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By John Anderson and John Anderson,NEWSDAY | August 23, 2004
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - A stampede of shopping bags, lunch ladies attached to their handles, rustles into the garden restaurant, destroying intimacy, disrupting digestion, generating a frisson of high-end, highly caffeinated disorder. "They're all going to Athens," Laura Dern says, as the air-kissing Olympics commence, without benefit of a starter's gun. These are Dern's people - kinda, sorta. Born and raised in Los Angeles and the hotbed of Hollywood, she's seen it all. Joan Crawford at the swimming pool.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 16, 2007
Anyone wandering into David Lynch's latest art-school funhouse, Inland Empire, will be apt to ask, "What gives?" - and the proper answer would be, "Everything." We're used to ambitious directors producing huge, sprawling fiascos like Heaven's Gate or Cleopatra. Lynch's Inland Empire, which opens today at the Charles, is something completely different. As fiascos go, it's an intimate, sprawling art-thing. Self-produced and self-distributed, shot with a run-of-the-mill digital-video camera, Inland Empire is an epic act of free association, equally intriguing and depleting.
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Staff Writer | May 30, 1992
Do not tune in "Afterburn" tonight expecting to see "Top Gun." The U.S. Air Force did not cooperate in the making of the new HBO Pictures film, and the few flying scenes and other airplane shots play obviously as models and mock-ups.But do tune in for a persuasive performance by actress Laura Dern. She portrays a real-life Air Force widow, who, after the 1982 death of her pilot husband in Korea while flying an F-16 fighter jet, took the Air Force and manufacturer General Dynamics to court to prove a faulty plane caused the crash, not pilot error.
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February 2, 2006
Critic's Pick-- Cloned dinosaurs become neat zoo attractions. Then they get loose in Jurassic Park (9 p.m.- midnight, USA). Laura Dern (above) stars.
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By Lou Cedrone | September 26, 1991
"Rambling Rose" is a personal thing for Diane Ladd. In the film, Ladd plays Mother, lady of the house where the title character is hired as housekeeper.Laura Dern, Ladd's daughter off the screen, plays the tile role, that of a sexually permissive young lady. Robert Duvall plays Father in the new film.The time is 1935. The place is the South.''It's like 'Driving Miss Daisy','' Ladd said. ''It's like 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.' It goes back to that kind of film.''''Rambling Rose'' is the second film in which Ladd and her daughter have worked together.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 18, 1996
"Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy" -- a two-night CBS docudrama about the government shootout with white separatist Randy Weaver -- is so badly matched that each night almost seems like a different film.But running through both is an astounding performance by Academy-Award winner Laura Dern as Weaver's wife, Vicky. It is the made-for-television-movie performance of the year -- good enough to put an otherwise seriously flawed "Ruby Ridge" on the map of must-see weekend viewing.The most egregious flaws in the four-hour film, starring Randy Quaid as Weaver, are found in its handling of the social and political questions raised by and at Ruby Ridge -- the 1992 shootout that occurred when U.S. marshalls attempted to arrest Weaver at his remote mountaintop property on charges of selling guns to an undercover federal officer.
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February 2, 2006
Critic's Pick-- Cloned dinosaurs become neat zoo attractions. Then they get loose in Jurassic Park (9 p.m.- midnight, USA). Laura Dern (above) stars.
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March 25, 1992
Jodie Foster is the clear favorite for best actress for this year's Academy Award, according to callers to SUNDIAL. Her portrayal as the FBI agent in ''The Silence of the Lambs" earned her 118 votes. Bette Midler (''For the Boys'') captured second place with 44 votes.The "Thelma & Louise" co-stars crashed and burned together, as Geena Davis got 34 votes and Susan Sarandon got 31. Laura Dern ("Rambling Rose") received just 10 votes."It's Your Call" represents a sampling of opinions from certain segments of the community, but it is not balanced demographically as would be done in a scientific public opinion poll.
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By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,SUN STAFF | February 28, 1997
Dubbed a "pro-laugh" comedy by its promoters, "Citizen Ruth" is indeed funny, although the warring factions on the front line of the abortion debate aren't likely to think so. Still, director and co-writer Alexander Payne skewers both sides with his canny satire, and the movie is likely to appeal to that lump of people in opinion polls who are decidedly "undecided."Laura Dern plays Ruth Stoops -- a name that sounds as low as she is -- who is undecided to the point of utter negligence. A "huffer" who gets high off spray paint and other substances best used in well-ventilated areas, she is introduced as she has nearly unconscious sex with a fellow loser while the romantic tones of "All the Way" accompany opening credits.
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By Lou Cedrone | September 27, 1991
For a good while, "Rambling Rose" plays like an installment of PBS' "Masterpiece Theater." The only things that seems to be missing are the fund-raising appeals.In time, however, "Rambling Rose" captivates, and by the time it is ended, the viewer will be thoroughly charmed.Based on the autobiographical book by Calder Willingham, who also did the script, "Rambling Rose" is a rites-of-passage tale, southern style. The time is 1935, and the title character is a 19-year old woman who is hired to act as housekeeper at the home of the Hillyers.
