Two Lovers

Most people desire only two things: security and attention. The two continually war over our hearts; on one end, there is the peaceful calm of security, bound by time and routine, by a lover reliable and devoted. On the other, there is the attention, that spatial leap, the risky rendezvous, the late-night reveries, always craving something less patient than the ticking clock.

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“The Class” Obeys Audience Desires

The last few decades in Hollywood were awash with inspirational schoolhouse dramas that pitted an exuberant, maverick teacher against a sea of uninspired but capable students. There was always a happy ending — either through fate or fortune, the teacher managed to change the lives of every dangerous mind under his or her influence. Sadly, anyone who has ever endured public schooling, be it in a bustling city or a sleepy suburb, understands that such tidy outcomes are more the stuff of legend than reality. This decade has been a little different. “Half Nelson” (2006), an underrated drama starring Ryan Gosling as a drug-dependent middle school teacher, brought much-needed realism to the dynamics of change in the classroom.

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2009’s Oscar Predictions

Lonely robots, rambunctious villains and curious children were all part of the cinema stew in 2008, as Hollywood recovers from a whirlwind year of record-shattering ticket sales, heated writers’ strikes and the passing of a few wonderful actors. With the Oscar race in its final lap, here’s a look back at the year’s best, by category.

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Penn Hits the Spot in “Milk”

Halfway through “Milk,” we find Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) greeting campaign supporter Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch) near the steps of San Francisco City Hall. Like Harvey, Cleve too has cleaned up his stringy hair and replaced raggedy threads with business casual attire. Harvey is visibly upset. He tells Cleve that he wants him to keep his flamboyance visible regardless of the etiquette that political theater may require. To drive the point home, he frolics up the marble steps, twirling and singing on his first day as the nation’s first openly gay public official.

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