwise. Looking through the list of titles playing Sundance this year, I tallied a whopping thirty-eight films that I want to see. Kate Erbland said that made her too nervous, presumably because it’s so close to her age (something she’s very conscious of, EDIT: not even close, Hunter!), so she asked me to drop it to a more youthful number. It wasn’t easy to do, but through a complicated series of algorithms and drinking games, I knocked off twenty-eight. What remains are my ten most anticipated films of Sundance 2013! Read them, and be as excited as I am at the prospect of maybe getting in to see them!

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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