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THE BOOK OF HENRY

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It can be just as much of an impediment to be at the pinnacle of the intelligence scale, as the nadir; trying to adjust to your peers averageness; suffocating arrogance, with limited minds; yearning for inclusion when your intellect portends isolation; “The Book of Henry” is an extraordinary story about a well-adjusted genius, “Henry” (brilliant and superb, Jaeden Lieberher), his ... Read More »

MAUDIE

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There are performances, once seen, that take up permanent residency in one’s archival memory bank. Focusing on women actors: Luise Rainer (“The Great Ziegfeld”), Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind”), Bette Davis (“All About Eve”), Meryl Streep (“Sophie’s Choice”), Kareena Kapoor (“Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon”), Maggie Smith (“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”), Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”);  umpteen ... Read More »

MY COUSIN RACHEL

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Intentionally ambiguous, Daphne du Maurier’s (1907-1989) novel, leaves readers musing, perplexed about the duplicitous widow, “Rachel”; portrayed marvelously by Olivia de Havilland in the 1952 film and equally exquisite, Rachel Weisz, in this year’s version. The sixty-five-year hiatus, with hindsight, enhances Rachel’s dilemma; the scenario evolves in the mid-1800’s on the Cornish coast of England; “Philip Ashley” (dashingly handsome Sam ... Read More »

THE EXCEPTION (ON DEMAND & IN THEATRES)

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Christopher Plummer at 87, is at the pinnacle of his career; his performance as deposed Kaiser Wilhelm II is smashing; closeted in a mansion in the Netherlands, he longs to be reinstated in Hitler’s warped government; it is 1940 and Germany has pirated Holland. Plummer’s superior depiction of a man stripped of his birthright, wasting his days feeding swans, giving ... Read More »

MEGAN LEAVEY

MEGAN LEAVEY

Directed by Gabriella Cowperthwaite (“Blackfish”) the unusual scenario focuses on Marine Corporal Megan Leavey and her K-9 bomb detecting canine, Sergeant Rex; their relationship fills a haunting void echoing in both.  Megan, at the nadir of her life, is aimless, depressed  (her best friend is dead), she enlists solely to avoid the bleakness, nothingness looming in her future. Kate Mara’s ... Read More »

WONDER WOMAN

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“Wonder Woman”, officially banned in Lebanon, the lead is played by Israeli actor, Gal Gadot. Lebanon, a country whose religious groups are comprised of 54% Muslim, 40% Christian: Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox; Druze and approximately 200 Jews. It’s banning is the prime reason I saw the film; a plethora of surprises: physical, psychological and intellectual piqued, prodded and sealed my ... Read More »

CHURCHILL

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If you had never heard of the brilliant statesman Winston Churchill (1874-1965) you’d be hard pressed to reason why this lugubrious film was ever conceived or created; director Jonathan Teplitzky’s biopic is a dull, plodding scenario focusing on the darkest hours of Britain’s Prime Minister, at the conclusion of WWII  (aka D-Day); Brian Cox depicts Churchill as a bilious, cigar ... Read More »

BLACK BUTTERFLY

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A titillating, scintillating scenario reminiscent of 2007’s “Sleuth” starring Michael Caine and Jude Law. Writers Marc Frydman and Justin Stanley partnering with director Brian Goodman and starring Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Myers serve a concoction of nerve twisting thrills; impenetrable nuances, hypnotic narrative sabotage one’s attention for its entirety. “Paul” (Banderas) an alcoholic, washed-up writer, lives outside a mountainous ... Read More »

PARIS CAN WAIT

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81 year-old Eleanor Coppola’s divine confection of a romantic jaunt from Cannes to Paris will titillate gourmands, oenophiles and those just loving a saffron, honey-infused excursion through idyllic France. Diane Lane is positively blissful as “Anne”, a woman of vast equanimity, flowing gracefully through life, defined by her high-powered, movie producer husband “Michael” (minimal role but well cast, Alec Baldwin); ... Read More »

THE WALL

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Disturbing, problematic but pragmatically real, dynamic scenario about war. Director Doug Liman, without sensationalism, paints a cerebral portrait of a wounded soldier, trapped by a sniper, behind a crumbling brick wall in post war Iraq, 2007. “Sargent Isaac” (intensely riveting performance by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and fellow combatant, “Sargent Matthews” (John Cena) after days of observing the aftermath of a killing ... Read More »

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