Menu

MY FIRST-EVER OSCAR VOTE

I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a kid, and writing about them for decades, but this year I did something I never dreamt of during all that time: I cast a vote. Last year, I was admitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in the At-Large category. (There is no branch representing authors, critics, or preservationists.) As awards season began it dawned on me that I was actually going to participate in this year’s Oscars. My invitation to vote came about two weeks ago, with a deadline of January 17. As I continued to catch up with foreign-language films, indies, and documentaries I put off voting until Monday, one full day before deadline. The deed didn’t take long, as I…

READ MORE >

NEW AND NOTABLE BOOKS January 2023

CARTOON VOICES OF THE GOLDEN AGE, 1930-1970 Volumes 1 and 2 by Keith Scott (BearManor Media) This is not so much a book as a life’s work for its author, a lifelong cartoon fanatic who wound up providing voices for cartoons himself. (His dead-on rendering of Bullwinkle J. Moose earned him a gig opposite June Foray for The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, released in the year 2000.) Decades of intensive research have resulted in an information-packed chronicle of American cartoon shorts and the often-uncredited performers who provided their speaking and singing voices. Scott devotes separate chapters to the key animation studios of the theatrical cartoon era: Warner Bros., MGM, Columbia, UPA, Walter Lantz, Walt Disney, and Max Fleischer, with addenda covering the first generation…

READ MORE >

REMEMBERING ADRIENNE MANCIA AND BILL PENCE

The term “influencers” has come to mean a cadre of people online whose endorsement of a product or service has widespread impact. In my lifetime I’ve met a handful of people who, without the benefit of social media, took on a similar role. Two of them have just passed away, but their impact will continue to be felt for many years to come. I met Adrienne Mancia, who just died at 95, during her long tenure as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She loved film and lived to discover and nurture creative people. She also possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the medium and mounted tributes to American-International Pictures and Warner Bros. Cartoons, honorees that other, more rigid institutions…

READ MORE >

TURN EVERY PAGE: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBERT GOTTLIEB AND ROBERT CARO

Speaking as a writer who has worked in the publishing world for decades, I view Turn Every Page as a true-life Superhero movie. This portrait of two legends—veteran book editor Bob Gottlieb and venerable biographer Robert Caro—offers a closeup look at their individual personalities as well as their longtime collaboration. What began as a proposed three-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson has now extended to four books, with a fifth on the way. But as Gottlieb is now 91 and Caro is 87, theirs is what Gottlieb characterizes as an “actuarial” story as this point. The film could only have been made by someone both men trusted completely, Lizzy Gottlieb—Bob Gottlieb’s daughter. Even then, they won’t agree to be interviewed together and set strict guidelines for what she…

READ MORE >

CATCHING UP WITH RECENT MOVIES

December is the busiest month of the year for me, as it’s when I have to catch up with as many movies as possible. I vote in several year-end awards and polls and I want to make good choices, though I always seem to be a few pictures behind. Here are my thoughts about some recent fare: The Whale I understand why Brendan Fraser has received so much attention and acclaim for his performance as a man who is morbidly obese. He’s completely convincing, but it’s difficult, if not downright painful, to watch him. What’s more, most of the characters who come to his apartment are unpleasant. The film is transparently based on a stage play, which is the last thing one would expect to…

READ MORE >

BABYLON: AN ELEPHANTINE TIME TRIP 

Give Damien Chazelle credit for loving movies and Hollywood history. That’s what led him down the long and winding road to Babylon. But we all know what the road to hell is paved with, and this movie is a shining example of good intentions gone amok.  The writer-director of La La Land became fascinated with the notion that the same people who perfected an art form in the 1920s indulged in bacchanalian behavior away from work. Hollywood was also a place where a nobody could become a somebody seemingly overnight. That carefree anything-can-happen atmosphere came to a screeching halt with the arrival of talkies. Those are just some of the pieces in this wildly ambitious mosaic, which runs just over three hours. Some of it works,…

READ MORE >

WOMEN TALKING: ONE OF A KIND

Sarah Polley has carved her own path, first as an actress and now as a filmmaker, having piloted a highly personal documentary (Stories We Tell) and two frank observational pieces about marriage (Take This Waltz, Away from Her). But nothing she has done before could prepare an audience for Women Talking, which she has adapted from a novel by Miriam Toews. Polley takes a bold, formalist approach to this provocative chamber drama about a group of women who have been brutalized by the men of their isolated community. They agree that they must make a life-altering decision: to run away, to stay and fight, or to do nothing. The women, of all ages, have been barred from getting an education, and make sound yet sometimes contradictory…

READ MORE >

Subscribe to our newsletter

MERCH

Maltin tee on TeePublic

PODCAST

Maltin on Movies podcast

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

Past podcasts

PATREON

Maltin On Movies Patreon

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

Leonard Maltin appearances and booking

CALENDAR

January 2023
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031