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Monthly Archives: May 2018


British author Ian McEwan’s masterful works are infused with immaculate, poetic prose; his gift of capturing the human condition reigns in league with Dickens, Thackeray, Proust and the recently departed Philip Roth; a single reading is not sufficient in satisfying one’s lust for his written, exquisite prosaic conquests.  Unfortunately, so much of his beautiful verbiage, is lost in the film’s ... Read More »


From the onset there is a barren stinginess, an aura of gloom permeating the atmosphere of this dying Dutch Reformed Church, built in the 1700’s; “Reverend Ernst Toller” (catastrophically brilliant performance by Ethan Hawke) sits in his arid office, composing a daily diary to be destroyed at years’ end; he is gaunt, robotically gives his sermons; his tiny congregation, sounding ... Read More »


“Because inside me is a beast that snarls, and growls and strains toward freedom…. and as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.” (Veronica Roth) “Beast” is a deliciously twisted, slightly diabolical film, that tantalizes and terrorizes simultaneously; the barren, unfriendly landscape of Jersey is home to troubled “Moll” (steaming, seething performance by Jessie Buckley), twenty-seven, living at home ... Read More »


Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) an iconic Russian playwright excavates, with brilliant acuity, the artist’s poetic license, hubris, and fragile temperament. “The Seagull” is the most autobiographical of his major works, brutally vivisecting every character’s unappealing foibles; escaping his caustic pen, impossible! Written for the stage, the film initially stumbles, but corrects itself, with the profundity of the acting. Annette Bening gives ... Read More »


A number of years ago a friend challenged me to read the “50 Shades Trilogy”; over a 10- day time span I tackled E. L. James’ salacious scenario only to discover that she capitalized, and brought into the twenty-first-century, what had been practiced for millenniums in Asian cultures; Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele became paradigms of kinky, cutting edge, contemporary ... Read More »


Diminutive, dazzling Alia Bhatt conquers stardom with her dynamic performance as  “Shemat” a Muslim girl willing (raazi) to sacrifice her life for the love of India; marrying a Pakistani man “Iqual” (Vicky Kaushal), she fills her dying father’s (Rajit Kapoor) wish, to take his place as a spy for India; the story revolves around the Indo-Pakistani 1971 war. “Raazi” is ... Read More »


Juliette Bincohe’s giftedness as an actor is squandered in this trite, supposed romantic journey; director Claire Denis (“White Material”) focus on “Isabelle’s” (Binoche), a talented artist, quest for “Mr. Goodbar”, lacks electricity, intelligence, titillation; Isabelle is divorced with a ten-year-old daughter, looking for love in “all the wrong places”; bed-bouncing from one meaningless relationship to another, losing bits and pieces ... Read More »


Amazing, that this tiny, wizened vessel houses one of the finest legal minds of the twenty-first century. Ruther Bader Ginsburg, born in Brooklyn, 1933, the beautiful second child of immigrants, soared from an early age until the present. She is a mega-force as a Supreme Court Justice (appointed by President Clinton in 1993), now known more for her dissents than ... Read More »


Director Sebastian Lelio (“Fantastic Woman”) gifts viewers a profound glimpse into a world of concrete, inflexible dictates; religious dogma that shuns flexibility, turning away from an alternate lifestyle; cauterizing, condemning individuality; painful to experience but impossible to ignore. “Disobedience” focuses on “Ronit” (dazzling Rachel Weisz) a photographer, living in New York, returning to London, after her father’s death; her agony ... Read More »


Actors Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis give worthy performances in a film that never satisfies, just overwhelms in its averageness. Theron, as  “Marlo” a pneumatic, beleaguered housewife, sinking unconstrained, into an emotional morass after the birth of her third child; enter “Tully” (Davis) a night nanny, designed to cure postpartum depression with huge injections of effervescence. It works for awhile ... Read More »

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