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PARALLEL MOTHERS (SPANISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES, IN THEATRES), SILENT WITNESS (AMAZON PRIME), BEING THE RICARDOS (AMAZON PRIME)

PARALLEL MOTHERS Pedro Almodovar devotees will be comfortably satisfied with his latest intriguing, imaginative display of filmmaking; relying on his ubiquitous actor Penelope Cruz (never disappoints) as an anchor for success; she is the quintessential professional and is intensely impressive in the role of “Janis”, a middle-aged photographer giving birth for the first time; costarring ingenue Milena Smit as “Ana”, ... Read More »

STAY CLOSE (Netflix)

Years ago, I stayed away from sensational, best sellers by authors capable of spinning mystifying scenarios book after book: James Patterson, Mary Higgens Clark, Ken Follett, David Baldacci, etc. Periodically, I watch the movie, simply, for mindless entertainment; Harlen Coben’s thrillers have been made into passable, at times tantalizing, tales, “Stay Close” is surprisingly good; initially a predictable plot revealing ... Read More »

FOUR STAR STREAMERS!!!!

“When the weather outside is threatening” and the warmth of the hearth is beckoning; one’s only option it seems, is to let it stream, let it stream, let it stream: “THE GIRL FROM OSLO”  (NETFLIX).    Intriguing thriller revolving around the kidnapped daughter of a Norwegian diplomat and two Israeli friends, in the Sinai Peninsula; powerfully written and performed the ... Read More »

FILMIC FUTURE IS STREAMING

For the near future our lives will be pandemically scripted; at the bountiful mercy of the internet we can see classic, vintage, contemporary films, cemented in the confines of our domiciles. As a craver of the genre, after daily duties, I delve into the myriad of streaming choices available, my odds-on favorites: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Brit Box, Hulu, or Roku ... Read More »

BENEDETTA (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) (IN THEATRES)

Director Paul Verhoeven at 83 is still pungently pushing the boundaries; “Benedetta” (1590-1661) a lesbian nun, who garnished well-known notoriety in the 17th century for her lifestyle, and cosmic visions; exhibited here in lurid detail, the elimination of imagination, a flaw, worth noting, but still scores high grades on the prurient, sensational vector. Actor Virginie Efira tackles the role of ... Read More »

TICK TICK…BOOM! (NETFLIX); POWER OF THE DOG (NETFLIX) PREVIOUSLY REVIEWED: 10/18/21 11/19/21

Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) a behemoth of stage and screen, an influencer, inspirer of countless, including Jonathan Larson (1960-1996) whose momentary existence gifts “Rent” a synopsis of his life; a forever legacy reminiscent of Puccini’s “La Boheme” is an absolute must: “a play about writing a play” with its intoxicating highs and calamitous lows, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s supreme direction, and by far ... Read More »

YEAR OF BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: THE MAURITANIAN (Netflix); THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN (Netflix); THE POWER OF THE DOG (in theatres)

Actors attain peaks, and it is only hindsight that determines the summits: Tatum O’Neal was 10-years-old when she won the Academy Award for “Paper Moon” (1973) her father, Ryan was 29 when “Love Story: (1970) debuted; Tom Hulse, “Amadeus” (1984) at 31 disappeared; Tom Cruise, “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989) was 27 and has never reached that pinnacle ... Read More »

BELFAST (in theatres)

Recognizing a director’s difficulties in recreating one’s past for film: personal observations competing with historical accuracy, capturing the child’s eye with an adult perspective, unnecessary glorification of events and its participants; Kenneth Branagh (1960-) fares better than director Paolo Sorrentino’s “coming of age” tale in this year’s “Hand of God” but not as well as Alfonso Cuaron in 2018’s “Roma”; ... Read More »

THE SQUID GAME (Netflix) & LAST NIGHT IN SOHO (in theatres)

On the surface not much in common, but after rumination, percolating beneath the exterior the filmmaker’s message simmers; one I agree with the other I question. “THE SQUID GAME’S” (9 episodes) hypothesis is the elimination of “deadbeats” those, so strangled by debt, that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to be saved from “debtors prison”; games, compellingly clever, are ... Read More »

57TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: THOUGHTS AND FINAL FILMS

Of the myriad of festivals, I have engaged in this, the 57th, was the most comprehensive, inclusive I have ever visited. In this age of cancel culture, wokeism, pejorative, purblind sensationalism the festival soared above politics, race, gender, religion but primarily myopic, narrow, restricted minds. Embracing female actors and directors, unveiling worldwide dictates regarding religion, spiritualism, focusing on one’s choices ... Read More »

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