Cannes complain, won’t complain

May 15, 2007

“Look after it, even on the street.”

This was the stern warning from an official at the Cannes Film Festival, as she handed me my press pass. It made me slightly paranoid. Is the town full of badge snatchers? Will I be safe walking back to the hotel after dark? If so, do I conceal my pass, look straight ahead, pretend to be a stumbling drunk?Mike's badge

Route 66 Revisited – One for Bill Richardson

May 14, 2007

Eds note: As Reuters correspondents Nick Carey and James Kelleher travel through America in a vintage Porsche, they’re reaching out to Americans on what issues matter to them.

Route 66 Revisited: Bill gets serious

May 14, 2007

Route661.JPGOur two-week road trip tracing old Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago isn’t getting off to what you’d call an auspicious start.

Best film? What best film?

February 27, 2007

Hollywood’s big party is now over, and the town can put the Oscar race of 2006 behind it.
    There is no doubt that the best film win by Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller “The Departed” left many movie fans happy. Scorsese, who has helmed movies such as “Raging Bull” and “GoodFellas,” also won the Oscar for best director, finally taking the prize after losing five times previously.
    “It was an overwhelming moment for me,” Scorsese told reporters backstage at the Oscars on Sunday. “This comes as an extraordinary surprise and quite frankly the best picture was a big surprise … I’m just not used to winning.”
    There also is no doubt the big night for “The Departed” left many other fans disappointed, and that is because the race for best film was so wide open. Each movie, “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Babel,” “The Queen,” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” had their ardent fans.
    But is “The Departed” really the best movie of 2006? Very simply, no. It is, by the way, absolutely the best movie for the dominant block of voters at the roughly 6,000 member Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but that does not mean it is the best movie.
    Any critic and any moviegoer will tell you that enjoying movies is a subjective notion. The same thing that makes some people cry in “Little Miss Sunshine,” makes others laugh. The structure of the disparate stories told in “Babel” intrigued many audiences while others simply grew confused.
    It’s been that way throughout movie history, and it’s been that way through the 79 years of the Academy Awards. Quick, what was the best movie for 1939, “Wizard of Oz,” or “Gone With the Wind”? Both remain popular today, so they have stood the test of time. Yet only one could be chosen best film Oscar winner that year. It was “Gone With the Wind.”
    Why can’t “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” be the best film of 2006? After all, it was No. 1 at box offices  with $423 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales. That’s pretty good. “The Departed” had $131 million.
    Scorsese and “Departed” won because the master director was long overdue for his record of classic movies, and the Academy finally gave him his just reward, the experts say. There is nothing wrong with that. The Academy is a club for all intents and purposes, and that club can do what it wants.
    Filmgoing depends on many things, including the viewers’ mood at the time they see a film, their expectation of what story they will be told and how that story is told. Don’t let others decide what movie is good or bad, especially not a clubby group based in Beverly Hills with a highfalutin’ name like The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Meanwhile, as some of you may know, Pascal Pinck and I were on the red carpet Sunday night, and many of you sent us questions. We regret that we got to few of them because of the hectic pace. We do, however, hope you watched and enjoyed. Thanks for the questions, and keep them coming.

Fashion praise for Penelope Cruz

February 26, 2007

The red carpet is one of fashion’s big nights. Here’s a look at what some are saying about last night’s choices and more pictures from show here:

International affairs at Oscar night

February 26, 2007

It was the most diverse Oscar night ever, certainly by the nominations. Plenty of awards were won by foreigners, too.

Slow and dull, some Oscar telecast critics charge

February 26, 2007

The telecast of the 79th Annual Academy Awards didn’t win many fans among some TV reviewers. What did you think? Share your comments below.

“Producers” to close

February 23, 2007

producers.jpgThe producers of “The Producers” have decided to close up shop.

The show, which broke box-office records and won more Tony Awards than any other show in Broadway history, will close on April 22, three days after its sixth anniversary on the Great White Way.

“Legally Blonde” a hit in San Fran

February 22, 2007

“Legally Blonde: The Musical,” the stage version of the smash hit movies starring Reese Witherspoon playing a rich socialite with a smart brain to match her blonde hair, is heading to Broadway on a wave of rave reviews from its tryout in San Francisco.

Outside the Kodak

February 22, 2007

The red carpet truly is rolled out in Hollywood. Outside the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars will be handed out this coming Sunday, crew members and staff of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were busily setting up for the movie industry’s biggest night.