April 25, 2013 |
Spycraft has long been associated with the use of numbers stations - shortwave radio outposts sending cryptic numerical messages over the airwaves, often in a female voice. The thriller "The Numbers Station" employs this low-fi, high-enigma gimmick for a story about a disillusioned CIA hit man (John Cusack) assigned to protect a pretty American numbers reader (Malin Akerman) posted in a bunker in the English countryside. When the pair are ambushed in a brazen siege on the station, they try to suss out who their enemies are while overcoming each other's increasing mistrust.
December 20, 2012 |
Talk about a good week. On back-to-back days last week, Nicole Kidman received two nominations each from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes. Both organizations cited her performance in the television movie "Hemingway & Gellhorn" opposite Clive Owen, but what caught many by surprise was the pair of supporting actress nominations she received for her role in Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy. " The simmering noir film has been a point of controversy and conversation since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, with audiences buzzing over Kidman's fearless, bold performance as Charlotte Bless, a Florida woman who falls for a convicted murderer (John Cusack)
December 12, 2012 |
Among the biggest surprises in the Screen Actors Guild nominations Wednesday morning was Nicole Kidman's best supporting actress nod for the little-seen movie “The Paperboy.” In the film, set in late-1960s Florida, Kidman plays Charlotte Bless, a mess of short skirts, tight pants, tall hair and smudgy eyeliner, who becomes involved in a dangerous romantic entanglement with a man jailed for murder (John Cusack). Kidman has long been notable for her bold choices in roles. But her trashy turn in “The Paperboy” seems particularly at odds with her image both as a fashion icon and a dedicated wife and mother living a quiet life outside Nashville.
October 8, 2012 |
Peter Gabriel long ago established himself as a master at merging music, image and theater, going back to his watershed music videos at the dawn of MTV in the '80s, and before that with the ambitious stage productions he and the members of prog-rock band Genesis assembled in the '70s. During his performance Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl, the singer, songwriter, artist and political activist was at the heart of another confluence of music, memory and imagery when actor John Cusack wandered onstage with a large boombox.
October 5, 2012 |
If there were ever a genre referred to as "film maudit hot mess," movies so irrepressibly wrong as to be irresistibly right, the work of Lee Daniels would be filed on that shelf. Not many filmmakers would follow a success like "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," a film that was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two, with "The Paperboy," a movie already notorious for a jaw-dropping scene involving Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and a jellyfish sting. That's not even the wildest thing in Daniels' interpretation of Pete Dexter's 1995 novel, brought to the screen as an overheated Southern thriller cross-wired with a melodramatic coming-of-age story underlined by an obsession with sex, race and violence.
October 4, 2012 |
Director Lee Daniels has a habit of falling madly in love with characters nobody else wants, out of an underclass littered with sociopaths, psychopaths and their victims. He has done it again in the sweat-soaked noir of "The Paperboy. " It's the Florida Everglades of the 1960s, and there is nothing friendly about this place, including the backcountry alligator skinner on death row, the chippy who's fallen for him, or the journalists intent on saving him. An exceptional cast led by Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and John Cusack gives these tawdry miscreants a scuzzy, sexy, sad reality that is as unerring as it is unnerving.