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Latest Commentary News


Peter Bart: A Final Toast To Screenwriter Extraordinaire William Goldman

William Goldman

William Goldman, who died Thursday at age 87, usually was depicted as a curmudgeon because of his famous "nobody knows anything" quote. But he loved film and theater and the craft of creating a movie. The process represented an exciting adventure for him and, in fact, that was the point of his full quote; "Every time out it's a guess," he wrote, and no one has the final answers. Goldman liked to hold forth on film and theater at his haunt, the Daniel Restaurant on East… Read


Peter Bart: Oscar Campaign Gurus Already Warning Of Q&A Minefields


It's a small fraternity, its members are seasoned, skilled, well paid — and perpetually panicked, and this year with good reason. Their job is to manage the awards campaigns for studios and indies and the campaign circuit this year, more than ever, resembles a minefield. The Q&A sessions have barely started and already there have been tensions about #MeToo, the N-word, credits, diversity and even Netflix's ubiquitous algorithms. "This year it can be Time's Up for your… Read


Producer Craig Zadan Remembered In Dazzling, Star-Filled Tribute At TV Academy

“Craig would have loved it” was a common refrain heard in the lobby of the Television Academy’s Wolf Theatre on Sunday night at the conclusion of Thespians Go Hollywooda tribute to the life and work of the late prolific film, TV and Broadway producer Craig Zadan. Not only would he have loved it, he could have produced it from above as it was the kind of dazzling, star-laden musical show only Zadan and his longtime producing partner Neil Meron could put together, as they… Read


Michael Moore Finishes His Oscar 2003 Acceptance Speech At Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

Filmmaker Michael Moore was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while Won’t You Be My Neighbor won the Best Documentary and Best Director categories at the third annual Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, held last night at BRIC in Brooklyn. Robert De Niro presented the award to Moore right before rushing off to appear on SNL, calling him “a true, true American hero … one of the greatest truth- tellers in this country right now.” Moore used his acceptance speech to… Read


Ennio Morricone Slams Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood And The US – Or Does He?

UPDATE: Ennio Morricone has issued a statement claiming that they got it all wrong in the Playboy Germany interview. He has issued the following statement: “It has come to my attention that Playboy Germany has come out with an article in which I have stated extremely negative comments about Tarantino and his films, and the Academy. I have never expressed any negative statements about the Academy, Quentin, or his films — and certainly do not consider his films garbage. I… Read


President Donald Trump Tweetstorm – The Sunday Edition

President Donald Trump is several time zones away from the US, attending ceremonies in Europe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, aka World War I. But he’s keeping up with his Twitter activity along the way. Yesterday, the Commander-in-Tweet caused an uproar by complaining about California’s fire management. He later backed down and issued some conciliatory words. But he can’t quite let it go, issuing another tweet today that talked of forest… Read


President Donald Trump Changes Course On California Wildfires After Backlash

Perhaps feeling the heat from his ill-advised criticism on the California wildfire causes earlier in the day, President Trump has now switched gears and issued some conciliatory words to those battling and affected by the blazes. Trump, who is overseas for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I’s end, had earlier roiled many with a tweet that suggested mismanagement of federal funds was the cause of the current fire issues in California. He also… Read


Producer’s Guild Co-Presidents: No Turning Back From #MeToo – Produced By NY

PGA Gail Berman Lucy Fisher

Producers Guild of America co-presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher opened the Guild's "Produced By: New York" conference with a chat that covered the shifting role of pitching and selling product today—a role that seems to be changing faster than the time it takes to log into Netflix. While much of the hour-long panel was devoted to how streaming services have disrupted traditional models for both television and film, the other great disruption—#MeToo—was addressed by… Read


Notes On The Season: AFI Fest Opens And Ruth Bader Ginsburg Steals Spotlight; Crazy Rich Actors Hit Early Awards Circuit

On The Basis Of Sex

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit. Welcome to a new Oscar season of Notes on the Season, my weekly column and roundup of various events and interviews from the endless awards circuit. For the next few months, right up to Oscar night February 24, look to this space for all kinds of fun stuff — that is if you are an awards junkie like me. AFI FEST LAUNCHES IN SUPREME STYLE The fall film festival season that started with Venice, Telluride… Read


Peter Bart: After Election Season Where Truth Was Casualty, Hollywood Chases Truth With Fact-Based Films

Donald Trump The Front Runner

There's a certain perversity in the decision to open “fact-based” movies at the close of an election season. After months of political noise, facts have become something like black holes in our public conversation – rhetoric in search of truth. Still, having been trained as a newsman, I habitually welcome films like Green Book, The Front Runner, Roma and First Man — stories forcefully based on real lives and real events. Fact-based movies offer an authenticity and… Read


Midterm Elections Media Winners & Losers

While political navel lint gazers argued whether Democrats or Republicans were the big winners of Tuesday’s midterm elections that won Dems control of the House and handed the GOP a bigger majority in the Senate, some media outlets also scored varying degrees of success with their midterms coverage. Best Public Wrist Slap Of Grown-Too-Big-for-Britches On-Air Talent:   Fox News Channel’s biggest ratings getter, Sean Hannity, was MIA from the network’s election night… Read


‘The Daily Show’ Celebrates An Election That Didn’t Involve Red Or Blue

From world news headquarters in New York, Trevor Noah and Comedy Central brought the Democalypse live to The Daily Show in celebration of election night. As the host noted, “Anything can happen.” Noah confessed he spent the whole day updating social media, following the election, and then it was official – Idis Elba was named by People as the world’s sexiest man. “I was so worried he would lose the vote,” Noah gushed. Turning serious, Noah noted that the election would… Read