“Amour,” and What the Oscars are Really About

I’m just getting around to seeing Michael Haneke’s Amour, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. The French film, nominated for five major awards at last year’s Oscars, barely screened in the U.S. At its widest release, it showed in 333 American theaters. By way of contrast, Argo, the eventual Best Picture winner,…

Should Hollywood Ban Steroids?

In the dog days of this past August, when many Americans were on vacation and few were going to the movies, The Hollywood Reporter quietly published an article about the use of steroids in Hollywood. Apparently, those ripped physiques you’ve been seeing at multiplexes this summer are not the work of nature alone. The article…

The Stale Taste of “Drinking Buddies”

Opening in cities nationwide this Friday, Drinking Buddies represents a significant moment in the career of writer/director Joe Swanberg – a step into the mainstream for the famously independent filmmaker. More than anyone except perhaps Mark Duplass, Swanberg is often associated with the “mumblecore” film movement, a term that he himself only half-embraces. His low-budget…