Category | Danny Peary on Film

Chris Messina Had Two Roles Making “Alex of Venice”

Posted on 16 April 2015

Just as the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival is underway comes the theatrical release of a film from last year’s festival. You can see Alex of Venice beginning Friday in New York. Chris Messina, a native of Newport, has been all over the place as an actor–from television’s The Mindy Project and The Newsroom to major films like Argo, Manglehorn, Cake and Vicky, Christina Barcelona to such TFF flicks as Fairhaven and The Giant Mechanical Man–and you can see him in Alex of Venice, too, but it is also his directorial debut. And he has done a super job, particularly with his fine cast.

All About “About Elly”

Posted on 09 April 2015

About Elly fits my category Movies That Should Play in Sag Harbor. I’m delighted that this marvelous Iranian masterwork, a mix of mystery and societal issues, finally made its New York debut this Wednesday at the Film Forum (where you should see it before April 21) because it was made six years ago. In fact it was made two years before the next collaboration of director Asghar Farhadi and brilliant actor Payman Maadi/Peyman Moaadi), A Separation, and that extraordinary film played in New York, Hollywood, and around the world, capturing the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Should We All Celebrate “The Sound of Music” 50 Years Later?

Posted on 14 March 2015

Following a Julie Andrews-Lady Gaga tribute at the Oscars, Twentieth-Century Fox is launching a year-long campaign to celebrate The Sound of Music’s 50th Anniversary. A highlight will be the theatrical release of a restored version of the film on April 19 and 22. Also, four new books and a themed Princess Cruise are scheduled. But before any of that comes the home entertainment release this week.

Margot Robbie in “Focus”

Posted on 05 March 2015

I found it interesting that Margot Robbie, an Australian actress with few screen credits but fantastic looks and diverse acting talents, was entrusted to do almost as much media as superstar Will Smith to promote Focus, a mischievous mix of suspense and romantic comedy that is playing at the UA East Hampton 6. And that the movie’s trailer was filled with (sexy) images of her. I think it’s because everyone involved with the movie believed her multifaceted portrayal of a young woman who is eager for Smith’s dapper conman to make her his partner in his trade and his life will launch her into instant stardom.

Whiplash’s Director Damien Chazelle on His First Jazz Movie and Himself

Posted on 28 February 2015

I could write a book about how much I usually disagree with Academy Award selections—wait, I already did!—but I must say I was delighted that writer-direct Damien Chazelle’s riveting semiautobiographical Whiplash sneaked off with three Oscars (it was nominated five times).) The biggest one was for supporting actor J.K. Simmons as the smiling martinet jazz band leader who makes life miserable for but, perhaps inadventently, pushes defiant young drummer Miles Teller to greatness.

It Happened One Oscar Night 80 Years Ago

Posted on 19 February 2015

Considering the title of Frank Capra’s classic, it seems odd that this weekend the IFC Center will be showing It Happened One Night at 11 a.m. in the morning. But no matter, it’s Oscar weekend and this 105-minute, black-and-white comedy gem captured all the major awards for 1934 on February 27, 1935 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

See the Vain Die Ugly in Jane Clark’s “Crazy Bitches”

Posted on 12 February 2015

By Danny Peary It is a fertile time for horror films directed by women. Australian Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook and Iranian Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night have become cult hits and have had long theatrical runs, including at the IFC Center in New York.  Leigh Janiak’s Honeymoon, a creepy body-snatcher [...]

On VOD: Ruth Wilson in “A Walk Among the Tombstones”

Posted on 29 January 2015

By Danny Peary Until she recently won Golden Globe as the Best Actress in a Drama Series for Showtime’s “The Affair,” Ruth Wilson was known best in the US for her TV work at home in England: “Suburban Shootout,” “Jane Eyre,” and as Alice Morgan opposite Idris Elba in “Luther.”  That didn’t change despite her [...]

Evangeline Lilly on “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Posted on 19 January 2015

Back in the long-ago days before movie trilogies meant four films, Evangeline Lilly became a huge television star in Lost as the clever, sexy, and gutsy Kate, who two male rivals voted “Coolest Female to Be Stranded on an Island With.” Now she’s establishing herself as an action movie star as the formidable wood elf Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s two-part final chapter of The Hobbit, and the upcoming Ant-Man. The “defining” fourth film in Jackson’s trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies had its top box-office spot taken by Taken, but it is still attracting large audiences in many Long Island theaters, including in Hampton Bays, and in New York City. So I am posting this one-on-one with Lilly that I did for the Australian magazine FilmInk prior to its release. For those who ask, “What’s Evangeline Lilly really like?,” my answer is, She couldn’t have been nicer.

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Joseph McBride to Appear at the Fabulous Orson Welles Tribute at the Film Forum

Posted on 11 January 2015

I hope all movie fans are aware of the extraordinary retrospective, “Orson Welles 100,” that began at the Film Forum on January 1 and concludes Tuesday February 3. Every theatrical feature Welles directed will be screened, some in different versions. We can see reconstructed versions of various films and several newly restored prints.