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Monthly Archives: November 2013


Judi Dench ignites the screen with her performance as “Philomena Lee”; the true story a young, Catholic, Irish girl, who has a son out of wedlock in 1952;  orphaned herself, she is housed in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Roscrea, Ireland; where her son, at age three, is torn from her,  adopted by an American family. For forty-seven ... Read More »


After seeing hundreds of Bollywood films; I recognize that they have a monopoly on “flirtation”;  no studio can best them; they have taken the act of flirting, crystallizing it into an art form; a causal glance, a swirl of a sari, a sinuous dance, blossoms into a potent promise of intimacy more compelling, titillating than all the prurient, pulsating, instant ... Read More »


Alexander Payne’s poignant and heartfelt slice of Midwestern reality never strikes a false cord. Bruce Dern as “Woody Grant”, walking from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his million dollar sweepstakes prize, is riveting; he captures the ageing paranoia, painful frustrations of a man whose options and life are close to the finish line; grasping at any illusion to ... Read More »


After three culturally prodigious days in New York City, days and evenings infused with the majesty of Magritte, Chagall and Shakespeare,  I was content being a  passive spectator to the post-apocalyptic universe of “Panem”, an autocratically dominated environment where predestination is orchestrated by an amoral “President Snow” (Donald Southerland once again, recreates his delicious, devilishly destructive role). Never having read ... Read More »


Director Malcolm D. Lee’s sequel to the 1999 “The Best Man” unites the terrific, well-seasoned cast in the first “happy holiday” film of 2013; hopefully , a positive forecast for a festive, fun commencement to a year in need of a jovial jolt. After years of separation “Mia” (sensitive, poignant performance by Monica Calhoun) invites college friends, whose lives and ... Read More »


We worship, lionize our heroes, those who succeed, accomplish the impossible; we keep them protected in rarefied vitrines; we never dream of besting or defying their insurmountable, indefatigable feats;  they’re immortal, unflawed. Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, under the mesmerizing spell of legendary Lance Armstrong, seven- time (1999-2005) winner of the prestigious Tour de France, commences by making a film of ... Read More »


Long anticipated,  Markus Zusak’s 2005 novel “The Book Thief” is pulsating from the wide screen; it has a certain glitz, fairy -tale, manipulative quality, but if you flow with the fantasy, allow the titillation, ignore the sensationalism, you’ll be enchanted, entertained. Narrated by the “Grim Reaper” , it’s 1938 Nazi Germany, his gluttonous plate perpetually burgeoning;  focuses on the world ... Read More »


Urged by a super intuitive, intelligent friend, I grudgingly went to see “All Is Lost”; remarkably, one of the finest films of the year. I am in her debt. My trepidation was the resiliency of “Cast Away” (2000,film); Tom Hanks’  stupendous performance as a Fed Ex engineer stranded for years on an island; his sole companion “Wilson” (never have viewed ... Read More »


There was a time when I found Charles Dickens, “Miss Havisham”(Helena Bonham Carter crafted for the character) wildly, weirdly, romantic; jilted on her wedding day, spending her life, encased in her bridal finery as sanity morphs into lunacy; preparing her ward, “Estella” for society and manipulating poor “Pip” whose “expectations” never attain “greatness”. Sadly, the tale is stale and incapable ... Read More »


Matthew McConaughey joins the elite league of actors who have shed morbid amounts of weight to define the role’s they are depicting: Christian Bale  “The Machinest” Michael Fassbender, “Hunger”, contemporaries; three men, young enough to replenish what they sacrificed in months of scary, voluntary anorexia. Matthew McConaughey, as nonfictional “Ron Woodroof”: raunchy, alcoholic, drug- addicted, heterosexual; diagnosed HIV positive in ... Read More »

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