Thursday, October 2, 2014
     

Movie Review

Friday, March 8, 2013

As expected, Oscar spread the gold at the 85th Academy awards Feb. 25. That's not surprising because 2012 was a very good year for cinema, critically and commercially.

I was also six for seven. I correctly picked: "Argo," picture; Ang Lee, "Life of Pi," which led Oscar recipients with four, including cinematography, visual effects and original score; Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln," actor; Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook," actress; Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables," supporting actress; and "Brave," animated feature.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just when one thought that France's "Rust and Bone" set the mark for depressing cinema, there's "Amour."

"Amour" was nominated for five Oscars, picture, actress (Emmanuelle Riva), director (Michael Haneke), original screenplay (Haneke) and foreign-language film (Austria's entry).

"Amour" received the Oscar for foreign film at the Feb. 25 awards show.

The film won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ben Affleck's Argo really took me back. Jimmy Carter was president. The Shah of Iran was deposed. The U.S. allowed him to come to the New York-Weill Cornell Medical Hospital for treatment of his cancer. The Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after years of exile and an Islamic republic was declared. Outraged at America's refusal to repatriate the Shah for trial and likely execution, the regime instigated mob violence at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The climax was the storming and occupation of the compound on November 4, 1979.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Side Effects" is a good crime thriller with a twist that you probably won't see coming.

Jude Law plays Dr. Jonathan Banks, a psychiatrist who is paid as a consultant for a pharmaceutical company that is doing trials with a new drug.

One of his clients, Emily (Rooney Mara), is institutionalized after she negotiates an NGRI plea (Not Guilty For Reasons of Insanity) plea over the death of her husband Martin (Channing Tatum).

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Django Unchained," with five Oscar nominations, has been on my must-see list of movies in theatrical release.

Still, there was trepidation about seeing "Django Unchained." I delayed seeing Quentin Tarantino's latest opus and an opus it is because of advance word about its depiction of graphic violence and the extensive use of the "N" word.

That said, "Django Unchained" deserves the Oscar Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Cinematography and Sound Editing nominations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The French really know how to do depressing.

They also have a way of finding that silver lining in the most cloudy of lives and circumstances. Essentially, the French romanticize pain.

"Rust and Bone" ("De rouille et d'os"), directed by French film-maker Jacques Audiard, is inspiring, despite the tragedy that befalls its protagonist, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty," an Oscar picture nominee and an American Film Institute movie of the year, is an intense cinema-going experience.

"Zero Dark Thirty" is nothing less than an account of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon and bin Laden's killing by United States Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Silver Linings Playbook" is amazing, entertaining and profound.

Writer-Director David O. Russell draws from life experience to create a compassionate, funny and charming portrayal of Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a young man with mental health problems who is trying to get his life back together.

He's released into the care of his Philadelphia area parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Pat Jr. only wants to get back with his estranged wife, Nikki. However, Pat Jr. meets a young woman, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow who has her own problems.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Les Miserables" is an astounding movie, rivaling the best movie musicals ever.

The Top 10 all-time movie musicals, according to an American Film Institute list from 2006, are: 1. "Singing in the Rain" (1952), 2. "West Side Story" (1961), 3. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), 4. "The Sound of Music" (1965), 5. "Cabaret" (1972), 6. "Mary Poppins" (1964), 7. "A Star Is Born" (1954), 8. "My Fair Lady" (1964), 9. "An American in Paris" (1951), and 10. "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944).

While even a list as prestigious as that of AFI is debatable, put "Les Miserables" on your must-see list.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Les Miserables was published by the French novelist Victor Hugo in 1862. The musical of the same name was written originally in French and performed in Paris in 1980, before an English adaptation opened in London in 1985. The show got bad reviews, which were overcome by positive word-of-mouth endorsements. The three-month run sold out. "Les Mis" opened on Broadway in 1987 and ran continuously until 2003, posting 6,680 performances. The only wonder about the new film version is that it was so long in arriving.