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'Wonder Wheel' Spins Between Affecting Character Drama and Bizarre Victim Blaming

Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel takes something of an unforgivable twist, at least in the current zeitgeist.

Recent
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

Revolutionary Road

In Revolutionary Road, April is turned into the prize Frank wants to own and the puzzle he seeks to solve.

Film

Shameful Exposure

A fiery Kate Winslet saves morality tale in 'The Reader' while a similarly powerful Meryl Streep can't do the same for the overly certain 'Doubt'.

Reviews

The Reader

Most obviously, Hannah is unfathomable, the feminine object Michael must figure out and overcome in order to "become a man."

Film

The Annihilating Feminine: Kate Winslet Gets Nasty in The Reader

In Winslet’s clever, low-key performance, all of the character’s ambiguousness remains intact, making Hanna her most complicated, mature creation to date.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

Reviews

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

An acid-tongued humor, playing towards a number of stuffy British stereotypes.

Amaya Rivera
Reviews

Romance & Cigarettes

Turturro has filled the screen with plenty of song, dance, and sex talk, but this is not your typical love story.

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Accepting the Blame: The Top Guilty Pleasures of 2007

PopMatters proffers its collection of 2007's most notable defective faves. And it's okay to laugh. After all, we'd probably do the same to you and your uncomfortable fixations as well.

Reviews

Titanic: 10th Anniversary Edition

While it's understandable that after raising one of film history's most massive success stories from the depths of potential financial ruin, Cameron might rest on his laurels a bit, you sometimes get the feeling that he has spent a good chunk of his post-Titanic life still thinking about Titanic.

Jesse Hassenger
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Kids' DVDs: June 2007

Given that babies and young children love nothing more than repetition, repetition, and... um.... repetition, I can't understand why even the pointiest of heads would think children between the ages of six months and three years could possible need 23 different Baby Einstein DVDs.

Reviews

Little Children (2006)

Director Todd Field's eye for the minutiae of the everyday is impeccable.

Reviews

The Holiday (2006)

Even though the nostalgic aspects are mildly graceful, the contemporary characters' every move is still riddled with cliché and schmaltz.

Matt Mazur
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

The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday pretends its happy endings are premised on the women realizing their capacities as leading ladies. Really, what they're doing is finding the "right" men.

Film

Flushed Away (2006)

Droll and unfortunately titled, Flushed Away marks a point of no return for British animated films.

Daynah Burnett
Film

Little Children (2006)

If Little Children is pedantic and sometimes smug in its judgments, it is also painful.

Film

All The Kings Men (2006)

As the designated observer of his friend's decline, not to mention a reporter by vocation, Jack's lack of insight or anticipation also looks a bit silly.

Reviews

Finding Neverland (2004)

'Play' is a means to define childhood, to prolong mythic innocence, to grant nobility.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Finding Neverland (2004)

As James Barrie, the Scottish-born playwright most famous for imagining Peter Pan, Johnny Depp appears the consummately charismatic child-man.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

At once abstract and heartfelt, sincere and weirdly charming, the film unhinges conventions of linear narrative along with romantic comedy.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Enigma (2001)

Michael Apted speaks of his intent to make the country appear 'beautiful' and, consequently, we're spared shots of bombed-out London or casualties of any kind.

James Oliphant
Reviews

The Life of David Gale (2003)

Only Clint Eastwood could have cooked up a more dramatic climax to an innocent-man-on-death-row plot, which he did, in True Crime.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Enigma (2001)

There comes a point in 'Enigma' where Jeremy Northam shows up and you feel grateful.

Cynthia Fuchs

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