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'Oranges and Sunshine': A Muted Telling of a Tragic Episode in History

If good intentions were all it took to make a great film, Oranges and Sunshine would be up there in the cinematic pantheon next to Casablanca and Citizen Kane.

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Synecdoche New York

Consumed with existential dread, this film captures the feeling of near-death angst remarkably well, enough to the point where it's not Caden that's feeling it -- it's the audience.

Film

The New Classics - The 30 Best Films of 2008

Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.

Film

Tough and Tender - The Top 20 Female Performances of 2008

Twenty talented ladies, 20 performances worthy of multiple little gold men. Unfortunately, as in all years, someone has to come out on top. But after looking over this impressive list, picking the preeminent turn of 2008 seems almost impossible.

Reviews

Synecdoche, New York

Much like protagonists in previous Charlie Kaufman scripts, Caden is an artist in search of his art.

Film

Identities in Flux

Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York is performance art as civilization-annihilating Godzilla, whereas Eastwood's Changeling is a film that wins the stranger than fiction category, hands-down.

Film

Cinema Qua Non - Indispensable DVDs: Part 3

Day Three - The final ten, a cross-culture collection teeming with big ideas, larger than life visions, and perhaps the greatest documentary on rugby you've probably never heard of.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: October 2008

What studio suit thought this was a good idea? With four months to schedule your high priced efforts, you instead unload almost 30 overpriced pictures on an unsuspecting movie audience.

Film

Katrin Cartlidge: The Working Actress

Cartlidge’s lady of the night is part Shakespearean tragedienne, part deliciously vague Hitchcockian mannequin in distress; the archetype is shattered.

Film

Katrin Cartlidge: The Working Actress

Whether it was through silence, grotesquerie, fury or intelligence (or, at times, lack of intelligence), Cartlidge was not afraid to upturn the dark corners of the women she portrayed.

Reviews

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

As narrator Brian Cox sets up from the start, the "true tale" of the Loch Ness monster is at once outrageous and charming.

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Part 5: The Return of the Auteur

That noise you heard near the start of the new millennium was the creative din of a brash new breed of filmmakers tearing down the traditions of mainstream moviemaking. Their motion picture mission statements -- including the ones featured on this list -- remain the rulebook for new generations of anxious film artists.

Film

The Pay Off: The Best Film of 2006

For many of the movies on PopMatters' 2006 list of the year's best films, it is clear that a heavy personal and professional stake was riding on the final product.

Reviews

Miss Potter (2006)

Chris Noonan's next-film-after-Babe doesn't engage this alternative realm except as whimsy. Beatrix is eccentric. Her "friends" are cute.

Reviews

Wah-Wah (2005)

The genuinely cinematic moments in Wah-Wah are few and far between, and are generally courtesy of the skillful performances.

Matt Mazur
Film

The Proposition (2005)

Signaling death and dryness, the flies also mark transitions from one location to another: everywhere, it seems, someone is dead or dying.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

The Proposition (2005)

Nick Cave's The Proposition blends equal parts Walkabout and Sergio Leone's grim atmospherics to illustrate the brutality of imperialism.

Matt Mazur
Film

Separate Lies (2005)

Minute for minute, the film has more angst, betrayal, and guilt than most daytime soaps muster in a year.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Deftly rearranges any number of generic conventions, from romantic comedies, musicals, and melodramas with happy endings that can't make sense but seem inevitable and necessary.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Equilibrium (2002)

Hooray for kicking opponents' heads in, fancy wirework, and twirling black topcoats.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Deftly rearranges any number of generic conventions, from romantic comedies, musicals, and melodramas with happy endings that can't make sense but seem inevitable and necessary.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Red Dragon (2002)

What is most politically problematic about Red Dragon is how it furthers the relationship between physical disability and psychopathology.

Todd R. Ramlow
Reviews

Gosford Park (2001)

It is clear about what it is, a study of affect that is also affected.

Cynthia Fuchs
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