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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 »

HOME OR AWAY

“PEAKY BLINDERS” 6TH SEASON   NETFLIX In my estimation this season tops the others in writing, intense characterization and the effects of moral turpitude; Cillian Murphy, redolently ripe as “Tommy Shelby” sears as a man plagued by his misdeeds, its consequences, and religious retribution; farfetched, but reeks of legitimacy and the power of the mind to transcend reality. FOUR STARS!!!! ... Read More »

“OPERATION MINCEMEAT” & “BEAUTY QUEEN OF JERUSALEM” (NETFLIX)

Double your pleasure, comfortably, with two stunners now watchable on Netflix.  “Operation Mincemeat” is a captivating, engrossing enactment of a British 1943 mission of deception, a key to eventually besting the Germans in WWII; director John Madden (“Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, “Shakespeare in Love”, “Miss Sloane”) with actors Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen portray an intensely intelligent, fiercely detailed ... Read More »

DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA (IN THEATRES)

Having never visited the popular series of the inimitable Crawley family, I judge the films as entities totally without preconceived intimacy of the characters; possibly unfair, but films take precedence above and beyond the world of television (which I also admire). I found 2019’s “Downton Abbey” rather abysmal, apart from Maggie Smith as matriarch “Violet Crawley”; since her riveting Academy ... Read More »

THE INNOCENTS (NORWEGIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) AMAZON PRIME

Foreign films have always held a deep-seated fascination for me; they demand a high level of concentration because of the subtitles and the edifying exposure to the intricacies of filmmakers from variant cultures; their appeal is enormously gratifying. Director Eskil Vogt’s (“The Worst Person in the World”) creepily brilliant tale of children, one with psychokinesis, determining a milieu devoid of ... Read More »

VORTEX (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) IN THEATRES, THE STAIRCASE (NETFLIX), BOSCH: LEGACY (AMAZON PRIME)

“VORTEX”  Dedicated “To all those whose brains will decompose before their hearts”; directed by Gasper Noe, “Vortex”, filmed as a diptych, a metaphor for the bifurcation of two lives, once entwined, now irrevocably fractured by age and its devastating vicissitudes; a husband and wife, “Liu” and “Elle” (incomparable Dario Argento and Francoise Lebrun) navigating the once familiar, now foreign, unknown ... Read More »

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