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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 6, 2005
I've often wondered how Jonathan Demme, the warmest, most intuitive of filmmakers, managed, in his biggest hit, to create a benchmark monster - Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). It may be that Hannibal reflects everything Demme mistrusts about power without conscience and intellect without feeling. Writers once commonly referred to villains as "bad actors." Hannibal is more like a bad director. Often described as the devil, he's more specifically the anti-God. He controls life or death like a natural catastrophe.
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By Michael Sragow | November 21, 2008
Rachel Getting Married **** ( 4 STARS) Before this year's bigger-budget Oscar favorites crowd it off the screen, don't miss Jonathan Demme's vibrant comedy-drama about the ties that bind - and sometimes strangle. Anne Hathaway gives a career-changing performance as a recovering addict. She complicates the wedding plans of her sister, but she also jars family members out of reflex attitudes.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 25, 2002
SUN SCORE ***1/2 The Truth About Charlie updates the classic Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant caper Charade, about a beautiful widow in Paris stalked for a fortune she never knew about, with the freedom and euphoria of a moviemaking team on a creative spree. With incandescent Thandie Newton as the heroine, stalwart Mark Wahlberg as the enigmatic American who comes to her aid, and slippery Tim Robbins as an officious helpmate from the American Embassy, director Jonathan Demme treats the premise as a great big snowball that he can roll merrily down a fresh new slope.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 26, 2008
When you see her in the opening shot of the splendid Rachel Getting Married, dragging casually yet also urgently on a cigarette, her flowing hair chopped, her expression cryptic and intense, it may take you a while to register her as Anne Hathaway. That's just another way of saying you see her immediately as her character, Kym, a recovering drug addict about to return home for the wedding of her sister, Rachel. What's astonishing about Hathaway's performance in this wrenching tragicomedy is that it never loses that initial gleam of shock and surprise.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2004
At the same time that director Jonathan Demme was mounting the milestone anti-yuppie comedy, Something Wild (1986), the hilarious Mafia parody, Married to the Mob (1988), the breakthrough serial-killer thriller The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and the first mainstream-film attack on homophobia in the time of AIDS, Philadelphia (1993), he was slaking his thirst for unspoiled culture and liberation politics by plunging into all things Haitian. Demme's previous documentaries about Haiti barely made it past the festival circuit.
FEATURES
By ANN HORNADAY and ANN HORNADAY,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 13, 1998
Conventional wisdom used to have it that movie theaters weren't safe for adults until well after Labor Day, but the summer of 1998 gave the lie to such thinking.With fare like "The Truman Show," "Out of Sight" and "Saving Private Ryan" - not to mention the gross-out comedy "There's Something About Mary" for the inner 13-year-old boy in everyone - grown-ups had their share of diversions while the kids feasted on "Madeline," "Mulan" and "The Parent Trap."Still, a look ahead confirms the tradition of autumn as the back-to-basics movie season, with new films from such beloved veterans as John Frankenheimer, Woody Allen, Jonathan Demme, Ken Loach and Terrence Malick, not to mention young Turks like Todd Solondz, Gus Van Sant and Bryan Singer.
FEATURES
March 26, 1992
The best director category in the Oscar competition includes Barry Levinson, a native Baltimorean who has made several films here but not the 1991 movie for which he was nominated; Jonathan Demme, whose nominated movie was partially set in Baltimore but not filmed here, and John Singleton, at 23 the youngest person ever nominated in the category. Winners will be revealed in a March 30 telecast on ABC-TV (Channel 13).The Evening Sun would like to know which director you feel should win: Barry Levinson, "Bugsy"; Jonathan Demme, "The Silence of the Lambs"; John Singleton, "Boyz N the Hood"; Oliver Stone, "JFK," or Ridley Scott, "Thelma & Louise."
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 10, 2006
Jonathan Demme's Neil Young: Heart of Gold turns two Young performances at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 18 and 19, 2005, into an intimate epic. Demme, like his star, knows the power and eloquence of plain utterance. But to generate this movie's tsunami of emotion, the director doesn't rely on the yearning, anger and affection that pour out from Young's Prairie Wind album. Shot by shot, choice by choice, he magnifies the feelings and multiplies the meanings of each verse or chord, each glance between performers or faraway look in their eyes.
FEATURES
March 27, 1992
Jonathan Demme is the clear choice of SUNDIAL callers for best director in this year's Academy Awards. The director of the popular thriller ''The Silence of the Lambs'' received 71 votes, well ahead of Oliver Stone, who got 46 votes for his direction of ''JFK.''John Singleton, the youngest director ever nominated for best director, got 37 votes for his ''Boyz N the Hood," Barry Levinson got 33 for ''Bugsy'' and Ridley Scott was last with 17 votes for ''Thelma & Louise." The Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast Monday night on ABC (Channel 13)
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | November 21, 2008
Rachel Getting Married **** ( 4 STARS) Before this year's bigger-budget Oscar favorites crowd it off the screen, don't miss Jonathan Demme's vibrant comedy-drama about the ties that bind - and sometimes strangle. Anne Hathaway gives a career-changing performance as a recovering addict. She complicates the wedding plans of her sister, but she also jars family members out of reflex attitudes.
