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DARKEST HOUR

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Audiences have recently been satiated with a myriad of “Winston Churchill” depictions: John Lithgow,”The Crown”, Brian Cox,”Churchill”, Michael Gambon,”Churchill’s Secret”, but not one can compete with Gary Oldman’s dazzling, intuitive interpretation of a man who changed the course of history. Director Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” brilliantly concentrates on Churchill’s initiation as England’s Prime Minister; it is 1940, Hitler with blitzkrieg ... Read More »

THE SQUARE (SWEDISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Winner of Cannes highest accolade, Palme d’ Or,  Swedish director (“Force Majeure”) Ruben Ostlund’s “The Square” is staggering in its execution; expectations, never realized; pungent metaphors; it’s only flaw, colossal ambition.  Sensual, “imperially slim”, Claes Bang depicts “Christian”, as a charmingly caddish director of a Swedish contemporary museum; spewing innocuous, “art-speak” pervasive in today’s artsy, rarefied vacuum; “Anne”, an American ... Read More »

LOVING VINCENT

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Rarely do you see a movie that restores complete faith in the transformative element of film, so profoundly imaginative, spiritual, elevating one’s soul and psyche to the realm of “the starry night”; watching this staggeringly beautiful film I experienced wonderment, awe and joy; greatness, love and genuine happiness,  basking in its ingenuity. Sharing, with directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, ... Read More »

53rd CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL UPDATE

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Because you have asked, at the halfway point, here are a few of my favorites:   “THE SQUARE” (SWEDEN, GERMANY, FRANCE). A magnificent, controversial commentary on today’s art world. Will inspire conversations for lovers and detractors on what constitutes and legitimizes an artwork.   “THE CAKEMAKER” (ISRAEL, GERMANY). There are not enough adjectives to describe this achingly poignant love story; ... Read More »

VICTORIA & ABDUL

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Expectations almost instantly squashed, “Victoria & Abdul” is dimensionless, flat and eminently superficial. Dame Judi Dench can imbue the “queenly” into any character and Victoria (1819-1901) is no exception (her second go as the indomitable monarch); but the story of her infatuation and overwhelming attachment for Indian, Muslim “Abdul” (sophomoric Ali Fazal) as a servant, turned teacher “Munshi” is flimsily ... Read More »

VICEROY’S HOUSE (ON DEMAND & IN THEATRES)

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Director Gurinder Chadha blesses audiences with a pivotal portrait of British partition of India, 1947; simply, elegantly the “Viceroy’s House” sheds enlightenment on the monumental task faced by Lord Mountbatten (stuffy but appropriate, Hugh Bonneville), the last Viceroy of India, and his wife, Lady Edwina Mountbatten (remarkable Gillian Anderson). Most of the British forces had departed, leaving a hotbed of ... Read More »

THE OATH (ICELANDIC: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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“If it is given me to save a life, all thanks.  But it is also within my power to take a life”. Hippocratic Oath.   Baltasar Kormakur accomplishes a remarkable feat of directing himself in this stunning thriller set in the frigid, gloriously pristine landscape of Reykjavik, Iceland; “Finnur” (Kormakur) a renown heart surgeon, has a seemingly perfect life, blessed ... Read More »

POLINA (RUSSIAN, FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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“Dancing is the highest intelligence in the freest body” spoken by Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), an icon of innovative, communicative movement. Husband/wife directors, Angelin Preljocaj and Valerie Muller have presciently adapted Bastien Vives’s novel into a visual homage; the transformation of a spirited, precocious, classically trained ballerina into a contemporary, avant garde interpreter of movement; a translation of the soul into tangible ... Read More »

THE TRIP TO SPAIN ON DEMAND AND IN THEATRES

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To preserve your sensitives and sanity, with the exception of the ending, you’d be best served watching in “mute”; the luscious Spanish landscape (even in a deluge) and delectable cuisine, suffered with the innate, stale prattle of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on their third (hopefully final) traveling trilogy; so tiresome is the monotonous mimicking of Robert De Niro, Marlon ... Read More »

BINGING ON NETFLIX

FOYLES WAR - EP 3 - ELSIE
From ITV

18th January 2015

Pictured: Christopher Foyle (played by Michael Kitchen)

PHOTOGRAPHER:ROBERT VIGLASKY

There is a dearth of film selections in theatres, so I have turned to Netflix to satisfy my craving for crime, scintillating serial killers and tenacious detectives on Netflix; you have asked, and since management aims to please, here are a few of my favorite television dramas: WITHOUT EXCEPTION, FOYLE’S WAR, WRITTEN BY ANTHONY HOROWITZ, STANDS ISOLATED, AS THE FINEST ... Read More »

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