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Author Archives: Peneflix

DIANE

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Periodically, it happens; almost instantly, acknowledging the worthiness of the movie, but wishing to remove oneself from the onslaught of massive, bludgeoning depression; “Diane” marvelously depicted by Mary Kay Place is a middle-aged depressive, her focus on others to the exclusion of her own issues, is devouring her sanity; she is a list maker, visiting and feeding the sick, working ... Read More »

PETERLOO

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British writer/director Mike Leigh’s intelligent, compelling polemic referencing a shameful blot in English antiquity, demands and deserves profound respect from the viewer; 1819, four years after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo; with haunting memories of the French Revolution (1789) and its guillotined aristocrats, the activists, demanding reform, suffrage, tax relief, elicited quaking alarm in the status quo; trussed in their breeches, ... Read More »

ROMEO AKBAR WALTER (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Bollywood’s hunky heartthrob John Abraham (“Force” films) dons three nom du plumes for this spy thriller revolving around the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war (12/3/71-12/16/71)  resulting in the birth of Bangladesh; Abraham is introduced as a droll banker “Romeo” who substitutes his income as an impersonator; he is recruited by RAW’s (Research And Analysis Wing) Chief “Shrikani Rau” (Jackie Shroff at his ... Read More »

ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE (CHINESE: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director Jia Zhangke  (2015’s bewitching “Mountains May Depart”) in this alluring, ravishing scenario about love, loss and survival in contemporary China; we follow “Qiao” (impeccable, magical performance by Zhao Tao, the director’s wife) commencing in 2001, concluding in 2018; Qiao’s boyfriend “Bin” (extraordinary, Liao Fan) a feckless, minor drug lord sees no reason to visit Qiao, imprisoned, for taking the ... Read More »

THE BEST OF ENEMIES

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Marvelously manipulative, pushing all the right buttons, resulting in an ultimately satisfying movie experience; Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson, seasoned stars, paired perfectly as C.P. Ellis, President of the KKK in Durham, North Carolina and Ann Atwater, a fiery African American civil rights activist; it is 1971 and school integration percolates heatedly in the divisive, racist white community in ... Read More »

SUNSET (HUNGARIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director Laszlo Nemes’ nascent Academy Award winning “Son of Saul” tipped the scales in mind-crunching innovation, revolutionary emotional upheaval, allowing the viewer to walk in the shoes of a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, metaphorically choking on Zyklon B gas; existence, a circumstantial whim of fate; a manifestation, incarnation of palpable evil, touched by the refined embodiment of man’s ... Read More »

HOTEL MUMBAI

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I do not believe in a God of Carnage; but 10 Pakistani men over November 26-29, 2008, assassinated 164 people in the name of Allah, squelching India’s way of life, as they did in the United States, September 11, 2001; director Anthony Maras, without blinders or sensationalism, reenacts and personalizes the calamitous hours of terror endured by guests and staff ... Read More »

THE MUSTANG

Matthias Schoenaerts appears in The Mustang by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. 

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A compelling, scintillating scenario poetically referencing a true tale; Matthias Schoenaerts depicts hardened criminal Roman Coleman, whose rehabilitation rests on the back of an unbroken mustang; both are wild, volatile and caged; filmed with insightful prescience, elucidating neophytes to the massive benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) therapy;  a myriad of animals are employed in pet therapy, aiding individuals fighting ... Read More »

WOMAN AT WAR (ICELANDIC: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Deliciously quirky, fantastically off quilter, writer/director Benedikt Erlingsson teamed with stupefying actor Halldora Geirharosdottir, introduces viewers to a character(s) never to be duplicated or forgotten. Twins “Halla” and “Asa” approaching fifty are spiritual loaners; Halla a “Divine Demolition Diva”, an environmentalist, in Robin Hood style, single handedly slays the instruments threatening the ecological purity of her Icelandic landscape; we cheer ... Read More »

THE AFTERMATH

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Director James Kent (“Testament of Youth”) intriguingly, hauntingly tells a tale of romance, devastation, deceit between injured, irreparably altered souls; chaos, detritus, beautifully depicted in the “winter of discontent” in postwar Hamburg, Germany; actors Keira Knightley, “Rachel Morgan”, Alexander Skarsgard, “Stefan Lubert” and Jason Clarke, “Colonel Lewis Morgan” imbue their characters with heart-wrenching depth and integrity; the Morgan’s have requisitioned ... Read More »

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