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LET THE SUNSHINE IN (0N DEMAND & IN THEATRES (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Juliette Bincohe’s giftedness as an actor is squandered in this trite, supposed romantic journey; director Claire Denis (“White Material”) focus on “Isabelle’s” (Binoche), a talented artist, quest for “Mr. Goodbar”, lacks electricity, intelligence, titillation; Isabelle is divorced with a ten-year-old daughter, looking for love in “all the wrong places”; bed-bouncing from one meaningless relationship to another, losing bits and pieces ... Read More »

FOXTROT (HEBREW: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Emotionally flayed from the onset when “Michael and Dafna Feldmann” are informed of their son “Jonathan’s” (Yonaton Shiray) death.  For fifteen minutes viewers are exposed to raw, pulverizing pain; with bleeding souls, and splintered hearts, Lior Ashkenazi (“Footnote”) and Sarah Adler (“The Cakemaker”) hypnotically generate the unspoken magnitude of the insurmountable. Writer/director Samuel Maoz’s complex scenario uses the fluid structure ... Read More »

A WRINKLE IN TIME

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Cursed with a hollow, vapid, platitudinous script, bludgeoning narrative “A Wrinkle in Time” is a lackluster, uninspiring attempt at a geometric, morality play. Director Ava DuVernay’s exceedingly ambitious rendition of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 book focuses on “Meg Murry’s” (Storm Reid), her brother, “Charles Wallace Murry” (Deric McCabe), and friend “Calvin O’Keefe” (Levi Miller) quest for her father, scientist “Dr.Alex Murry” ... Read More »

OPERATION RED SEA (CHINESE: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Emotionally pulverizing, exhilarating, astounding, director Dante Lam blazingly enters the realm of  “Greatest Battle Movies” ever to daunt the screen, joining the ranks of “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Black Hawk Down”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Hurt Locker”, “American Sniper”; the dazzling intensity of “Operation Red Sea” kept an oversold audience in stunned silence for a two ... Read More »

THE PARTY

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It took seconds for exsanguination to squelch Sally Potter’s desperately ambitious, shrilly delivered parody on politics, infidelity and scathing commentary on British intelligentsia; it took seventy-one minutes for the protagonists to sink to the lowest common denominator: “Janet” (Kristin Scott Thomas) is celebrating her “crowning” as  Health Minister; “Bill” (Timothy Spall) her bibulous, blubbering husband; “April” (outstanding Patricia Clarkson) a ... Read More »

A FANTASTIC WOMAN (CHILE, SPANISH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) NOMINATED FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM

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Knowing nothing about the scenario I was surprised, stunned and unabashedly thrilled with the treatment of this contemporary topic. Director Sebastian Lelio and actor Daniela Vega paint a quintessential portrait of love, grief and overpowering courage. “Marina” (Daniela Vega) a waitress and part time nightclub singer is devoted to “Orlando” (Francisco Reyes), divorced and many years her senior; after a ... Read More »

ON BODY AND SOUL (HUNGARY: ENGLISH SUBTITLES) NETFLIX. NOMINATED FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM

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Commencing with an elegant pairing of a stag and doe; roaming in pure, redolent silence, caressed by nature’s virgin splendor, an Adam and Eve joined forever in a solitude so magnificent and profound, it aches. Writer/director Ildiko Enyeid then poll vaults the viewer to a slaughterhouse where bovine beauties meet their bloody fate; wrenching cries, soulful eyes plead for mercy; ... Read More »

THE INSULT (LEBANON/FRANCE) ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM

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Director Ziad Doueiri challenges viewers to choose sides between two, decent, hardworking individuals: “Tony Hanna” (Adel Karam) a Lebanese Christian, garage owner and Yassar Salameh (Kamel El Basha) a displaced Palestinian, foreman of a construction crew; a smashed drain pipe is the vehicle that escalates into a lesson which stems from the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War. Here, tempestuously, ideologies collide, ... Read More »

PENEFLIX BEST AND NEAR BEST FILMS OF 2017

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As I peruse other critics best and worst films I feel fortunate that, because of my pay grade, have rarely seen many of the “worst”; no matter the product, each year there are enough quality films, that in retrospect my passion  is satiated. Granted I have not seen, “The Post”, “Phantom Thread” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”.  So here ... Read More »

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 »

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