Let’s be honest. We lucked out. We’re already in June, basically, and most every Quality Film that’s been released so far has been a dog. So we’re really not in a place to kvetch about the fact that it looks like "Cinderella Man," barring any strikingly grotesque flaws, will kick off OscarÂ®Talk for the year. Seriously, look at all it’s got going for it: Russell Crowe will be playing a person who, in an uglier form, actually existed; Ron Howard will be there doing his wholesome thing; sepia-toned Depression-era crowds will be Uplifted by a Scrappy Underdog (a motif that can make any film, no matter how non-compelling, into award fodder); and it’s about boxing, which, cinematic subject-wise, is obviously the new prostitution. Anyway, in the Hollywood Reporter Martin Grove has seen it and says "it’s clear that one of this year’s five best picture slots is already spoken for." And Crowe and Howard play BFFs for USA Today.
The quality of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" is a non-issue if there ever was one â€” this could be a movie about professional Parcheesi and people would rush to see the sparks fly off of Brangelina as they race their pieces around the board. But could it be a good movie? Lev Grossman at Time looks into the film’s casting troubles, and Kim Masters at the LA Times examines how director Doug Liman seems determined to establish himself as the David O. Russell of mainstream Hollywood (Liman, you’re nothing until you’ve punched George Clooney).
At the London Times, Sean Macaulay looks at the great legacy of wooden acting, and gives his top ten.
At Slate, David Edelstein, inspired by the oddness of Samuel L. Jackson and Yoda appearing together on screen, gathers the "oddest cinematic couplings" from readers. Overwhelming surprise winner: Woody Allen.
And at the New York Observer, John Sayles talks about his "day job" writing scripts for blockbusters. He’s working on "Jurassic Park IV," and mentions that an earlier version of the script was intercepted by a hacker, who, worst of all, offered notes on it.
+ Dazzling premiere, bright future for ‘Cinderella’ (HR)
+ Crowe, Howard step into the ring together (USA Today)
+ When Brad Met Angie (Time)
+ Mad about him (LA Times)
+ They put the wood in Hollywood (Times)
+ Season of Our Disconnects (Slate)
+ Saylesâ€™ People (NY Observer)