House Logo
Explore categories +

Steve Carell (#110 of 10)

Hope and Chaos: The Sixth Annual Los Cabos International Film Festival

Comments Comments (...)

Hope and Chaos: The Sixth Annual Los Cabos International Film Festival

Forager Films

Hope and Chaos: The Sixth Annual Los Cabos International Film Festival

Watching Australian director Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain one morning at the sixth annual Los Cabos International Film Festival, I was struck by the fullness of the auditorium and by the prominence of children in the audience. Peedom’s film is an essayistic documentary about humankind’s relationship with mountains all over the world, with tender, ruefully poetic narration (spoken by Willem Dafoe) that emphasizes how our appreciation of nature can morph into an urge to conquer it, rendering the wild another of the controlled habitats from which we seek refuge. Mountain isn’t what Americans would designate a “children’s film,” as we have a habit of parking young ones in front of whatever A.D.D.-afflicted cartoon happens to be topping the box office at any given moment. It was gratifying to see such a varied audience turn out for Mountain, imparting hope as to the communal possibilities of cinema in the 21st century. Of course, many of the children were whispering and running around the theater, seemingly bored with the film in front of them, but at least they evinced some effort and curiosity.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actor

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actor
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actor

First, praise be to the brave Oscar pundits who have Bradley Cooper in their crosshairs. Indeed, given how close this race probably is between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, it’s easy to see how Cooper could benefit from a vote split, not unlike, some have argued, Adrien Brody did back in 2003 when this award was anticipated to go to either Jack Nicholson or Daniel Day-Lewis. But we don’t have the courage to rally behind Cooper, terrific as he is in American Sniper, as this and adapted screenplay seem like the two categories where the contentiousness surrounding the Clint Eastwood film’s ostensibly mythmaking depiction of Chris Kyle is most likely to hurt. Which is to say nothing of the fact that, unlike Brody, Cooper enters this race without SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations.

Cannes Film Festival 2014: Foxcatcher Review

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Festival 2014: <em>Foxcatcher</em> Review
Cannes Film Festival 2014: <em>Foxcatcher</em> Review

Enervated to the point of somnolence, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher squanders inherently intriguing material—the murder of Olympic gold medalist David Schultz by eccentric scion John E. du Pont—by sapping it of any dramatic or satiric potential in favor of a smothering mood of muted solemnity. And I do mean muted: Miller favors repeated sequences where the diegetic sound dips to the threshold of audibility so that composer Mychael Danna (the same culprit behind The Captive’s bombastic score) has free reign to do his best Arvo Part impersonation. What we’re left with is a sluggish, molasses-y storyline showcasing two solid actors (Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum as brothers Dave and Mark Schultz), and Steve Carell, hiding behind a Mr. Burns-esque prosthetic nose and the beady, carrion-eager eyes of a peregrine falcon, doing what amounts to a feature-length SNL impression. Vanessa Redgrave turns up briefly, just long enough to advise John as to the terribly “low” nature of his preferred sport and then to glower disapprovingly at the grappling combatants.

Poster Lab: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Comments Comments (...)

Poster Lab: <em>Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues</em>
Poster Lab: <em>Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues</em>

He’s back. No, not just Ron Burgundy, but The Mustache. It’s always fun, and even admirable, when a film can boast an element so iconic it becomes a virtual calling card. It’s great fodder for teaser posters like this one, which puts so much confidence in its protagonist’s facial hair that it doesn’t even bother including the film’s title (or the rest of star Will Ferrell’s face, for that matter). Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues comes just shy of a decade after its 2004 predecessor, and its enduring relevance is due to the vibrant life Anchorman found on home video, re-watched and quoted ad nauseum by college boys and anyone with a fondness for Ferrell. Burgundy is easily Ferrell’s most adored creation, a bumbling news powerhouse turned underdog who’s as arrogant as he is ignorant. His delusions of supreme grandeur encapsulate him, right down to his fashion, his hairstyle, and yes, that bushy rug beneath his nose. More apt for porn than a roundup of the day’s top stories, the mustache hasn’t been outperformed since Burgundy made his first appearance, not even by noble competitors like the yellow tuft on the cute little face of The Lorax (both ’staches appeared on our list of 15 Famous Movie Mustaches last year). Still, despite all this, does Anchorman 2 really deserve the oh-so-millenial tagline, “It’s kind of a big deal”?

SXSW 2013: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and V/H/S/2

Comments Comments (...)

