Category Archives: Comment

Twenty of the best films of the century so far

  By Ray Bennett LONDON – The New York Times critics have named their choices of the best movies of the 21st century so far. They include titles such as “I’m Not There”, “L’Enfant” and “The 40-Year Old Virgin” but … Continue reading

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A subjective list of movie scores that I like very much

By Ray Bennett LONDON – “A good music score,” two-time Academy Award winner Randy Newman told me, “cannot turn a bad movie into a good movie but it can raise its IQ by a couple of notches.” My friends at … Continue reading

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As he turns 80, ten Jack Nicholson films you should see

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The phone rang on my desk at The Hollywood Reporter and a deep, familiar voice said, “Ray? Hey, it’s Jack.” It was in the run-up to the Academy Awards in 1998 and I was expecting … Continue reading

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Notes ahead of the 2017 Academy Awards

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Repeat screenings of the Academy Awards nominees serve to reinforce original impressions so while I doubt that it will win, my choice for best picture remains Denis Villeneuve’s profound sci-fi picture “Arrival” (pictured). Kenneth Lonergan’s … Continue reading

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My Top 10 Movie picks for 2016

By Ray Bennett In a year that has featured many fine films with splendid performances by women, the movie I enjoyed the most was Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” starring Amy Adams (pictured). In my review from the Toronto International Film Festival, … Continue reading

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Six things we learned from the 88th Academy Awards

By Ray Bennett LONDON – There were not many surprises at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday but we did discover a few things about Oscar, predictions, balloting, marketing, music, and sentimental choices. 1/ Hollywood will always protect the brand.

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Academy Awards diversity: a look at the numbers

By Ray Bennett LONDON – In the discussion about diversity in the top prizes of the Academy Awards, the depth of the problem for the Academy is clear as in the 14 awards from 2001 to last year, on the AMPAS … Continue reading

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20 David Niven movies you should see

By Ray Bennett David Niven, who was born 105 years ago today and died aged 73 in 1983, gave Ron Base and me the best quote of all time. The Oscar-winning British actor was on a book tour to promote … Continue reading

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Why Jon Stewart should listen to Johnny Carson

By Ray Bennett Count me among those who will hate to see Jon Stewart walk away from “The Daily Show” and I wish he could have heard what Johnny Carson told me about his own temptations to quit “The Tonight … Continue reading

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My interview with rock star Gene Vincent did not go well

By Ray Bennett Rockabilly star Gene Vincent, who was born on this day 80 years ago and died on Oct. 12, 1971, had a huge influence on my musical tastes with ’50s tracks such as “Be-Bob-a-Lula” and “Right Here on … Continue reading

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