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By John Anderson and John Anderson,NEWSDAY | August 23, 2004
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - A stampede of shopping bags, lunch ladies attached to their handles, rustles into the garden restaurant, destroying intimacy, disrupting digestion, generating a frisson of high-end, highly caffeinated disorder. "They're all going to Athens," Laura Dern says, as the air-kissing Olympics commence, without benefit of a starter's gun. These are Dern's people - kinda, sorta. Born and raised in Los Angeles and the hotbed of Hollywood, she's seen it all. Joan Crawford at the swimming pool.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 14, 2001
Focus is a film about the danger of going along with the crowd, even when you know what the crowd is doing is wrong. Set in 1940s Brooklyn, as World War II is about to end, Focus tells the story of Lawrence Newman, a Protestant personnel manager forced out of his job and ostracized by his neighbors because his new glasses make him look Jewish. Nothing Newman says or does changes people's perceptions - especially when his new bride, Gertrude Hart, is similarly mislabeled because of her appearance.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 13, 2000
OK, so Robert Altman finds women entrancing, exasperating and, at times, inexplicable. Is this enough to build a movie on? Not in the case of "Dr. T & The Women," starring Richard Gere as a Dallas gynecologist for whom women are the most magical things God ever created, and a host of Hollywood actresses - almost all blond - as women whose every action reinforces that notion. For years, Dr. T's decidedly worshipful attitude toward women has served him well, helping him build a thriving medical practice and enjoy a loving family life.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | February 19, 1999
It's 1957, and Homer Hickam has one dream: He wants to send a rocket into the heavens. All he has to do is master calculus, chemistry and physics, defy his high school principal and stand up to a father who thinks he's wasting his life.This true story of a future NASA scientist is told in "October Sky," one of the surest pleasures of this still-young film year, a quiet, unforced ode to family, friendship and the power of the mind. It's a dignified, uplifting film that reinforces Chris Cooper's status as one of our finest actors.
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By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,SUN STAFF | February 28, 1997
Dubbed a "pro-laugh" comedy by its promoters, "Citizen Ruth" is indeed funny, although the warring factions on the front line of the abortion debate aren't likely to think so. Still, director and co-writer Alexander Payne skewers both sides with his canny satire, and the movie is likely to appeal to that lump of people in opinion polls who are decidedly "undecided."Laura Dern plays Ruth Stoops -- a name that sounds as low as she is -- who is undecided to the point of utter negligence. A "huffer" who gets high off spray paint and other substances best used in well-ventilated areas, she is introduced as she has nearly unconscious sex with a fellow loser while the romantic tones of "All the Way" accompany opening credits.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 18, 1996
"Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy" -- a two-night CBS docudrama about the government shootout with white separatist Randy Weaver -- is so badly matched that each night almost seems like a different film.But running through both is an astounding performance by Academy-Award winner Laura Dern as Weaver's wife, Vicky. It is the made-for-television-movie performance of the year -- good enough to put an otherwise seriously flawed "Ruby Ridge" on the map of must-see weekend viewing.The most egregious flaws in the four-hour film, starring Randy Quaid as Weaver, are found in its handling of the social and political questions raised by and at Ruby Ridge -- the 1992 shootout that occurred when U.S. marshalls attempted to arrest Weaver at his remote mountaintop property on charges of selling guns to an undercover federal officer.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 13, 2000
OK, so Robert Altman finds women entrancing, exasperating and, at times, inexplicable. Is this enough to build a movie on? Not in the case of "Dr. T & The Women," starring Richard Gere as a Dallas gynecologist for whom women are the most magical things God ever created, and a host of Hollywood actresses - almost all blond - as women whose every action reinforces that notion. For years, Dr. T's decidedly worshipful attitude toward women has served him well, helping him build a thriving medical practice and enjoy a loving family life.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 14, 2001
Focus is a film about the danger of going along with the crowd, even when you know what the crowd is doing is wrong. Set in 1940s Brooklyn, as World War II is about to end, Focus tells the story of Lawrence Newman, a Protestant personnel manager forced out of his job and ostracized by his neighbors because his new glasses make him look Jewish. Nothing Newman says or does changes people's perceptions - especially when his new bride, Gertrude Hart, is similarly mislabeled because of her appearance.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | January 27, 1995
Because of a two-hour country-music special on CBS, "Under Suspicion" is moved to 10 p.m. tonight, and "Picket Fences" is pre-empted. While that's bad news for "Picket Fences" fans, myself included, it's good news in another respect, because tonight viewers aren't required to choose between two superb, competing programs. Watch "The X-Files" on Fox, then slip right to "Homicide: Life on the Street" on NBC. No dilemmas. No exceptions.* "The Best of Country" (8-10 p.m., Channel 13) -- The executive producer of this two-hour music special is Ken Ehrlich, whose long and impressive track record suggests two things: He loves to cross and blur musical boundaries, and his favorite thing to do in a musical special is create an opportunity for musical magic through unexpected or challenging artistic pairings.
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By David Hinckley and David Hinckley,New York Daily News | June 28, 1992
One thing about those second generations. You start having kids and 15 or 20 years later, there they are and suddenly you're old.This is bad enough in life. It's flat-out sobering when these new generations start showing up in pop culture."Isn't Laura Dern neat?" says the kid. "Isn't she Bruce and Dianne Ladd's kid?" you say. Bam! You're a generation older.Second generations are always coming along, of course. Kirk Douglas begat Michael. Judy Garland begat Liza Minnelli and Nat King Cole begat Natalie.
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