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MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE

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At times, achingly tragic, pervasively poignant, Marianne Ihlen (1935-2016) and Leonard Cohen’s (1934-2016) love saga is enchantingly directed by Nick Broomfield; it sears to the soul a destined pairing, even when shattered, but never severed, resonating forever in the lyrics of “So Long, Marianne”. Historically the “muse” is the dynamite, explosive, freeing the artist’s vision, blasting blocks, blinding the core ... Read More »

MAIDEN

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Yearly, we watch Oscar winners waving the 8.5 pound statuette, extolling the platitudinous “follow your dreams”, “actualize your potential”, “if I can do it, so can you”, aphorisms. “Maiden” directed by Alex Holmes tips the scales as an exhilarating, galvanizing documentary; its ingenuity, Draconian ambition, heart-arresting filmmaking, stuns with the story of Tracy Edwards, who realized her dream in 1989, ... Read More »

OPHELIA (ON DEMAND) & IN THEATERS

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“Hamlet” is William Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) longest play and possibly, most well known; pungent with murder, madness, deceit, witchcraft and doomed romance, it has mastered time’s vanquishing test with inimitable longevity. Director Claire McCarthy and writer Semi Chellas have given the vastly ignored, drowned “Ophelia” a contemporary “Me-too” spin with a Cliff Note scenario, she is the only one of tangible ... Read More »

TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM

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A documentary, that even if her novels escaped your literary library, must be seen and applauded. Poignantly, and with refined grace, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, gifts viewers a portrait of eminence, defying conventions, stereotypes, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” is saturated with a presence so dazzling, compelling, that if she hadn’t written a word, her personality alone would captivate your ... Read More »

MIDSOMMAR

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Beware of succumbing to the thought that director Ari Aster’s (“Hereditary”) “Midsommar” is in any way reminiscent of Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; a plot dredged from the macabre, desolate level of Aster’s imagination; four unsuspecting victims are lured to Sweden’s Midsummer Festival, (pre-Christian, pagan solstice celebrating life and love) by the insouciant “Pelle” (Vilhelm Blumgrer), a fellow graduate student; ... Read More »

WILD ROSE (WRITEN BY NICOLE TAYLOR, DIRECTED BY TOM HARPER)

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“Rose-Lynn” is a spitfire, the freest spirit you’ll meet on 2019’s screen; a Scottish lassie, with an exhilarating voice, bombastic personality, quixotic, a filter-less force, a convicted felon; she is depicted with inconceivable dexterity, by Jessie Buckley; she flies from jail to her boyfriend, than arrives at her mother’s home, “Marion” (poignantly beautiful, Julie Walters) who’s been caring for her ... Read More »

YESTERDAY

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Expected exuberance exsanguinated precipitously in director Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday”; a fascinating, imaginative premise: how would the composers of “yesterday” and their iconic compositions be perceived if heard, for the first time, in today’s popular milieu? Mozart, Wagner, Stravinsky, Gershwin, Jackson, Franklin; according to Boyle, their recognition would be cloned, replicated at the uniform intensity of “yesteryear”. Himesh Patel (“Jack Malik”) ... Read More »

ANNA

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Director Luc Besson gifts technology and grandeur to the latest clone of his 1990 “Le Femme Nikita”; audiences have become immune to female assassins (my preferences, “Evelyn Salt” and “Lisbeth Salander”); “Anna”, (lithesome, lovely Sasha Luss,) goes through the expected walloping’s, reaching the depths of abasement, before being recruited by KGB operative “Alex Tchenkov”, (Luke Evans); she passes KGB supervisor ... Read More »

AMERICAN WOMAN

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Meeting “Deb” (stupendous Sienna Miller) we recognize her, barely thirty, peaked at fifteen, still flaunting all the traits that made her High School Prom Queen: vapidly blond, curvaceous, a football player’s fantasy; she has a seventeen-year-old daughter “Bridget” (Sky Ferreira), also an unwed mother, with an infant “Jesse”; Deb is a flighty, flimsy grocery cashier having an affair with a ... Read More »

LATE NIGHT

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Emma Thompson is astronomic as “Late Night” host “Katherine Newberry”; twenty-seven years, almost as many awards, surviving in the bemouth, chauvinistic realm of male predominance; she is caustically brilliant, shreds with a sabre tongue and wit any unwanted, even if warranted, criticism; she is losing her edge, threatened with replacement, forced to hire a female writer. “Molly Patel” (Mindy Kaling, ... Read More »

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