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THE FABELMANS (in theatres)

Individuals of iconic, legendary stature are, at a pivotal point, retrospective; pursuing their walkway to prominence; in recent years directors have splayed upon the screen the intimacy, the embryonic process to eminence: “Lady Bird” 2017 (Greta Gerwig); “Roma” 2018 (Alfonso Cuaron); “The Souvenir” 2019 (Joanna Hogg); “Belfast” 2021 (Kenneth Branagh); “The Hand of God” 2021 (Paolo Sorrentino). Surpassing all the ... Read More »

BONES AND ALL (in theatres), GLASS ONION (in theatres)

Director Luca Guadagnino’s sublime sensitivity, “I Am Love”, “Call Me By Your Name”, “Brideshead Revisited”, is limitless, stratospheric; he has visualized, put on the screen, a narrative, emotions others have felt, but are incapable of expressing; his vision travels into untouched realms, recognizing, accepting the “other”, gifting viewers insights into those shunned, oftentimes horrified by; “Bones and All” (not for ... Read More »

CAUSEWAY (APPLE TV) & THE CALLING (PEACOCK)

CAUSEWAY (Apple TV) Jennifer Lawrence is certifiably a grand actor; her skill reverberates and defines to perfection her every characterization: “Ree Dolly” (“Winter’s Bone”), “Katniss Everdeen” (“The Hunger Games”, Trilogy), “Tiffany” (“Silver Linings Playbook”), the list exponentially expands as she advances to her pinnacle. In tandem with director Lila Neugebauer, Lawrence imbues recovering soldier “Lindsay” (wounded in an explosion in ... Read More »

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 »

THE GOOD NURSE (NETFLIX) TICKET TO PARADISE (IN THEATRES)

Two outstanding Academy Award winners (Jessica Chastine, Eddie Redmayne) with exhaustive efforts could not spur viewers to the level of interest, that on paper, should have soddened our attention for its entirety. The good nurse, Amy Loughren (Chastine) emotionally, psychologically, physically must come to terms with the evil embedded in the bad nurse, Charlie Cullen (Redmayne); both actors immerse their ... 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 »

TAR (in theatres)

Cate Blanchett gives an indisputable, brilliant characterization of conductor “Lydia Tar”, a woman of magnitude, inimitable accomplishments, unfathomable that she could fall from grace; yet she does in writer/director Todd Field’s epic, Shakespearean, contemporary scenario. The first thirty minutes of the film are spellbinding; critic Adam Gopnik (playing himself) insouciantly reverent, interviews Tar, skimming past achievements, highlighting her newest book ... Read More »

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