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By Jay Boyar and Jay Boyar,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 20, 2003
It isn't often that you hear the term "sexually adventurous" and the name Frances McDormand in the same sentence. McDormand is out to change all that with Laurel Canyon. She plays Jane, a California record producer who works out of a studio in her Laurel Canyon home. The film shows what happens when Jane's straight-arrow son (Christian Bale) and his fiancee (Kate Beckinsale) drop in for a visit with his hipster mom. The role, says McDormand, "was a gift, a complete gift, for a 45-year-old female actor to play."
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By Jordan Bartel, b | July 13, 2011
It's not difficult to be surprised by Sean Penn's acting choices, but take a look at the just-released trailer for "This Must Be the Place. " According to IMDB, Penn plays "A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father's executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S. " It co-stars Frances McDormand and Judd Hirsch. Enjoy!
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 7, 2008
In Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, making whoopee is divine but sisterhood is powerful. This screwball frolic set in 1939 London stars Amy Adams as would-be West End headliner Delysia Lafosse and Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew, the failed governess who winds up as her social secretary. It's an unusual and engaging romantic comedy because it's mostly about how these women ready each other for real love. Their friendship is the fulcrum on which success with men is based. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Focus)
ENTERTAINMENT
Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2010
For 13 years, Baltimore's Laura Lippman, creator of the Tess Monaghan private-eye series, has shown mystery fans that high-caliber writing is more potent than full-bore gunplay. But a new wave of media interest, and the release Tuesday of her most ambitious nonseries novel yet — the harrowing, impassioned "I'd Know You Anywhere" — suggest that Lippman, 51, is on the verge of breaking out to bigger audiences as a master storyteller, not just a master of her genre. If it all comes through, her work will soon be ubiquitous.
FEATURES
By Peter Jensen and Peter Jensen,SUN STAFF | March 26, 1997
From: Peter JensenBaltimore SunBaltimore, Md.To: Frances McDormandBest Actress Oscar Winnerc/o Gramercy PicturesBeverly Hills, Calif.Dear Fran:Congratulations on your big win the other night at the Academy Awards! You sure have come a long way since we performed together on the stage of Bethany College -- the self-proclaimed "Small College of Distinction" in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.You haven't changed at all. Really. You look exactly the same as you did in 1979, although you tended to dress more informally than you did on Oscar night.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jordan Bartel, b | July 13, 2011
It's not difficult to be surprised by Sean Penn's acting choices, but take a look at the just-released trailer for "This Must Be the Place. " According to IMDB, Penn plays "A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father's executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S. " It co-stars Frances McDormand and Judd Hirsch. Enjoy!
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 28, 2000
It's a sad commentary on a dismal summer movie season that the best news comes in the form of a re-edited director's cut. "Blood Simple," the feature debut of the Coen Brothers, proves to be just as gripping and rewarding as when it first introduced filmgoers to the Coens' wickedly funny world view in 1985. A few minutes have been snipped from the original and some music cues added, but if it's been 15 years, you won't notice much difference. What's most striking about this re-issue is how fresh it still feels, the crackling intelligence that propels its murderous action, the understated grace with which its psychological arabesques are executed, and the fine acting that makes it play so well.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | October 29, 1991
''The Butcher's Wife'' is a film brimming with sweetness, charm and good humor. It brings the vintage French and English comedies to mind, those movies that were always referred to as ''little.''''The Butcher's Wife'' may well be "little," but it is also thoroughly delightful. It's a film that includes a continuously amusing collection of characters we might all like to know.The lead character is Marina, played by Demi Moore. Marina is a clairvoyant who lives in North Carolina. She is convinced she must marry the first fisherman who appears on her shore, on a particular day.He is Leo Lemke, a butcher played by George Dzundza.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | January 11, 1991
'Hidden Agenda'Starring Frances McDormand and Brian Cox.Directed by Ken Loach.Released by Hemdale.Rated R.... ** It's a loathsome fact of modern life that those who we pay to protect us sometimes protect us too well. They destroy our villages to save them.That distressing tendency is the subject proper of "Hidden Agenda," a political thriller set in Northern Ireland. It alleges that the Royal Ulster Constabulary, in collusion with British intelligence and various British elite security units like S.A.S.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | January 15, 1991
''Hidden Agenda'' is one of those have-to-make films. Director Ken Loach apparently felt he had to do it.Loach has done four television documentaries that were banned in England because of their ''controversial nature.'' He feels that ''Hidden Agenda'' is ''an important story that should be told.''It is, but the fact that the story is so familiar works against it.As ''sensitive documentaries'' go, this is a rather good one. It takes sides in the English/Irish ''Troubles'' but does so in very controlled fashion.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 7, 2008
In Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, making whoopee is divine but sisterhood is powerful. This screwball frolic set in 1939 London stars Amy Adams as would-be West End headliner Delysia Lafosse and Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew, the failed governess who winds up as her social secretary. It's an unusual and engaging romantic comedy because it's mostly about how these women ready each other for real love. Their friendship is the fulcrum on which success with men is based. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Focus)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2003
Laurel Canyon features Frances McDormand giving her all as a Los Angeles record producer who lives and works in a contemporary post-hippie whirl of pop art, hedonism and substance abuse. She has a disc to finish so she can't stop the carnival when her Harvard M.D. son (Christian Bale) arrives at her door with his fiancee (Kate Beckinsale), who has a Harvard M.D. and (almost) Ph.D. He's come to take a pyschiatric residency at an L.A. clinic while his bride-to-be finishes her thesis on genomics.
