Best Score

[5.0] Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the title character in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Emma Woodhouse takes it upon herself to be a matchmaker for all her friends and neighbors. While her interference tends to do more harm than good, Emma fails to notice that her own opportunity for courtship may be just under her nose. Director Douglas McGrath (Nicholas Nickleby) abides by Miramax …

[5.5] In 18th century Italy, an orphan boy comes of age with the help of nuns and a kindly mentor, falls in love, gets embroiled in the slave trade, and fights for his inheritance in this adaptation of Hervey Allen’s sprawling novel. Anthony Adverse looks and sounds great, with immense sets, period costumes, and a rich score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Some of the supporting …

[6.5] Jennifer Jones and William Holden star as a widowed Eurasian doctor and a married American news correspondent who fall in love despite cultural differences and wartime separations during China’s communist revolution. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing is one of the quintessential ’50s romance movies. It’s about strangers falling in love in an exotic land, aided as these lovers often are by sandy beaches and …

[6.0] Somewhere in Africa, there’s a secret society hidden away by fancy technology. They have, like, a really super-strong metal there that the rest of the world wants, but the secret African people know the rest of the world will just destroy itself if it ever gets their metal, so they don’t share it. But then one of their metal weapons is found in a …

[7.0] Guillermo del Toro serves up a¬†fantasy love story set in the 1960s in which a mute janitor at a top-secret research facility falls in love with… well, a fish man. Sally Hawkins plays the janitor and Doug Jones (a Del Toro regular) plays the fish. Hawkins is endearing and Jones is always reliable, but the supporting players outshine them here. Richard Jenkins is great …

[8.0] You know how people often say such-and-such actor “lights up the screen?” Well, that phrase was made for Audrey Hepburn, because that’s what she does in Blake Edwards’ adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. As Holly Golightly, she plays a woman trying to reinvent herself by marrying rich. George Peppard plays an up-and-coming writer who can’t help but fall in love with …

[8.0] A movie about corporate betrayal and litigation is normally not my idea of a good time, but The Social Network turns out to be a well-made, voyeuristic look back at the birth of a now-ubiquitous product that many users can’t live without. In fact, you wouldn’t be reading this review without it. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) is a shoe-in come Oscar time …

[7.0] Paul Newman and Robert Redford star in this influential, genre-bending Western about two outlaws who hole up in Bolivia to hide from a pursuing ‘superposse.’ William Goldman’s celebrated screenplay would become the progenitor of countless buddy films for decades to come. Paul Newman has referred to the film as “a love story between two men.” What’s remarkable is that the camaraderie between the two …

[3.5] Near the end of both Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris, there is a big, epic dance number that feels very out of place. It’s the only thing I don’t like about Singin’ in the Rain, and the only thing I DO like about An American in Paris. The later film is essentially a superb 20-minute dance number tacked onto an …

[8.5] Disney goes Broadway in the first animated motion picture ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (in the days before they rolled out a separate category for the medium). This version of the classic fairy tale is fueled by power-house songs from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, memorable characters, and a calibre of design and refined skillsmanship unseen for decades in the studio’s output. …

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