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A Little Gold Man, Far Away: Oscar Season as a Spectator Sport…

In case you hadn’t realised, Oscar season is in full swing. We’ve already had the Toronto International Film Festival. There’s already a front-runner in the form of The Master. The seemingly obligatory voting controversy has already been reported upon. Newspapers and on-line film websites are already launching their coverage of a race that won’t be over for another¬†five months, despite the fact that many would argue the race probably already has a winner. And that discounts those websites already set up specifically for the race, which are (understandably) kicking into overdrive.

And I… find myself having difficulty mustering too much enthusiasm about it.

The show goes on…

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Non-Review Review: Chronicle

Chronicle is a fascinating deconstruction of the American superhero myth – the notion that “with great powers comes great responsibility”, as Stan Lee once wrote (albeit in a more convoluted fashion). Much like Fox’s other major release this week (Martha Marcy May Marlene), it represents an impressive theatrical debut from a young director who hopefully has a long and distinguished future ahead of him. While there are elements of Chronicle that do lack a bit of polish, it’s a compelling and engaging film, one that succeeds at picking apart some of the core assumptions of the superhero genre.

He's got the power!

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Non-Review Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

The feature debut from director Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a shockingly powerful piece of cinema. Deeply unpleasant and uncannily unsettling, Durkin’s debut is occasionally a bit awkwardly paced, but is intensely gripping for most of its runtime. While the film is making waves for a breakout performance from Elizabeth Olsen, it’s John Hawkes who steals the show as the enigmatic and sinister cult leader, known only as Patrick.

A cult film...

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