Category Archives: Movies

THE FINAL YEAR: a most wistful documentary

In the documentary The Final Year, we get to peek inside the last year of the Obama foreign policy.  Director Greg Barker’s cameras go behind the scenes to follow Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power and Deputy National … Continue reading

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CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT: Orson Welles’ Shakespearean masterpiece

The great auteur Orson Welles loved Shakespeare and made three Shakespearean movies, of which Chimes at Midnight is the masterpiece.  Welles’ genius was in braiding together parts of Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, some Richard III, Henry V and … Continue reading

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IN THE FADE: a moral choice in a revenge thriller

Diane Kruger gives a brilliant performance in the searing and emotionally devastating German thriller In the Fade.  Kruger plays a German woman whose husband and child are murdered.  Her life essentially disintegrates, as a whodunit carries on mostly beyond her.  … Continue reading

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Stream of the Week: HARD EIGHT – the indie neo-noir that launched careers

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is topping a good many critics’ top ten lists. So it’s a good time to revisit Anderson’s first feature, Hard Eight, a neo-noir from 1996. In Hard Eight, the down-on-his-luck simpleton John (John C. Reilly) … Continue reading

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PHANTOM THREAD: rapturous and witty

Phantom Thread, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s rapturously beautiful and unexpectedly witty story of a strong-willed man and two equally strong-willed women. Reynolds (Day-Lewis) is a dressmaker to the rich and famous in 1950s London.  His unmarried sister … Continue reading

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THE POST: riveting thriller and revelatory personal portrait

The Post may be a docudrama, but it plays as a thriller and an astonishingly insightful portrait of Katharine Graham by Meryl Streep. It’s one of the best movies of the year – and one of the most important. Essentially, … Continue reading

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historical musings on THE POST

Watching The Post kindled some thoughts on the historical figures depicted in the movie. Fritz Beebe, played by Tracy Letts in the movie, was a valued business advisor to Katharine Graham. Decades later Katharine Graham told Terry Gross on NPR’s … Continue reading

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I, TONYA: we can laugh, but must not judge

The riotously funny docucomedy I, Tonya relives the tawdry story of figure skating star Tonya Harding, brought to disgrace when her supporters injured her competitor Nancy Kerrigan.  Margot Robbie (significantly glammed down) is exceptional as Tonya Harding. Harding, of course, … Continue reading

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CALL ME BY YOUR NAME: first love in a luscious Italian summer

Call Me by Your Name is an extraordinarily beautiful story of sexual awakening set in a luscious Italian summer.  The film is gorgeous and magnificently well-acted, but flawed. Each year, the family of 16-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) spends the summer … Continue reading

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THE SHAPE OF WATER: an operatic romance (and it’s inter-species)

The Shape of Water is an epic romance from that most imaginative of filmmakers,  writer-director Guillermo del Toro.  The Shape of Water may become the most-remembered film of 2017. The story is set in 1962 Baltimore. Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is … Continue reading

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