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Melissa Anderson

Life During Wartime (photo)

Life During Wartime

On stage with the cast of her latest movie at the Toronto Film Festival last September, Kathryn Bigelow leaned in closely to the microphone to dramatically proffer this greeting to the audience right before the lights went down: “Welcome…to ‘The Hurt Locker.’” The invitation suggested that we were about to enter both a specific physical […]

Knowing It All (photo)

Knowing It All

Woody Allen has returned to New York, but does New York want him back? For the excruciating “Whatever Works,” his first Gotham-set movie since 2004’s “Melinda and Melinda,” Allen dusted off a script written around the time of “Annie Hall,” intended as a vehicle for Zero Mostel, who died a few months after that film […]

The Timing of “Pelham 1 2 3” (photo)

The Timing of “Pelham 1 2 3”

I first saw Joseph Sargent’s original “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” at Film Forum less than a month before September 11th. The theater’s later revival of the classic 1974 heist movie unspooled two weeks after the blackout of 2003. The coincidental timing of both engagements reinforced what makes Sargent’s film (with a script […]

Four Women (photo)

Four Women

With apologies to Nina Simone, I’d like to dedicate this week in film to four women: Yolande, Mariah, Maya and Joan. In her last two lead performances, Brussels-born Yolande Moreau has shown exceptional nuance and grace in roles that could have easily toppled lesser actresses. “When the Sea Rises” (2004), which Moreau also co-wrote and […]