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BELLE

Recently there have been a plethora of films based on real- life, unknown characters, with the absence of fiction even mediocre movies generate positive responses: “The Railway Man” (Erik Lomax); “Walking With the Enemy” (Pincas Tibor Rosenbaum) and “Belle”, directed by Amma Asante, the remarkable story of “Dido Elizabeth Belle”  an aristocratic woman of mixed race; raised by her great ... Read More »

LOCKE

Tom Hardy as “Ivan Locke” gives one the most remarkable,  profound performances I have ever seen; breathtakingly poignant, his mellifluous, honey-infused Welsh accent, carries the film through travesties and pain; never suffering a loss of control; his universe crumbles as he refuses to be deterred from his mission. Written and directed by Steven Knight (“Eastern Promises”), this brilliant, poetic tale ... Read More »

THE RAILWAY MAN

Based on the autobiography (“The Railway Man”) by Erik Lomax, an Englishman, engineer, captured and tortured by the Japanese after their conquest of Singapore in 1942. It is a tale worth telling and watching. Colin Firth, as “Lomax” gives a sensitive, at times melodramatic, depiction of a man suffering from the devastating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; a centuries old ... Read More »

LE WEEK-END (UNITED KINGDOM)

This enchanting film was the darling of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival.  Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent give luminous performances as a British couple venturing to Paris to celebrate their thirtieth wedding anniversary; on the surface, this seemingly well-matched pair banter, flirt as only those who have lived, studied each other’s foibles, idiosyncrasies, insecurities; a lifetime vocation in adjusting, ... Read More »

STALINGRAD RUSSIA (ENGLISH: SUBTITLES)

The Battle of Stalingrad is a metaphor for colossal perseverance; the Herculean strength of the dedicated; outnumbered, starving, obstinately denying the German forces a victory . The battle lasted from August 23rd,1942, until February 2nd,1943. The annihilation of the German army (led by doomed Field Marshall Paulus) heralded Germany’s deserved demise. The loss of life, over a million souls, has ... Read More »

The Invisible Woman Movie Review

Prolifically ponderous, what could have been a scintillating, titillating  love story, never leaves the “shadow”, foggy plodding scenario of a genius gone awry, a young woman bereft of options, encouraged by her mother to fall from grace, into the arms of a married man, twenty-seven years her senior. The man was Charles Dickens (1812-1870); the woman, Ellen “Nelly” Ternan (1839-1914). ... Read More »

THE PAST (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Periodically there’s a film that resonates long after viewing; marinating in one’s memory for days, oftentimes forever. Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s (“A Separation”) “The Past” is such a movie; simplicity balloons to complex; ambiguities, seemingly clarified, become murky; empathy, fickly flows from one character to another as “the past’ is sporadically revealed. Bernice Bejo as “Marie” is astounding as a ... Read More »

THE GREAT BEAUTY (ITALIAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

“Jep Gambardella” (Toni Servillo) is a voyeur, flaneur gliding through life, observing, perpetually longing for “the great beauty” to accost him; a muse of inspiration capable of igniting the creative transformation he yearns for. Director Paolo Sorrentino’s homage to glorious Rome, its hedonistic lifestyle, commences with “Jep’s” sixty-fifth birthday party; freakishly beautiful members of Rome’s elite, sinuously writhing, frenetically dancing ... Read More »

PHILOMENA

Judi Dench ignites the screen with her performance as “Philomena Lee”; the true story a young, Catholic, Irish girl, who has a son out of wedlock in 1952;  orphaned herself, she is housed in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roscrea, Ireland; where her son, at age three, is torn from her,  adopted by an American family. For forty-seven ... Read More »

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Director Abdellatif Kechiche depicts an achingly profound portrait of isolation, loneliness, separateness, love. “Adele” is seventeen, intelligent, inquisitive, conflicted; plagued by untoward fantasies; living with parents, ignorant of their complex progeny. It is the twenty- first century, the parameters between naivety, childhood and carnal knowledge have shrunk, intimacy is the norm, expected, practiced by all over 16; dissected in flagrantly ... Read More »

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