Kundun

Kundun

When Martin Scorcese’s KUNDUN was released on Christmas Day, 1997, its box office prospects were decidedly slim. The film cost $24 million and only took in a paltry $5.6 million, far below the $42 million for CASINO (1995) or even the $16 million for BRINGING OUT THE DEAD (1997). But the story of the fourteenth Dalai Lama—from… More

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9 Film Scores That Deserved a Pulitzer

The Pulitzer Prizes, handed out every April, are arguably the most prestigious prizes for journalism, arts and letters, and music in the U.S. Their monetary value is nominal; what matters is the prestige. In this month’s newsletter, I discussed the 2004 changes that came about in the Pulitzer rules allowing film music into consideration for… More

Notes on a Scandal

Notes on a Scandal

It’s spring (though you’d never know it from the temperatures here in Manhattan) and supposedly love is in the air. So it’s only fitting to revisit the chilly “love story” of NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006). Judi Dench stars as a lonely, spinster high school teacher who forms a friendship with the new art teacher, Sheba (Cate… More

The Hours

The Hours

If you’ll pardon the nose metaphor, sometimes you can just smell a winner. And THE HOURS (2002) is definitely a winner. Based on Michael Cunningham’s poetic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film tells the stories of three women linked through time to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, a novel about “a woman’s entire life in a single day.” Oscar-winner… More

The Reader

DVD Review: The Reader

Guilt. Judgment. Love. Sexuality. Morality. Betrayal. These are the issues and emotions at the heart of THE READER (2008), newly released on DVD. Kate Winslet won a well-deserved Oscar as Hanna Schmitz, a former concentration camp guard who harbors her own shameful secret. David Kross plays the teen who has an affair with her and holds… More