The Golden Globe Awards' five nominations for "Boyhood" and four for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" will be analyzed many ways in a season that has seen little clarity beyond the emerging dominance of "Birdman." I call it the Texas Effect. Or to put it in modern terms, #TheTexasEffect.
"Inherent Vice," Paul Thomas Anderson's trippy, trenchant satire, is very much a creature of Thomas Pynchon's biting deconstruction of the final daze of peace, love and understanding that gives the film its inspiration and its name.
To put it bluntly, it took Cheryl Strayed wandering in the woods to get Reese Witherspoon back on track. In "Wild," based on Strayed's bestselling memoir of her punishing 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, the actress discovers her deeper self much like the character she played....
These scenes began flashing through my mind just as the Screen Actors Guild Awards began announcing nominations for performance by a cast in a motion picture:
The comely mistress of the manor is hot and bothered, the homely cook is cool and collected, and the dashing valet is desired by both. In "Miss Julie," an Irish period piece of class divides, sexual politics and power games, things will end badly, one suspects, though the denouement still...
"Wild" opens high atop the Pacific Crest Trail, where at first all the eye can see is the sweeping beauty of a rugged land, unmarred and untamed. The scene is breathtaking, serene, until it is broken by pain and pierced by a scream.
Ben Affleck has played virtually every style of loser lug on-screen, each lug better than the last.
"The Babadook" is a smart, darkly drawn modern-day horror movie of monsters, memories and mothers.