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Lauren Bacall

On September 16th, Lauren Bacall would have been ninety years old; almost a century of viability, lusting and loving life, protected, enhanced by her inimitable intelligence and wit she was unequivocally the captain of her soul; archetypical woman of substance who did it her way; thrust into the lionizing limelight at nineteen (“To Have and Have Not”) she perpetually reiterated ... Read More »

Robin Williams 1951-2014

“The brighter the light the darker the shadow”. No one defines this prescient observation more than Robin Williams; he lit up film and television with his raucous, insightful humor, impeccable timing, fluent, gifted improvisation; lurking behind this amicable, ingratiating facade was always the omnipresent albatross of depression; a disease as insidious as the most crippling cancer; voraciously devouring one’s spirit ... Read More »

Calvary

Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary/Golgotha; more than two billion people believe he is God. He died between two thieves; crucifixion was the traditional means of capital punishment at the time. Brendan Glesson as “Father James” is miraculous; the map of mankind’s woes is etched on his weary, pained countenance; he has seen and ... Read More »

CHINESE PUZZLE (FRENCH: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Frequently writers rely on “Webster or Oxford” to crush the roadblocks stymieing mental acuity, a cowardly crutch; but as I watched “Chinese Puzzle” laughing uproariously, surrounded by a modestly mute audience, surreptitiously looking at me, questioning my tenuous grip on reality; it struck me with tsunami velocity that “humor” is profoundly subjective.  So,  like a multitude before me, I checked ... Read More »

IDA (POLAND:ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

It is inconceivable that the profession you have yearned for, trained for, is in a moment, catastrophically revealed to be anathema to your origins.  Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s profoundly poignant and grippingly realistic portrait of two women, bound by blood, but living diametrically opposite, disparate existences; testifies to the monumental atrocities, residual effects perpetrated upon the blameless by the Nazi regime. ... Read More »

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 »

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