SXSW 2013: <em>The Incredible Burt Wonderstone</em> and <em>V/H/S/2</em>
SXSW 2013: <em>The Incredible Burt Wonderstone</em> and <em>V/H/S/2</em>

Another opening-night gala screening, another crapshoot. Two years ago, South by Southwest gave the red-carpet treatment of Duncan Jones’s entertaining time-travel thriller Source Code, but last year Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s irritatingly snarky horror-genre deconstruction The Cabin in the Woods got the top honor, and now this year we have The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which, in spite of a nasty concluding punchline, can’t even claim the kind of cleverly subversive comic gusto The Cabin in the Woods has in abundance—for better and for worse.

2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions

Comments Comments (...)

2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions
2011 Primetime Emmy Winner Predictions

On September 18, Bryan Cranston will not win his fourth trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as Breaking Bad’s fourth season fell outside the award show’s eligibility period—and if you think that bodes well for the AMC program’s chances for Outstanding Drama Series in 2012, remember that Mad Men’s much-delayed fifth season is still slated to fall within the upcoming Emmy calendar. Standing to gain from Cranston’s absence is always-a-bridesmaids John Hamm—unless Steve Buscemi’s Golden Globe and SAG victories earlier this year, and the chillier-than-Mad Men Boardwalk Empire’s surprise showing at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend—weren’t just flukes of nature. A three-time winner for Outstanding Drama Series, Mad Men may have to move over for the new HBO prestige drama on the block, and if Betty White doesn’t win her 3,897th Emmy for acting saucier than your grandmother, that may be enough for this Sunday’s telecast to go down as the Year of the Passing of the Guard. Below, my predictions in a handful of the major categories—brought to you with less than my usual dash of wish-fulfillment.

Bittersweet Ramblings on The Office

Comments Comments (...)

Bittersweet Ramblings on <em>The Office</em>
Bittersweet Ramblings on <em>The Office</em>

As I was surfing YouTube a few days ago, I stumbled across the Verve’s performance of their classic “Bittersweet Symphony” at Glastonbury in 2008. In the clip, referring to the rumors that festival founder Michael Eavis was supposedly uneasy about the band headlining, lead singer Richard Ashcroft jokes, “I think he was a bit worried we weren’t gonna be as good as Keane or something like that.” He quickly changes his tack: “God bless to Keane though…Love and peace to all bands. It’s a struggle. Life’s a struggle. And Monday morning may be a struggle for a lot of you in a job that you despise, working for a boss that you despise. A slave to money and then you die.”

Slaves to money and then we die, indeed. And all the while, you step on the same piece of carpeting, answer the same calls, deal with the same assholes as the other random people with whom you share the office. The office, in this case, is a metaphor (always trust the writer who points out the analogies for you; James Joyce said that, or Lady Gaga—one of the two). It doesn’t matter whether it’s a real office in Istanbul, or a shop floor in Kunming, or a studio in Los Angeles. Work is work: You might like it, you might hate it, but, to carry on with life, you have to do it. This has always been the central ethos of The Office, both the BBC and the NBC versions: the meaning in the pursuit of meaning. So, life. To carry on with life, in fact, you have to live. It’s a fucker, but it is what it is.

No Matter How Smallish: Horton Hears a Who!

Comments Comments (...)

No Matter How Smallish: <em>Horton Hears a Who!</em>
No Matter How Smallish: <em>Horton Hears a Who!</em>

After the live-action debacles of The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat—bad bananas with greasy black peels—I approached Horton Hears a Who! with dread; I’m therefore torn between expressing relief that this cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ classic exceeded my expectations, and conceding that my expectations couldn’t have been much lower. For what it’s worth, my kids, aged 10 and 4, were enthralled from start to finish, their dad found the experience mostly painless and sometimes pleasurable, and there weren’t any inappropriate sexual references to homina-homina through on the way home.

Emmy Winner Predictions 2007

Comments Comments (...)

Emmy Winner Predictions 2007
Emmy Winner Predictions 2007

The Sopranos (Will Win)

I haven’t liked The Sopranos, a one-time winner in this category, for some time now, but the final season—or, rather, the second stretch of last year’s especially flippant batch of episodes—was something of a return to form for the show. My favorite episode of this last season (“Soprano Home Movies”) wasn’t submitted for consideration, but second-best “Kennedy and Heidi” was (in addition to the divisive finale). Grey’s Anatomy could upset, but this one feels like a no-brainer.