October 21, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” splits Venice critics – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play, held its world premiere as part of the ongoing Venice Film Festival. What did the critics think?

Lee Marshall, writing for The Evening Standard, calls Polanski’s film “a tasty cinematic workout,” claiming that the film “also celebrates an old-fashioned, underrated cinematic pleasure: the chance to see an ensemble cast of fine actors sparring with each other, and at the top of their game.”

Meanwhile, the UK Guardian calls the film “giddily enjoyable” while adding that the film becomes “slightly less so once the characters start to analyse their descent into barbarism.”

And Variety chimed in with, “The real battle in Roman Polanski’s brisk, fitfully amusing adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s popular play is a more formal clash between stage minimalism and screen naturalism, as this acid-drenched four-hander never shakes off a mannered, hermetic feel that consistently betrays its theatrical origins.”

Two prominent online writers were less than impressed, though.

Guy Lodge of InContention gave the film a C+, tweeting, “Loudly enjoyable, but straight-ahead film treatment magnifies play’s slight pettiness. Poised, cunning Waltz far best in show.”

The Playlist agrees and disagrees. In a tweet, the site also gives “Carnage” a C+, saying, “A stagey trifle, but suggests Polanski should do comedy more often.” But they add, “Jodie Foster the best by a mile.”

One vote for Christoph, one vote for Jodie. But both say stagey … which makes sense as it is based on a play that takes place in one New York City apartment.

Now “Carnage” prepares for the New York Film Festival, which it will open on Sept. 30 … unless it finds its way to Telluride over the weekend.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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