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By Sumathi Reddy and Sumathi Reddy,Sun Reporter | March 30, 2007
Washington-- Even though she's ill and on her 11th interview of the day, film director Mira Nair gets starry-eyed when discussing her new film, The Namesake. Dressed in a South Asian salwar kameez, a burgundy shawl elegantly draped over her, the native of India sips tea in a Georgetown hotel room while she recalls the moment she read the novel, The Namesake, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. Nair's mother-in-law, a native Ugandan, had just passed away. And she was having to bury a beloved in a land foreign to her. It was in that quiet moment of utter displacement that The Namesake came to her. It was a story, she found, she had to tell.
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By Sumathi Reddy and Sumathi Reddy,Sun Reporter | March 30, 2007
Washington-- Even though she's ill and on her 11th interview of the day, film director Mira Nair gets starry-eyed when discussing her new film, The Namesake. Dressed in a South Asian salwar kameez, a burgundy shawl elegantly draped over her, the native of India sips tea in a Georgetown hotel room while she recalls the moment she read the novel, The Namesake, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. Nair's mother-in-law, a native Ugandan, had just passed away. And she was having to bury a beloved in a land foreign to her. It was in that quiet moment of utter displacement that The Namesake came to her. It was a story, she found, she had to tell.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 4, 1997
To cut to the chase: no, the one where she puts her foot there and he puts his leg over here and she puts her other hand down there, and he somehow -- did they have chiropractors in ancient India? -- gets his lumbar region way over there no, that one isn't in the movie.Instead, Mira Nair's "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" is more a study of sexual politics, pre-colonial style, in a colorful, exotic and always fascinating lost world of 16th-century India. It's more fun to look at than it is to think about.
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By Susan King and Susan King,Los Angeles Times | September 16, 2004
HOLLYWOOD -- Moviegoers familiar with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans from his scene-stealing comedic turn as Hugh Grant's slovenly roommate Spike in 1999's Notting Hill probably won't recognize him in Vanity Fair. Ifans cuts a dashing figure as a noble 19th-century British soldier. Directed by Indian filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), Vanity Fair is based on William Makepeace Thackeray's 1848 satire of British society. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as the ambitious heroine Becky Sharp, who will stop at nothing to rise to the cream of British society.
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By Susan King and Susan King,Los Angeles Times | September 16, 2004
HOLLYWOOD -- Moviegoers familiar with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans from his scene-stealing comedic turn as Hugh Grant's slovenly roommate Spike in 1999's Notting Hill probably won't recognize him in Vanity Fair. Ifans cuts a dashing figure as a noble 19th-century British soldier. Directed by Indian filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), Vanity Fair is based on William Makepeace Thackeray's 1848 satire of British society. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as the ambitious heroine Becky Sharp, who will stop at nothing to rise to the cream of British society.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 22, 2002
The beauty, vibrancy and complexity of Indian culture is on addictive display in Monsoon Wedding. If only there were more to the film. Director Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala), working from a screenplay by Sabrina Dhawan, displays an obvious love for her native land. Filmgoers will find the energy she puts onscreen irresistible. But when it's all over, here's betting the film's spirit is all you'll remember. The story, the people, the narrative: Little of that seems to matter. Perhaps the problem lies in the various story threads winding through the film: None offers much that is new, all get resolved pretty predictably, and no one incident, person or place stands out. Essentially, this is the story of a wedding, about the people it affects - obviously and subtly - and the emotions it helps bring to the surface.
