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PENEFLIX 96th OSCAR PREDICTIONS

2023 was a spectacular, banner year for films. Never have I given so many Five Star credits, or rarely have I visited movies more than once; 2023’s products were more than worthy of multiple exposures. Without listing all the choices in each category, I will gift you, faithful readers, my number one picks in the myriad of classifications: BEST PICTURE: ... Read More »

PENEFLIX OSCAR PREDICTIONS

2023 was a spectacular, banner year for films. Never have I given so many Five Star credits, or rarely have I visited movies more than once; 2023’s products were more than worthy of multiple exposures. Without listing all the choices in each category, I will gift you, faithful readers, my number one picks in the myriad of classifications: BEST PICTURE: ... Read More »

ORIGINS (in theatres)

You do not have to have read Isabel Wilkerson’s 2020 “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” to grasp the intensity and legitimacy of her nascent premise; it is not about color, it is “about dividing society into hereditary classes”: born a slave, progeny, slaves; born a Jew, destined for discrimination; born an untouchable (Dalit) children distinguished as polluters of society; ... Read More »

ZONE OF INTEREST (GERMAN: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Director Jonathan Glazer has accomplished the remarkable in his adaptation of Martin Amis’s novel of the same title (which bears little resemblance to Amis’s script).  The film resonates, pierces the psyche, transcends the scenario, adept performances, it sears redolently with the SOUND of the unimaginable; eyes shut, the soundtrack bleats with symphonic chords of horror, annihilation, ethnic elimination; Mica Levi’s ... Read More »

FERRARI (in theatres)

Adam Driver depicts Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) with a silent, somber steeliness as he navigates his failing automobile empire while balancing his grieving wife Laura (1900-78) played with a poignancy rarely seen in film by Penelope Cruz; (they lost a son, Dino (1932- 1956) to Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and his mistress Linda Lardi (shallow, insubstantial, insignificant performance by Shailene Woodley) and ... Read More »

BOYS IN THE BOAT (in theatres)

Director George Clooney’s “Boys in the Boat” radiates with pure chauvinistic joy; flows like a divine fairy tale, but is redolently true; a tale of underdogs, besting the odds; a triumph set in the heart of the depression, a rags vs riches scenario igniting a long-lost pride in our bruised but immaculate country. Based on the 2013 bestseller by Daniel ... Read More »

AMERICAN FICTION (in theatres)

A sly, sensationally supercilious, slap at conventional, stereotypical, platitudinous attitudes perceived as “black culture”; writer/director Cord Jefferson, with brilliant aplomb focuses on author “Thelonious “Monk” (homage to composer of “The Giants of Jazz” 1917-1982) Ellison” (referencing Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) writer of the iconic “The Invisible Man”). Here is a film concentrating on an exceptionally bright family of doctors and one ... Read More »

WONKA (in theatres)

Shockingly, I have never viewed any of the Factory franchise; entering “Wonka” as a neophyte was a fantastically refreshing experience, primarily due to the performance of Timothee Chalamet as the dreamy Willy Wonka and his stratospheric recipes for the penultimate chocolate awareness. Chalamet’s pristine innocence as the naïve but embracing entrepreneur is enchanting, singing and dancing with enough zip and ... Read More »

POOR THINGS (in theatres)

Greek director Yargos Lanthimos’s fecund imagination runs imaginative circles around his viewers, some frightening and deplorable; “The Lobster” (2015) detested by this reviewer but still resonates as an unforgettable tableau of the surreal, daunting power of “blinding” love; “The Killing of the Sacred Deer” (2017) masterfully mimics the “Myth of Iphigenia”, wronged goddess Artemis, revengefully demands King Agamemnon sacrifice his ... Read More »

RENAISSANCE: A FILM BY BEYONCE (in theatres)

Preceding Beyonce were illustrious icons: Josephine Baker, Marian Anderson, Lena Horn, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross; a myriad of others sang their way into the souls of countless; cementing their gifts into the chambers of the entitled. Beyonce ‘s Renaissance (rebirth) is a healthy retrospective of her assent into a rarefied realm, sorority of those touched by the gods ... Read More »

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