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THE UNKNOWN: even geniuses have an off-day

The Belgian writer-director brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardennes are among my very favorite filmmakers.  Their movies about everyday people in gritty industrial Belgium have been startlingly authentic and emotionally  gripping.  However, their latest, The Unknown Girl, is a bit of … Continue reading

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coming up on TV: NIGHT ON EARTH

Coming up on Turner Classic Movies on September 8 is Night on Earth, with one of the very funniest scenes and one of the very saddest scenes in the same movie.  Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Night on Earth … Continue reading

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Farewell to Flounder

The actor Stephen Furst had 88 screen credits, but none more iconic than the role in his second feature film:  Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House. “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

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PHOENIX: riveting psychodrama, wowzer ending

In the German psychological drama Phoenix, Nina Hoss plays Nelly, an Auschwitz survivor whose face has been destroyed by a Nazi gunshot; her sister has arranged for plastic surgery to reconstruct her face.  When Nelly gets her new face, we … Continue reading

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Movies to See Right Now

My top picks: Ranging from wry to hilarious, the German dark comedy A Coffee in Berlin hits every note perfectly. I love this little movie, and it may only be in theaters for another week, so see it while you … Continue reading

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Enemy: Gyllenhaal plus Gyllenhaal equals…

In the psychological thriller Enemy, a guy finds out that he has an exact physical double – down to their voices and the scars on their bellies. He can’t resist looking up and meeting his twin, which unleashes some unanticipated … Continue reading

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The Movie Gourmet’s 2014 Oscar Dinner

Every year, we watch the Oscars while enjoying a meal inspired by the Best Picture nominees. For example, we had sushi for Lost in Translation, cowboy campfire beans for Brokeback Mountain and Grandma Ethel’s Brisket for A Serious Man – … Continue reading

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