Monthly Archives: February 2014


Broken Circle Breakdown – 5

2014-02-23T06:21:31+00:00February 23rd, 2014|Film Festival, Reviews|

Expecting an Oscar-worthy, country-music-tinged dose of European realism, I found myself watching a 7-year-old girl die of cancer, her father lose his mind and her mother commit suicide. Where was the redeeming art? Despite their longing looks, there was a strange lack of chemistry between the lovers, and the director constantly bounced back-and-forth between the [...]

Monuments Men – 3

2014-02-23T06:12:58+00:00February 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|

I sat through 65 minutes without finding a scene that was either believable or likable. I once thought George Clooney could do no wrong, but here he's done nothing right, from casting to acting to plot to tone. The famous actors, with the possible exception of Cate Blanchett, just play themselves and you wonder what [...]

Top Ten – 2013

2014-02-10T00:57:33+00:00February 10th, 2014|Essays, Reviews|

At one point, I thought I would use this year's list to highlight the unconventional approaches to moviemaking that gave me so much enjoyment. The Great Beauty and Blue Is the Warmest Color both benefited from my seeing them while I was rereading Proust. Neither had a traditional story arc; one was a portrait of [...]

Nebraska – 8

2014-02-10T00:01:42+00:00February 10th, 2014|Reviews|

Bruce Dern plays a Midwestern Lear in the role of a lifetime (I know, because I saw his other career highlights in a Film Festival tribute the next day) and June Squibb is an Oscar-worthy match for Jennifer Lawrence in an uncannily similar role; but what most intrigued me was the son, played uncomfortably by [...]

Film Festival Tributes

2014-02-01T23:24:23+00:00February 1st, 2014|Film Festival|

Notes from the Tribute Evenings at the 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival January 30, David O. Russell: I didn't "get" I Heart Huckabees when it came out, and apparently I wasn't alone. David O. Russell seemed almost willing to disown it, saying his life was at a bad point when he directed it and [...]