September 19, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September        

Tag Archives: Sweet and Lowdown

“Irrational Man” and back: Ranking the films of Woody Allen

I know I’m one of the few, but in my humble opinion Woody Allen has yet to make an overtly bad film. His best are all time classics, but even his worst are still very much watchable movies that have pleasures to be found within them. On the occasion of the release of his latest outing Irrational Man, I wanted to run down all of Allen’s solo directorial endeavors and rank them. I’ll also be writing a bit about Irrational Man first, but below you’ll find a list of all 45 of his works to date. In the interest of not making this the longest piece in existence, I’m only going to be writing about the top ten, but the list will go down the line of everything he’s made (with the exception of what he didn’t direct, didn’t completely direct, or made for TV). A number of my picks will be fairly obvious choices, but there’s at least one or two selections in the top ten that are somewhat controversial picks. Enjoy…
First, as promised, a bit on Irrational Man. It’s mid-level Woody, which is to say that it’s far from his best but in no way his worst either. Essentially, it’s an above average moral drama, with strong turns from Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone. Allen is meditating on philosophy, justice, as well as life and death, which are nothing new for him. It’s done in a slightly different way than normal, almost as a counterpoint to her other darker outings. It can be a bit on the slow side, but Irrational Man, which is out today, is well worth seeing, so be sure not to miss out if you’re a fan of the legendary filmmaker.

Now, take a look at how I’d rank the films of Allen:
1. Annie Hall – An all time classic dramedy, as well as one of my favorite films of all time, this is Woody Allen’s Best Picture winner and his almost undisputed masterpiece. Diane Keaton gives an all time performance, rightly winning Best Actress, while Allen turns in his best performance as well, which was nominated in Best Actor. His Best Director win was justified as well (not to mention Best Original Screenplay), since this is a brilliant and perfect film. I love it with all of my heart. It’s tops for Allen.
2. Sleeper – Allen’s funniest film to date is a […]

Sean Penn: Hot Celebrity Photo Gallery Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Week” is Sean Penn.

This year, the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at their World Summit will recognize a high-profile personality making an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace. Sean Penn is that person. Sean is an actor, founder and CEO of J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and will be presented with the 2012 Peace Summit Award during the summit for his work to rebuild and aid the victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, as well as his ongoing advocacy for peace and human rights protection worldwide.
Penn has been active in supporting several political and social causes. On June 10, 2005, Penn made a visit to Iran. Acting as a journalist on an assignment for the San Francisco Chronicle, he attended a Friday prayer at Tehran University.
On January 7, 2006, Penn was a special guest at the Progressive Democrats of America, where he was joined by author and media critic Norman Solomon, Democratic congressional candidate Charles Brown, and activist Cindy Sheehan. The “Out of Iraq Forum”, which took place in Sacramento, California, was organized to promote the anti-war movement calling for an end to the War in Iraq.
In August 2008, Penn made an appearance at one of Ralph Nader’s “Open the Debates” Super Rallies. He protested the political exclusion of Nader and other third parties.
In October 2008, Penn traveled to Cuba, where he met with and interviewed President Raúl Castro.
Criticism of President Bush
Penn at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2007
On October 18, 2002, Penn placed a US$56,000 advertisement in the Washington Post asking then President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. It was written as an open letter and referred to the planned attack on Iraq and the War on Terror. In the letter, Penn also criticized the Bush administration for its “deconstruction of civil liberties” and its “simplistic and inflammatory view of good and evil.” Penn visited Iraq briefly in December 2002.
This advertisement was cited as a primary reason for the development of his relationship with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. In one of his televised speeches, Chávez used and read aloud an open letter Penn wrote to Bush. The letter condemned the Iraq War, called for Bush to be impeached, and also called Bush, Vice President […]

