The Phoenix Critics Circle’s favorite is ‘The Favourite’

The Phoenix Critics Circle hosted its annual awards party on Dec. 14 at the Phoenix Film Foundation office, and the critics and their friends and family enjoyed a festive night of food, drinks, movie conversations and debates, and of course, the awards! Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite” won Circle’s Best Picture award and also picked up Best Screenplay as well. Ethan Hawke and Melissa McCarthy won the top acting awards for “First Reformed” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, respectively, and here is the complete list of winners. BEST PICTURE The…

12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘Edward Scissorhands’

“Edward Scissorhands” (1990) – Twenty-eight years after Tim Burton introduced his modern-day Pinocchio story about an artificial boy (Johnny Depp) who has scissors for hands, “Edward Scissorhands” still brings the tears. Burton does include a lot of satire, as he regularly pokes fun at suburbia throughout the picture, but he delves into Christmastime in the second half, and it seems that every single modest home in the camera frame dons festive lights. This fairy tale isn’t really a Christmas movie, but the holiday makes its mark, and especially when Edward…

12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘Lethal Weapon’

“Lethal Weapon” (1987) – OK, Richard Donner’s buddy cop movie – set in sunny Los Angeles – does include plenty of Christmas references, including Bobby Helms’  “Jingle Bell Rock” during the opening credits and police officer Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) going undercover to buy drugs and a Christmas tree.   Still, when one thinks of action films and Christmas, most look to “Die Hard” (1988), so that’s why we are including “Lethal Weapon” on this list. Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) pairs up with the nearly (or actually) psychotic Riggs, and…

12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘Tangerine’

With December filled with the standard, but also very welcome, Christmas movies, like “A Christmas Story” (1983), “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), “Scrooged” (1988), and other versions of “A Christmas Carol”, AHFW decided to look back at 12 movies that feature Christmas as well!  The only difference is the said holiday is not the main focus of these films.  Furthermore, you may not even know that Dec. 25 is even mentioned in these movies. Without further ado, let’s get started with “Tangerine”! “Tangerine” (2015) – In a colorful Los Angeles…

Roberts and Hedges effectively play a struggling mother and son in ‘Ben Is Back’

“Ben Is Back” – “Instead of a criminal or a drug addict, I was looking at a boy, just a boy.” – Shannon A. Thompson, “Take Me Tomorrow” Ben (Lucas Hedges) is back home on Christmas Eve. Patches of crusty snow are scattered on suburban lawns, wintery-grays fill the skies and leafless trees remind us that warm weather won’t hug this neighborhood for a few distant months.  It might be comfy inside Ben’s house, but this (roughly) 18-year-old kid is locked out, because he did not tell his mom Holly…