Director Heidi Ewing serves a delightful dish of sublime poignancy; a love story peppered with a quest for personal growth; “Ivan” (Armando Espitia) enters the United States illegally, from Puebla City, Mexico, to pursue his dream of becoming a chef, leaving his lover, “Gerardo” (Christian Vazquez) behind; both men have suffered from abuse at the hands of their homophobic fathers; they actually exist, and as friends of Ewing, over a fifteen year relationship, she depicts their journey, with sensitivity, intelligence and noble nuance.
NO SUDDEN MOVE (HBO Max)
Director Steven Soderbergh scores with this deliciously devilish film noir, focusing on the untoward in 1954, Detroit; the time when housewives sat in their nightgowns, smoking incessantly, bored by their closeted, humdrum wifeliness and motherhood; automobiles defined status and men wore suits and hats to the office. Enter petty hoodlums: “Curt” (Don Cheadle is slyly, magnificently perfect in the role of a convict wanting a new beginning); “Ronald” (best Benicio del Toro characterization in eons, is grand as a good guy whose circumstances poll vaulted him into a nefarious realm); “Matt” (David Harbour, is extraordinary as a bank executive forced to go rogue); miniature, bit parts were surprisingly depicted by Matt Damon, John Hamm, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser, Julia Fox, testifying to Soderbergh’s power of seduction, regardless of “screen time”, the honor of being in his film is a more than worthy accomplishment.
TILL DEATH (Amazon Prime)
Megan Fox stuns as “Emma” chained to her husband “Mark” (Eoin Macken) in an isolated lake house; director S.K. Dale’s scenario, which falls into the totally ludicrous, rises above the absurd, resulting in a compelling, watchable, eventually predictable tale of torture, punishment and revenge.