There are two Must See movies this summer – the historical thriller Dunkirk and the delightful romantic comedy The Big Sick.
The best of the rest:
- Baby Driver is just an action movie, but the walking, running and driving are brilliantly time to the beat of music.
- The Journey is a fictional imagining of a real historical event with wonderful performances from Colm Meaney and Timothy Spall as the two longtime blood enemies who collaborated to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
- The Midwife, with Catherine Deneuve as a woman out of control and uncontrollable, indelibly disrupting another life.
- Okja, another wholly original creation from the imagination of master filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, is streaming on Netflix and also in theaters.
- The amusingly naughty but forgettable comedy The Little Hours is based on the dirty fun in your Western Civ class, Boccaccio’s The Decameron.
- The character-driven suspenser Moka is a showcase for French actresses Emmanuelle Devos and Nathalie Baye.
Here are my top picks for the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, underway now.
You just shouldn’t miss my DVD/Stream of the Week, The Imposter. Life is at times stranger than fiction, and The Imposter is one of the most jaw-dropping documentaries I have seen. A Texas boy vanishes and, three years later, is impersonated by someone who is seven years older than the boy, is not a native English speaker and looks nothing like him. Even the con man is surprised when the family is embracing him as the lost boy – and then he begins to suspect why…The Imposter is available on DVD from Netflix and streaming from Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and many other VOD providers.
On August 1, Turner Classic Movies presents the classic film noir The Asphalt Jungle. The crooks assemble a team and pull off the big heist…and then things begin to go wrong. There aren’t many noirs with better casting – the crooks include Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Sam Jaffe and James Whitmore. The 23-year-old Marilyn Monroe plays Calhern’s companion in her first real speaking part. How noir is it? Even the cop who breaks the case goes to jail. Directed by the great John Huston.
Also on August 1, TCM airs Some Like It Hot, this Billy Wilder masterpiece that is my pick for the best comedy of all time. Seriously – the best comedy ever. And it still works today. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play most of the movie in drag (and Tony is kind of cute). Curtis must continue the ruse even when he’s next to Marilyn Monroe at her most delectable. Curtis then dons a yachting cap and does a dead-on Cary Grant impression as the heir to an industrial fortune. Joe E. Brown gets the last word with one of cinema’s best closing lines.