| Feb 21, 2014
When one or more of the seven writers nominated for best original screenplay rises next Sunday to accept the Academy Award, he or she will thank a bunch of people, but not Ben Hecht. Hecht is mostly forgotten now, in Hollywood and Chicago, two very...
| Jan 23, 2014
| 12:30 PM
Academy voters try to adhere to the organization's myriad rules during Oscar season -- except for the one barring them from talking about their vote. A convivial lot, Academy members (I've been one for 30 years) habitually chat about their likes and...
| Dec 31, 2013
Matthew Brady graduated from Daniel Hand High School in Madison in 1995 and went to James Madison University in Virginia for one year. Then he transferred to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and majored in Spanish. The motivation for the transfer wasn't...
| Oct 13, 2013
Elizabeth Gilbert is of course best known for “Eat, Pray, Love” (2006), the megaselling memoir that was made into a popular 2010 film with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. But Gilbert's first love was fiction, to which she makes a triumphant...
| Oct 17, 2013
| 3:28 PM
With Halloween trying to sneak up on us, it's time to look without fear at the differences between what makes men scary and what makes women scary.
For example, your male villain in a horror movie must have third-degree peeling burns and open sores over...
| Dec 6, 2013
| 1:12 PM
Northern Irish playwright Lisa McGee fashioned her piece "Jump" as a comedic thriller — likely with 1990s Quentin Tarantino in mind, with wisecracking thugs and reckless lovebirds teleported between different timelines in a maze-like narrative. When...
| Sep 30, 2013
| 10:51 AM
"Oscar," a new documentary on the 85-year history of the Academy Awards, will premiere Feb. 1 on TCM.
The program will help start the channel's annual 31 Days of Oscar festival. Each night during the event, TCM will present movies that competed for...
| Dec 14, 2012
| 11:00 AM
It's as if this year filmmakers remembered why God made movies. In a world of nonstop data where most of the static is gossip in 140 soul-destroying words or less, cinema has had a transcendent 12 months — a visual renaissance that has burned past...
| Nov 29, 2012
| 7:37 AM
Writer-director Andrea Arnold made "Red Road" and "Fish Tank," two frank and exceptional portraits of emotionally isolated young women hurtling, dangerously, into their futures. These character studies, set in Scotland and England, respectively,...
| Dec 7, 2012
| 12:10 PM
I'm 51 and Bilbo-free. Somehow "The Hobbit" has eluded me my entire reading life. What was I reading in junior high when I first noticed everyone else was reading it? "Big A: The Story of Lew Alcindor," maybe. Or William K. Everson's book on Laurel &...
| Feb 2, 2012
| 8:37 PM
She's got the look. She's also got the walk, the talk and the wardrobe.
When Michelle Williams pouts and flounces and oozes her way across the screen in "My Week With Marilyn," giving herself unreservedly to the role of a tormented yet still-alluring...