Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Deirdre Kelly Wins 2020 Nathan Cohen Award for Performing Arts Criticism

Critics At Large's Deirdre Kelly wins the 2020 Nathan Cohen Award for Outstanding Review. (Photo: McKenzie James)

The Canadian Theatre Critics Association has chosen Toronto dance critic Deirdre Kelly as the winner of the 2020 Nathan Cohen Award for Outstanding Review. 

Ms. Kelly won for "Danse Macabre: Three Works by the National Ballet of Canada,” her review of one of the classical dance company’s final performances in Toronto before the lockdowns in early March.

Evoking the vulnerability and ephemerality of the body, a theme whose resonance is amplified within the context of the global pandemic, the piece was published by the independent Canadian digital arts publication Critics At Large:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sean Connery: Larger Than Life

Sean Connery (1930-2020) in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Everyone knows that Sean Connery, who died on Halloween at the age of ninety, became a movie star the moment he stepped before the camera as James Bond, Ian Fleming’s Agent 007, in Dr. No in 1963. And for most of us who saw the early Bond pictures in the theatre as they appeared – I was thirteen when I was initiated, with the second of the series, From Russia with Love – all the subsequent Bonds, at least until Daniel Craig stepped up in 2006, always seemed like pretenders to a throne Connery had abdicated after the 1971 Diamonds Are Forever. Not that you could blame the guy. Very few of his fans took him seriously as an actor until he’d freed himself from the shackles of the leading role in the most beloved (and longest-lasting) series in movie history. He gave splendid performances as the life-embracing poet who can’t be slowed down even by a lobotomy in the 1966 comedy A Fine Madness and as the √©migr√© Irish miner who leads a crew of violent rebels against the Pennsylvania coal barons in 1970’s The Molly Maguires – both fine movies but audiences failed to show up for them. (On the other hand, neither Woman of Straw with Gina Lollobrigida nor Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, both released in 1964, the same year as Goldfinger, did much for him. Marnie contains one of his rare bad performances – he looks befuddled, which seems like a fair response to what’s going on around him.)