Ryan Gosling Destroys in “A Place Beyond the Pines”

The Place Beyond the Pines is just a movie, but it arrives with the unreasonable expectations of a savior. Not only does it star the so-hot-right-now Bradley Cooper and the perpetually-hot Ryan Gosling, but the film is being released in the dregs of a particularly poor winter for cinema. Need I count the ways that…

Did Obama Rig the Oscars?

Conspiracy theorists, start your engines. When early front-runner Zero Dark Thirty won but one Oscar on Sunday night, it marked quite a fall from grace. For most of awards season, it was the prohibitive favorite for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and most of the technical awards. Of course, we all know what happened.…

Mental Illness as Plot Device in “Silver Linings”

For many years, director David O. Russell was known for his eccentricity. His films were odd, idiosyncratic comedies such as Flirting with Disaster and I Heart Huckabees, which garnered cult followings but no mainstream success. Then there was the leaked video of Russell throwing a vicious tantrum on the set of Huckabees. Although Lily Tomlin,…