When The French Connection burst onto screens in 1971, moviegoers were transfixed by its amazing car-chase sequence in New York City. To lovers of cops-and-robbers flicks, good guy/bad guy car chases are where it's at—and we've seen many, many over the years...
2008 was historic in many ways, and while the year in film pales in significance with Barack Obama and the Great Recession, '08 was cinematically remarkable for three rivetingly memorable performances. Many years slide into oblivion without leaving a single one. 2008, however, saw unforgettable role-playing by Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), Sean Penn (Milk) and Mickey Rourke...
Was it Orson Welles
who introduced the long, dining-room table with husband and wife at
opposite ends as visual shorthand for marital discord? In The Duchess,
the device is used repeatedly. At first, the Duke (Ralph Fiennes) and
Duchess (Keira Knightley) of Devonshire are seated across from each
other, separated by a long, polished surface sparingly set with a few
china serving dishes.
The first sound
is of pounding hooves and the first sight is of three horsemen hurrying
over the crest of a dun-colored hill, framed by the wooden gate to a
ranch in desolate country. The city marshal and his deputies have come
to arrest one of the hired hands for rape and murder, but the
landowner, a man called Bragg (Jeremy Irons), stands firm.