FEATURES
By Joe Burris and Joe Burris,sun reporter | January 9, 2007
When he released the final volume to his civil rights-era trilogy last year, Taylor Branch called the 24-year project his "life's work." He wondered aloud at the time what he would do after such an undertaking. It appears Branch has found another passion: The historian has begun a book about being Bill Clinton's diarist during the former president's eight years in office. "I've just started writing it," said Branch from his home last week. "I started just after Labor Day." Through Clinton's presidency, Branch said he drove to the White House late at night about once a month to record the president recounting some of the more significant moments of his tenure.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 10, 2006
Jonathan Demme's Neil Young: Heart of Gold turns two Young performances at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 18 and 19, 2005, into an intimate epic. Demme, like his star, knows the power and eloquence of plain utterance. But to generate this movie's tsunami of emotion, the director doesn't rely on the yearning, anger and affection that pour out from Young's Prairie Wind album. Shot by shot, choice by choice, he magnifies the feelings and multiplies the meanings of each verse or chord, each glance between performers or faraway look in their eyes.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 6, 2005
I've often wondered how Jonathan Demme, the warmest, most intuitive of filmmakers, managed, in his biggest hit, to create a benchmark monster - Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). It may be that Hannibal reflects everything Demme mistrusts about power without conscience and intellect without feeling. Writers once commonly referred to villains as "bad actors." Hannibal is more like a bad director. Often described as the devil, he's more specifically the anti-God. He controls life or death like a natural catastrophe.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach and Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | May 5, 2005
With three days of films staring you in the face, it can be a challenge to parse the schedule and decide what's a must-see. Thankfully, Sun movie critics Michael Sragow and Chris Kaltenbach are here to help. Check out their picks for each day. All films are at the Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., unless otherwise noted. Friday It's always nice to start off one's visit to the Maryland Film Festival with a classic, and they don't get much more classic than Robert Mulligan's 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird (10 a.m.)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 23, 2004
At the same time that director Jonathan Demme was mounting the milestone anti-yuppie comedy, Something Wild (1986), the hilarious Mafia parody, Married to the Mob (1988), the breakthrough serial-killer thriller The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and the first mainstream-film attack on homophobia in the time of AIDS, Philadelphia (1993), he was slaking his thirst for unspoiled culture and liberation politics by plunging into all things Haitian. Demme's previous documentaries about Haiti barely made it past the festival circuit.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | October 25, 2002
SUN SCORE ***1/2 The Truth About Charlie updates the classic Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant caper Charade, about a beautiful widow in Paris stalked for a fortune she never knew about, with the freedom and euphoria of a moviemaking team on a creative spree. With incandescent Thandie Newton as the heroine, stalwart Mark Wahlberg as the enigmatic American who comes to her aid, and slippery Tim Robbins as an officious helpmate from the American Embassy, director Jonathan Demme treats the premise as a great big snowball that he can roll merrily down a fresh new slope.
FEATURES
March 30, 1992
"Beauty and the Beast" and "JFK" were neck and neck among SUNDIAL readers in balloting for best picture of 1991. "Bugsy," the choice of many film critics, was a distant also-ran in the SUNDIAL sample.The Disney animated film, the first of its kind ever nominated for best picture, led with 124 votes, with "JFK" breathing down its neck with 122. "The Silence of the Lambs" was a close third with 119 votes.But Barry Levinson's gangster movie "Bugsy," starring Warren Beatty, received only 30 votes, and "The Prince of Tides" picked up just 29.In six days of SUNDIAL questions about the Oscars, ''The bTC Silence of the Lambs" fared best.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | February 14, 1991
Valentine's Day may never be the same.Jonathan Demme's powerful "Silence of the Lambs," opening today in a grand gesture of macabre taste, is rose-red with blood and blue-black with bruise; it's chocolate candy for the reptile part of the brain.Working from Thomas Harris' shocking and very scary novel, Demme goes straight to the heart of madness. The movie is at its queasy, mesmerizing best as it explores the world of the sexually disturbed sociopath who wants not merely to kill but to obliterate with the baroque flamboyance of a Picasso.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and By Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | October 20, 2002
The ads for The Truth About Charlie proclaim, "From the director of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia." But true fans of Jonathan Demme -- the euphoric artist-entertainer who sends established forms soaring in new directions -- will see this elating comic thriller as the latest work from the man who made Something Wild and Married to the Mob. When Demme isn't tackling blockbuster novels like Lambs or grappling with social issues like AIDS in...
FEATURES
By ANN HORNADAY and ANN HORNADAY,SUN FILM CRITIC | September 13, 1998
Conventional wisdom used to have it that movie theaters weren't safe for adults until well after Labor Day, but the summer of 1998 gave the lie to such thinking.With fare like "The Truman Show," "Out of Sight" and "Saving Private Ryan" - not to mention the gross-out comedy "There's Something About Mary" for the inner 13-year-old boy in everyone - grown-ups had their share of diversions while the kids feasted on "Madeline," "Mulan" and "The Parent Trap."Still, a look ahead confirms the tradition of autumn as the back-to-basics movie season, with new films from such beloved veterans as John Frankenheimer, Woody Allen, Jonathan Demme, Ken Loach and Terrence Malick, not to mention young Turks like Todd Solondz, Gus Van Sant and Bryan Singer.
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