FEATURES
By Jay Boyar and Jay Boyar,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 20, 2003
It isn't often that you hear the term "sexually adventurous" and the name Frances McDormand in the same sentence. McDormand is out to change all that with Laurel Canyon. She plays Jane, a California record producer who works out of a studio in her Laurel Canyon home. The film shows what happens when Jane's straight-arrow son (Christian Bale) and his fiancee (Kate Beckinsale) drop in for a visit with his hipster mom. The role, says McDormand, "was a gift, a complete gift, for a 45-year-old female actor to play."
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 28, 2000
It's a sad commentary on a dismal summer movie season that the best news comes in the form of a re-edited director's cut. "Blood Simple," the feature debut of the Coen Brothers, proves to be just as gripping and rewarding as when it first introduced filmgoers to the Coens' wickedly funny world view in 1985. A few minutes have been snipped from the original and some music cues added, but if it's been 15 years, you won't notice much difference. What's most striking about this re-issue is how fresh it still feels, the crackling intelligence that propels its murderous action, the understated grace with which its psychological arabesques are executed, and the fine acting that makes it play so well.
FEATURES
By ANN HORNADAY and ANN HORNADAY,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 25, 2000
An air of rumpled desperation suffuses "Wonder Boys," as if human emotion were muffled under cottony layers of denial and angst, flailing to get out. A story of midlife crisis, creative paralysis and the liberating power of conscious choice, "Wonder Boys" exists in that mid-range between an arty small film and a star-driven Hollywood vehicle. It's that rare, thoroughly satisfying comedy that modestly reaches toward mature filmgoers, counting on their wry recognition of its chastened tone and graying pop references (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young)
FEATURES
By Peter Jensen and Peter Jensen,SUN STAFF | March 26, 1997
From: Peter JensenBaltimore SunBaltimore, Md.To: Frances McDormandBest Actress Oscar Winnerc/o Gramercy PicturesBeverly Hills, Calif.Dear Fran:Congratulations on your big win the other night at the Academy Awards! You sure have come a long way since we performed together on the stage of Bethany College -- the self-proclaimed "Small College of Distinction" in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.You haven't changed at all. Really. You look exactly the same as you did in 1979, although you tended to dress more informally than you did on Oscar night.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2003
Laurel Canyon features Frances McDormand giving her all as a Los Angeles record producer who lives and works in a contemporary post-hippie whirl of pop art, hedonism and substance abuse. She has a disc to finish so she can't stop the carnival when her Harvard M.D. son (Christian Bale) arrives at her door with his fiancee (Kate Beckinsale), who has a Harvard M.D. and (almost) Ph.D. He's come to take a pyschiatric residency at an L.A. clinic while his bride-to-be finishes her thesis on genomics.
FEATURES
By ANN HORNADAY and ANN HORNADAY,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 25, 2000
An air of rumpled desperation suffuses "Wonder Boys," as if human emotion were muffled under cottony layers of denial and angst, flailing to get out. A story of midlife crisis, creative paralysis and the liberating power of conscious choice, "Wonder Boys" exists in that mid-range between an arty small film and a star-driven Hollywood vehicle. It's that rare, thoroughly satisfying comedy that modestly reaches toward mature filmgoers, counting on their wry recognition of its chastened tone and graying pop references (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young)
FEATURES
By Janet Weeks and Janet Weeks,LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS | January 24, 1997
In further solidification of 1996 as the year of the independent film, the lion's share of Screen Actor Guild Award nominations announced yesterday went to performers in small pictures made outside the major studios.Nods went to the casts of "The English Patient," "Marvin's Room," "Shine," "Sling Blade" and "The Birdcage" and to many of the actors who starred in those films. Of the eight films given multiple nominations, only two ("The Birdcage" and "Jerry Maguire") were the products of major studios (MGM/UA and Columbia/TriStar, respectively)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | August 25, 1995
"Beyond Rangoon" isn't beyond anything: It's right in the middle, between liberal passion and liberal condescension, where it wobbles awkwardly.Least impressively, it's full of the kind of Asians that seem only to exist in patronizing Western movies. The gentle yet wise professor, issuing sugary homilies and commenting on the pains of the heart, is one such. So is the passionate radical committed to democracy, the saintly political figure whose very presence turns aside guns, the scruffy yet charming little native boys who bond with the exotic American woman.
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