“THE HOLDOVERS” IN THEATRES
Poignantly predictable, two contradictory characters (“Professor Paul Hunham”, Paul Giamatti, and student “Angus”, Dominick Sessa), lock horns over a Christmas holiday at a boy’s boarding school; it is 1970 and director Alexander Payne remains true to the era; Giamatti’s curmudgeonly, warm and wonderful performance as a brilliant, flawed ancient civilizations teacher, resonates with pure authenticity, pain and loneliness. Da’Vine Joy Randolph soars as “Mary Lamb” the mediator between the warring factions. “The Holdovers” burrows into the facades of the protagonists, revealing secrets, answers and the legitimacy of their suffering, bringing comfort and gratification to viewers.
“SOUND OF FREEDOM” AMAZON PRIME
This compelling movie focuses on real-life federal agent Tim Ballard, (Jim Caviezel, overwhelming) founder of Operation Underground Railroad. Despite the political controversy over the depiction of sex trafficking and “selling of God’s children” it edifies the horrific, multi- billion-dollar business of human trafficking, victimizing an estimated 25 million people worldwide, 80% in forced labor and 20% in sex trafficking. Adults and children. “Sound of Freedom” is a gut-wrenching, innermost portrayal of one man’s dauntlessness to save a child.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!
“THIS ENGLAND” BRIT BOX AMAZON PRIME
Kenneth Branagh gives an apt depiction of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a blubbering idiot savant, quoting Shakespeare as England and his Prime Minister “ship” is devoured by the insidious wave of Covid-19. Especially chilling is the intimacy of the elderly as they succumb to the virus.
THREE &1/2 STARS!!!
“ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE” NETFLIX
Despite its failings, if you enjoyed the book by author Anthony Doerr (2014) you’ll appreciate the performance of Hugh Laurie as “Etienne LeBlanc” as part of the French Resistance” in WWII. Legally blind actor Aria Mia Loberti captivates with her compelling performance of the blind “Marie”, her intelligence far outdistances sighted, menacing Nazis. Lars Eidinger is rancidly rapscallion as the Nazi whose relentlessness is the blight of her life.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!
“FAIR PLAY” NETFLIX
For fans of soapy sensationalism “Fair Play” is your best bet. What could have scored big in conflict, intrigue and deterioration of a scripted romance, sinks into maudlin mayhem as the two wallows in self-righteous hubris.