Sean Penn: Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day” is Sean Penn. Sean was at the premiere of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sean Justin Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his political and social activism. He is a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008), as well as the recipient of a Golden Globe Award for the former and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the latter.
Penn began his acting career in television with a brief appearance in a 1974 episode of Little House on the Prairie, directed by his father Leo Penn. Following his film debut in 1981’s Taps and a diverse range of film roles in the 1980s, Penn emerged as a prominent leading actor with the 1995 drama film Dead Man Walking, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and the Best Actor Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Penn subsequently received another two Oscar nominations for Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and I Am Sam (2001), before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for Mystic River and a second one in 2008 for Milk. He has also won a Best Actor Award of the Cannes Film Festival for She’s So Lovely (1997), and two Best Actor Awards at the Venice Film Festival for Hurlyburly (1998) and 21 Grams (2003).
Penn made his feature film directorial debut with 1991’s The Indian Runner, followed by the drama film The Crossing Guard (1995) and the mystery film The Pledge (2001). In 2002, Penn directed one of the 11 segments of 11’09″01 September 11, a compilation film made in response to the September 11 attacks. In 2007, Penn directed his fourth feature film Into the Wild, which garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations.
In addition to his film work, Penn is known for his political and social activism, most notably his criticism of the George W. Bush administration, his contact with the Presidents of Venezuela and Cuba, and his humanitarian work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Penn also attracted media attention for his previous marriages to pop icon Madonna and actress Robin Wright.
Penn appeared in a 1974 episode of the Little House on the […]

Sean Penn to be honored for his humanitarian work – “Hollywood Humanitarian Award” Sean Penn will be recognized for his outstanding humanitarian achievements at the 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.
Penn will be bestowed with the “Hollywood Humanitarian Award” for his incredible selfless and dedicated humanitarian efforts in saving lives, as well as bringing relief to the human suffering in Haiti.
“It is an honor to recognize the inspiring humanitarian efforts that Sean Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been providing to the great people of Haiti,” said Mr. de Abreu.
Prior recipients of this prestigious award include director of Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, Father Rick Frechette, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ms. Jody Williams.
The gala ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 25, 2010.

Two-time Academy Award® winner Sean Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn has been nominated five times for the Academy Award® as Best Actor for “Dead Man Walking,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “I Am Sam” and won his first Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River” and his second Oscar® as Best Actor in 2009 for Gus Van Sant’s “Milk.” The performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn “Best Actor” awards from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

“This is an emergency that is just beginning. Flooding and outbreak of communicable diseases are certain if shelter and relocation are not achieved” – Sean Penn, Co-Founder, J/P HRO
Penn’s humanitarian work has found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and more recently in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organization is currently serving as UN IOM designated Camp Management for one of the largest IDP camps in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency re-location in the country. They work with both government and non government agencies to deliver immediate results where the need is greatest. Their efforts include but are not limited to providing emergency medical and primary care services, delivering badly needed medical equipment and medicine, distributing food and water purification systems, improving communication systems, and rubble removal in the neighborhoods surrounding the Petionville […]

Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz to present at Oscars

All three living performers who won Oscars® in the acting categories last year will return to present at the 82nd Academy Awards®, announced telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic. Penélope Cruz will join fellow winners Kate Winslet and Sean Penn as presenters on the March 7 Oscar telecast. (Heath Ledger won the Supporting Actor Oscar posthumously for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”)
Last year, at the 81st Academy Awards, Cruz took home the Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” She was previously nominated for her leading role in “Volver,” and is nominated this year for her supporting performance in “Nine.”
Penn has been nominated five times for Actor in a Leading Role and twice took home an Oscar: in 2003 for “Mystic River” and last year for his performance as charismatic politician Harvey Milk in “Milk.” His other nominations came for “Dead Man Walking” (1995), “Sweet and Lowdown” (1999) and “I Am Sam” (2001).
Winslet has been nominated for six Academy Awards and took home an Oscar for her leading role in 2008’s “The Reader.” Previously, she received nominations for her leading roles in “Titanic” (1997), “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) and “Little Children” (2006), and nods for her supporting roles in “Sense and Sensibility” (1995) and “Iris” (2001).
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.