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trailer break: ‘Red Cliff’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer… Totally awesome. I so fell in love with Takeshi Kaneshiro in House of Flying Daggers, and he’s just as enticing here as a sort of Jedi warrior. Plus, there’s some cool battles and shit. Red Cliff opens in the U.S. today; it played in U.K. theaters this … more…

best production design of 2004 (plus some other bests and worsts of the year)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (encompassing production design, costumes, and makeup) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou I usually favor invented worlds when picking the year’s best production work… and maybe I’ve done that here, too. Steve Zissou’s universe feels like it’s a baby step off skew with our own — the colors just a tad flat, … more…

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…