Christopher Nolan wrote and directed Inception, an action-packed, but rather depressing, science fiction story about corporate espionage via lucid dreaming. Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard star as a couple who fall too deeply into the dream world.
Given that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten so good at doing the action-hero thing in these big budget blockbusters, one might wonder why he'd then be so eager to voice a desk-bound aeronautical engineer in The Wind Rises. But Joseph has a two word answer to that question: Hayao Miyazaki.
The current trend of superhero/fantasy/sci-fi films can be seen as a form of modern mythology -- grand out-of-the-ordinary tales inspired by human experience like lore of old, with this newer crop of stories heavily influenced by big entertainment corporate interests.
The Dark Knight showed that a comic book movie could be not only big, but epic. That it could thoughtfully engage major themes and concerns in society while providing a thoroughly satisfying entertainment experience.
For his part, director Paul Verhoeven joyously showcases ultra-violence in Total Recall, sticking it in the audience's face. Indeed, the entire milieu of the film is as downbeat as it is shot through with glee.
Well, the list is out. Thus beginning the exciting road to what is the biggest night for Hollywood. But much of my enthusiasm was lost when I realized who was missing -- begging one very obvious question: WHY DOES THE ACADEMY HATE LEO?!
Theron's Mavis is the classic narcissist: cut off from objective reality, lacking any concern for other people, insecure in private but willing in public to ride roughshod over anyone and everything in order to gratify her whims.
On Sunday, I was in Los Angeles covering the 83rd Annual Academy Awards for the Huffington Post. As I reported from the red carpet, I secretly held out hope that the night would come with huge surprises.