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Monthly Archives: December 2015


There is an incandescence, a luminosity, an aura that twenty-five-year-old Jennifer Lawrence possesses in staggering proportions; it is intoxicating, spellbinding watching her perform; she seizes and controls to the core her every character, and in portraying Joy (Mangano), the inventor of the Miracle Mop, she adds another rarefied gem to her ever-expanding list of archival achievements. Director David O. Russell’s ... Read More »


Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give subtle,  profound performances as a retired couple on the verge of their forty-fifth wedding anniversary. Directed by Andrew Haigh, based on a 10-page story by David Constantine, this quietly brilliant psychological scenario will haunt one long after its initial viewing. After two screenings I am still unsettled, pondering, contemplating the conclusion. “Geoff” (Courtenay) receives ... Read More »


Reunions. They are a fact of life: schools, sororities, fraternities; encroaching, looming every five or ten years; once the decision to attend is made, the dieting, exercising, spa days grow exponentially with the magnitude of the number; culminating in disappointment once the event, infused with unrecognizable peers and jejune conversation, has fizzled and one heads home to microwave the frozen ... Read More »


“Youth”. Director Paolo Sorrentino’s  (“The Great Beauty”, 2014, Academy Award for Best Foreign Film) stunning, poignant film is enhanced by the sterling talents of Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Paul Dano. Tackling life’s waning issues on a myriad of levels. A dazzling Swiss landscape and sublime music adds insouciant charm and “beauty” to “Youth”. “Macbeth”. A mesmerizing portrayal of the tortured, ... Read More »


The concept of “selling short”, betting that a stock, bond, etc. will head south, lose its value seems un-American, pessimistic; I do not purchase “trip insurance” for the same reason; prefer a “bloom” not “doom” mentality. But “The Big Short” directed by Adam McKay, based on the best-seller “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis tackles the ... Read More »


“Girls Lost” (Sweden) was a jewel in the crown of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival; focusing on three pubescent girls in yxtreme emotional havoc, warring with their obvious facades and internal identities; unfathomable, unimaginable pain for those unfortunate to be imprisoned in a limbo of sexual ambiguity. Eddie Redmayne soars in the role of transgender “Lily Elbe” (1882-1931)/ landscape ... Read More »


Sarah Silverman’s sterling performance cannot rescue this sophomorically written, unquestionably pointless film. “Laney Brooks” (Silverman) living a lovely life with a worshipful  husband “Bruce” (blandly depicted by Josh Charles) and two spectacular children; celestially- addicted, anorexic, unfaithful; her life is one destructive, masochistic moment after another. Questioning whether something atrocious happened in her primary years, either before or after her ... Read More »


Before the butchery in San Bernardino, California, Chicago starred in this week’s headlines; the slaughter, thirteen months ago, of an inner city teenager, by a Chicago law officer. Chicago has been at the epicenter of violent slayings of  young and innocent children; staggering statistics keep expanding because of gangs, illegal guns, and an amazing cavalier attitude towards life’s sacredness. Spike ... Read More »


Tom Hardy is the Sir Lawrence Olivier of the twenty-first century; he is a masterful chameleon, from super hero (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), villain (“The Dark Knight Rises”) to the common man (“Locke”) he stuns with his inimitable ability to methodically transform himself into a myriad of diverse characters. His remarkable reserves expand exponentially as he sinks his flawless aptitudes ... Read More »

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