Film

When was the last time a male actor, already in his forties, and around a while, simply grabbed the kingdom?

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For four decades Ned Beatty has been the unofficial spokesmodel of Appalachian tourism. Even if Beatty, scrambling around in the woods wearing his tighty-whities, isn’t anchored in your somatic memory—even if you have no idea who Ned Beatty is—you know what his character endured in the 1972 film Deliverance.

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"The film is so vague, so fuzzily adoring, that it ultimately tells us far more about the annoying endurance of the cult of Diana than it does about the princess herself."

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Making a film is so hard. Sometimes you wish it had been impossible.

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Last week, I saw 12 Years a Slave and thought it was absolutely superb. For this reason, and because it concerns arguably the most important aspect of American history, I have been seeking out commentary about the film. What I have found instead is a bunch of  hand-wringing about whether the movie should have even been made.

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This piece originally appeared on newstatesman.com.Let’s get the personal bit out of the way. How did Peter Capaldi do?

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The trailer for director Wes Anderson’s next movie, due out in 2014 and called The Grand Budapest Hotel, came out Thursday. It features harpsichord-esque background music, a madcap plot, impish hipster humor made funnier by contrast to its opulent surroundings, and lots of shots of characters framed in the center, as though they are on a stage.

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I started working with Stanley at The New Republic in 1978, when I was twenty-four and he was sixty-two. The best part of my job was proofreading his reviews. It involved no work, since we both regarded him as editorially infallible. We spent a few moments each week on the phone correcting the typesetter’s errors, then moved on to an art he relished as much as film: conversation. That is, he entertained, and I listened.

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'Captain Phillips' Will Pummel You Into Submission

You won't even notice Tom Hanks's awful Boston accent

Paul Greengrass could make the most mundane human activity—slouching in a work cubicle, napping in a hammock—feel dramatic. In the opening scene of the English director's latest frenetic film, Captain Phillips, we find the titular hero, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), leaning intently over a desk in his Underhill, Vermont, home—on March 28, 2009, to be exact. Phillips rifles through documents, clicks around his computer, locates his work badge, and checks his watch.

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