Joy (2015)

Watching David O. Russell’s Joy is akin to watching his career: abundant potential dribbling sadly away. The first half hour or so of the film, a biopic of Joy Mangano, Miracle Mop inventor (Jennifer Lawrence), takes the kind of stuff usually brushed over in these films – the anxieties of running household, familial tensions, financial…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…

American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle reminded me of a scene from another, very different 2013 movie. About halfway through Spring Breakers, gangster-rapper (emphasis on the former) Alien, played by James Franco, bursts into a memorable, consumerist rant. “Look at my shit!” he cries, roving around his expensive bedroom, festooned with gold-plated guns and a television playing Scarface on…