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By Scott Hettrick and Scott Hettrick,Los Angeles Times Syndicate | September 11, 1992
Mississippi MasalaColumbia TriStar (1992)An Indian family that is run out of Uganda by the racist Idi Amin regime soon find themselves on both ends of discrimination when they flee to Greenwood, Miss., in this intriguing two-hour film. Demetrius (Denzel Washington) is an African-American entrepreneur who figures he has managed to overcome his natural social handicap and establish himself as a local business owner. But the community and his family withdraw their support when he falls in love with a young Indian woman named Mina (newcomer Sarita Choudhury)
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By Los Angeles Times | October 12, 1990
Films going into production:''Jungle Fever'' (40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks). Shooting in New York. Spike Lee's next concerns a black man from Harlem and his interracial love connection with an Italian-American from Brooklyn's Bensonhurst section. Wesley Snipes, Shadow in "Mo' Better Blues," stars alongside Annabella Sciorra. Also stars Lee, Lonette McKee, John Turturro, Samuel Jackson, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Distributor is Universal.''Auntie Lee's Meat Pies (Steiner Films). Shooting in Los Angeles.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | March 30, 2007
New Age Americans are so determined to be "in the moment" - and so quick to cite it as a tenet of Eastern wisdom - that the Indian-American family drama The Namesake comes as a pleasurable relief. It traces coils of past, present and future that encircle a Bengali Indian husband and wife as they move from Kolkata to Queens, N.Y., and swim ever deeper into the American mainstream. Making you feel the presence of absences - of the distant and the departed, of dreams that never quite come true - is the key thing that this uneven film of Jhumpa Lahiri's wonderful novel (also called The Namesake)
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By Dexter Filkins and Dexter Filkins,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 20, 1997
NEW DELHI, India -- "Kama Sutra," the lavishly filmed story of four lovers in the 16th century, is mostly about India.But it's also about sex, and that's why almost no one in India has been able to see it.The film, named for the ancient Indian sex manual, is bogged down in a dispute with the country's censors, who have deemed it too smutty for the people's good.The fight has landed the movie's Indian-born director, Mira Nair, in an imbroglio with her own government, even as the film earns praise around the world as a sumptuous evocation of the nation's past.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 22, 2002
The beauty, vibrancy and complexity of Indian culture is on addictive display in Monsoon Wedding. If only there were more to the film. Director Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala), working from a screenplay by Sabrina Dhawan, displays an obvious love for her native land. Filmgoers will find the energy she puts onscreen irresistible. But when it's all over, here's betting the film's spirit is all you'll remember. The story, the people, the narrative: Little of that seems to matter. Perhaps the problem lies in the various story threads winding through the film: None offers much that is new, all get resolved pretty predictably, and no one incident, person or place stands out. Essentially, this is the story of a wedding, about the people it affects - obviously and subtly - and the emotions it helps bring to the surface.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | April 4, 1997
To cut to the chase: no, the one where she puts her foot there and he puts his leg over here and she puts her other hand down there, and he somehow -- did they have chiropractors in ancient India? -- gets his lumbar region way over there no, that one isn't in the movie.Instead, Mira Nair's "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" is more a study of sexual politics, pre-colonial style, in a colorful, exotic and always fascinating lost world of 16th-century India. It's more fun to look at than it is to think about.
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By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,Sun Staff Writer | May 12, 1995
"The Perez Family" has a lot more sultry spice and spark than is suggested by its dull but appropriate title. It's a story of more than one family. It's the story of the greater Cuban family, and therefore of Miami, that most Cuban and tropical American city.Its focus is the Mariel boat lift of 1980, when Fidel Castro emptied his prisons and sent the refuse of his teeming shore to America. Among those huddled masses, which got a pretty bad rep in Miami, were political prisoners such as Juan Raul Perez (Alfred Molina)
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By Jay Boyar and Jay Boyar,ORLANDO SENTINEL | September 1, 2004
Costume dramas, let's face it, are often stuffy. Some, like Nicholas Nickleby (2002), are so overstuffed they can barely move. But even some of the better ones - 1995's Sense and Sensibility, say - are a bit too insistently high-toned. You feel you should put on a tie just to watch. Vanity Fair, the Reese Witherspoon costume drama, based on the William Makepeace Thackeray novel, doesn't have that problem. If anything, the film may be a tad trashy. Call it "Days of Our Victorian Lives."
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