Tricia Olszewski

Movie critic and international gadabout Tricia Olszewski can often be spotted running out of screenings in the Washington, D.C., area muttering her favorite critique, courtesy of Bart Simpson: "I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows." She published her first film-related article while working in a Buffalo, N.Y., multiplex, inspired by lunatic Jurassic Park crowds clamoring to get into the showings "where the seats shook." They were talking, of course, about the new DTS sound technology, but the intense rumor-mongering that audio innovations tend to inspire had them believing they were seeing the sequel to MANT! So she wrote an (allegedly humorous) essay about it, in the process discovering a flair for pointing out the idiotic. Naturally, a gig at the Washington City Paper followed. More than a decade later, she's the last film critic standing. Tricia also contributes reviews to the Colorado Springs Independent and PopMatters and has written about music and theater for the Washington Post, prompting her to nurture hobbies such as filing and data entry. She's a member of the Washington, D.C., Area Film Critics Association and counts Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan, and Quentin Tarantino among her favorite directors. Technically, she's neither "international" nor a "gadabout."


Articles by Tricia Olszewski


Zoe Kazan Talks RUBY SPARKS, Paul Dano and Family – Tricia Olszewski interviews

Playwright, actress, and screenwriter Zoe Kazan has been seen — or not seen — in blink-and-you-missed-them indie films such as “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Happythankyoumoreplease” as well as in small roles in more mainstream fare such as “Revolutionary Road” and “It’s Complicated.” But the 28-year-old Los Angeles native is also the granddaughter of famed director Elia Kazan (“On the Waterfront”) and daughter of scripters Nicholas Kazan (“Reversal of Fortune”) and Robin Swicord (“Memoirs of a Geisha”), which just about makes her Hollywood royalty.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Russell Brand on “Arthur” – Tricia Olszewski interviews

Everyone is thinking it: Arthur, Dudley Moore’s 1981 comedy about a lonely billionaire, didn’t need to be remade. But to have comic/actor/all-around crazy guy Russell Brand fill Moore’s shoes and swap the character’s butler for a nanny — played by Helen Mirren! — and suddenly update the classic doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Catherine Hardwicke and Amanda Seyfried – Tricia Olszewski interviews

In Catherine Hardwicke’s “Red Riding Hood,” the titular character of the classic fairy tale is no longer referred to as an item of clothing: Her name is Valerie. And she’s all grown up, torn between the man she loves and the man she’s been arranged to marry, her emotions further taxed as her town battles a werewolf. Amanda Seyfried, blessed with a fairy-tale face, plays Valerie and here talks with her director about the look of the film, its modern touches, and why Valerie is far from a damsel in distress.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Ben Foster On “Mechanic” – Tricia Olszewski interviews

Ben Foster‘s most critically acclaimed role to date was as a quietly tortured military man who delivered news of soldiers’ deaths in “The Messenger.” So his participation in a straight-up action flick, “The Mechanic,” is a bit of a shock. Co-starring with stuntmaster Jason Statham in the remake of Charles Bronson’s 1972 original, Foster toughened up and decided he wasn’t about to let something like vertigo — or even the possibility of death — prevent him from doing his own stunts, too. Particularly one of the movie’s most stunning: a free-fall off the side of a 450-foot building.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Jason Statham On Being A Man of Action – Tricia Olszewski interviews

The assassin at the center of The Mechanic is a man of precise action and few words. The 1972 original starred, naturally, Charles Bronson. Now the current remake recruited an actor who’s perhaps destined in fill Bronson’s shoes: the reticent Transporter and Crank star, Jason Statham.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Anthony Hopkins Talks About His Fear Factor – Tricia Olszewski Interviews

Anthony Hopkins will perhaps always be best known for having eaten someone’s liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. But frightening audiences Hannibal Lecter-style is so 1991: In “The Rite,” Hopkins’ latest film, the devil literally makes him do it.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Clint Eastwood Talks About “Hereafter” – Tricia Olszewski interviews

