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THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (in theatres) ARMAGEDDON TIME (in theatres)

If for no other reason, seek out this film to see Colin Farrell’s transformative performance; he is mesmerizing, stupefying as “Padraic”, living a secluded life on the fictional island of Inisherin, off the Irish coast; Padraic, a farmer, borderline “daff”, content living with his sister, “Siobhan” (sensitive Kerry Condon) and interacting daily with “Colm” (phenomenal Branden Gleeson) his closest friend; ... Read More »

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (NETFLIX)

Writer Erich Maria Remarque’s (1898-1970) iconic novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929) film depiction is positively outstanding, compellingly watchable and one of the finest productions on television today; riveting to the point of exhaustion, German director Edward Berger vivisects the naivety of teenagers rallying around the “flag”, ignorant of the hideousness of the battleground; and the immediate, crushing ... Read More »

58th CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

Special kudos to Artistic Director Mimi Plauche and Managing Director Vivian Teng for the most innovative and well- run Festival in years. After viewing close to thirty films (not my personal best) here are a few filmic treasures: DOCUMENTARIES:  ALL THE BEAUTY AND BLOODSHED Directed by Laura Poitras tells photographer Nan Goldin’s journey from addiction to a formidable force in slaying the reputation of ... Read More »

58th CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: PART 3

THE GREAT SILENCE             (DENMARK)  Director Katrine Brocks, gifts attendees of the Festival one of the most intrinsically intimate portraits of pain, both physical and psychological, on the screen; filmed within the confines of a convent, interspersed with flashbacks; “Sister Alma”, about to take her final vows, must confront the hubris seething between she and ... Read More »

58TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: PART 2

The contemporary themes striding stunningly through the Festival have captivated me throughout; some beg comparisons: MONICA (ITALY) & PALOMA (BRAZIL & PORTUGAL) Years ago, after reading Jeffrey Eugenides’s overpowering, deep-rooted “Middlesex”, gaining an understanding and insight into those whose bodies were unmatched with their respective genders. Education, respect and sensitivity are required in compassionate acceptance of what does not fall ... Read More »

58TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: DISENFRANCHISED SOULS

Midway through this stunning, scintillating, elucidating filmic journey, saturated with individuals, the “other” struggling with the “norm”, fighting for an identity within their personal parameters, despite cultural intransigence. Commencing with director Steve James’ documentary:  A COMPASSIONATE SPY Theodore Hall (1925-1999), prodigious, who at eighteen and a senior at Harvard was recruited by the government to help develop the atomic bomb ... Read More »

THE PATIENT, THE CHAMPION (OF AUSCHWITZ) & THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL

THE PATIENT (Hulu) Abashedly, a friend and I walked out of 2005’s “40-Year-Old Virgin” with no regrets, never revisited it; also ignored “The Office”; it wasn’t until “Foxcatcher” (2014) followed by “The Big Short” (2015) and “Beautiful Boy” (2018) that I awakened to the stimulating fact that Steve Carell was so much more than a funny man; incubating beneath a ... Read More »

IN THEATRES AND STREAMING

“BULLET TRAIN” (in theatres) It has been a rather thin, squishy summer of film; a myriad of mediocrity unworthy of brain waves, exceptions: “Top Gun”, “Official Competition”, “Hallelujah”, “Vengeance” and the recently reviewed “The Good Boss”. To shun ennui, I visited “Bullet Train” (Brad Pitt the primary draw); superciliousness on steroids but for some inexplainable rationale I found myself enjoying, ... Read More »

THE GOOD BOSS (Spanish: English subtitles) in theatres

Javiar Bardem scorches as “The Good Boss”, (“Julio Blanco”) a multifaceted, charismatic, childless owner of Blanco Scales; which tops the “scales” in satire, subtlety, metaphorical subterfuge; director/writer Leon de Aranoa’s intricately, prodigiously carved slice of comedic mockery, secures its place as one of the best films of 2022. Bardem’s compelling, masterly depiction of a man who has convinced his employees ... Read More »

STREAMING AND BEYOND

“INTIMACY”              (SPANISH: DUBBED ENGLISH)         NETFLIX A timely tale resonating with today’s invasive and chilling technology; a rising politician is surreptitiously filmed as she and her lover are carnally entwined on a deserted beach. Predictably, it goes viral, and the series evolves as the protagonists gallantly fight to resolve and cope ... Read More »

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