Ratatouille (review)

Oh, but there is joy in this movie… It fills you up, this wonderful, wonderful movie, with just the simple yet profound connection it’s possible to make with another creature, even if that creature is merely a cartoon rat.

best writing and direction of 2004: cut and print…

BEST DIRECTOR Lars von Trier, Dogville Ever a risktaker, Lars von Trier took one of the biggest risks onscreen in 2004 with a determinedly uncinematic film that was also unabashedly political — a breathtaking and refreshingly daring combination in an era of play-it-safe “entertainment.” Setting his cast and his scene on a bare, black-box stage, … more…

best performances of 2004: ready for their closeup…

BEST ACTOR Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda It’s a role that, in the hands of even another very competent actor, could have descended into pathos and sentimentality, but Cheadle’s performance goes way beyond mere competence: As an Oskar Schindler-type figure in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, he approaches incomprehensible horrors in a way that makes us intimate partners … more…

The Incredibles (review)

That teaser trailer — you know the one I’m talking about — with the fat old ex-superhero struggling to get into his spandex costume? It left such a bad taste in my mouth whenever I contemplated the film that must go with it. I imagined a gang of former masked crusaders called out of happy retirement, reluctantly huffing and puffing their way back into action, replete with very unfunny cracks about getting fat and old, and probably with an even more unfunny getting-into-shape-a-la-*Rocky* sequence thrown in for good measure.