Clint Eastwood is still directing at the age of 80 — which should make him feel pretty lucky. His latest film, “Hereafter,” starring Matt Damon, Cecile De France, Jay Mohr and twin newcomers George and Frankie McLaren, deals with the afterlife, specifically near-death experiences and communicating with those who’ve passed, all wrapped up in the larger issue of fate. Written by “The Queen” scribe Peter Morgan, “Hereafter” incorporates real-world events into its fictional story, including Eastwood’s biggest filming challenge: The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Animal Kingdom” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

Survival of the fittest is the prevailing theme of Animal Kingdom, the assured feature debut of Australian writer-director David Michôd. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Extra Man” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

“The Extra Man” flies one freak flag too many. Read more

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Life During Wartime” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

Todd Solondz seems to grasp for significance while hating his creations. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Concert” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

The highlight of “The Concert” is the titular event itself; the rest is amiable enough if underwhelming. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Dinner for Schmucks” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

With the exception of bathroom gags, easily fixable misunderstandings and mouth-breathing whoopsies are about the lowest forms of humor. And Dinner for Schmucks is full of both. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Inception” – Review by Tricia Olszewski

Christopher Nolan’s concept is as irresistible as its execution. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Girl Who Played With Fire” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

The strikingly original character Larsson brought to life is, alas, already getting predictable. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – Lisa Cholodenko Talks About “Kids,” Collaborating and Joni Mitchell – Tricia Olszewski interviews

In terms of relationships both romantic and familial, Lisa Cholodenko may just have created the perfect film for 2010. “The Kids Are All Right” stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose teenage children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) seek out their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo).

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AWFJ Women On Film – Sebastian Junger Talks About “Restrepo” – Tricia Olszewski interviews

Consider “Restrepo” a real-life version of “The Hurt Locker.” With the tagline “One platoon, one year, one valley,” the documentary shows us war unadulterated, straight from the trenches.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Alex Meraz Talks “Twilight: Eclipse” – Interview by Tricia Olszewski

Team What and Taylor Who? You might not know the name Alex Meraz, the Mexican-Native American who plays Paul, a werewolf, in “The Twilight Saga.” But he’s proof that one need only be hunky and shirtless to garner the same kind of squealing adoration initially reserved for the franchise’s starring love triangle of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. Though he wouldn’t mind if his character’s human form got more than one line. Meraz, in human form, talks with Tricia Olszewski about his work ethic, hanging with his costars, and why this third installment is not to be missed.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Eclipse” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

Those who are dragged to Eclipse may just enjoy themselves enough not to mind the post-credits walk of shame. Read more

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” – Reviewed by Tricia Olszewski

This peek at what goes into a ridiculously long comedy career is at once sad, riveting, and inspiring. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Ondine” – Review by Tricia Olszewski

“Ondine” is a lovely, low-key surprise. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – John C. Reilly on “Cyrus,” His Grammy and Marisa Tomei – Tricia Olszewski Interviews

For most of his career, John C. Reilly was Mr. Cellophane. Like the titular character in his showcase song from 2002′s “Chicago” — a performance that earned him an Oscar nod — there was a long, long period during which Reilly suffered from anonymity, when you could walk right by the multifaceted actor and never know he was there.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Get Him to the Greek” – Review by Tricia Olszewski

You’d think Apatow’s flicks would have gotten tired by now. But for those who like this strain of humor, “Greek” is another winner. Read more

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Splice” – Review by Tricia Olszewski

Certain final-reel developments initially seem ludicrous. In hindsight, though, the arc mostly makes sense­—a rarity in almost any thriller that eventually goes bananas.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Tricia Olszewski’s Top Ten of 2009

1. Up

2. Inglourious Basterds

3. Up in the Air

4. Paranormal Activity

5. Coraline

6. Adventureland

7. World’s Greatest Dad

8. The Hurt Locker

9. Food, Inc

10. Sherlock Holmes

And, for the annotated version:

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