Colette – 6.7

October 17th, 2018|

Like a Monet garden scene, Colette is a lovely period piece, more art than fire. The always beautiful Keira Knightley (how does she look so young!) embodies the turn-of-the-century writer/performer as she explores life and emerges from her husband’s shadow and control. To me, Dominic West’s role – and its contrast with Jonathan Pryce’s in […]

Free Solo – 8.5

October 9th, 2018|

I’ve awarded the non-Oscar for Best Director of a Documentary to Jimmy Chin for this engaging, gripping drama cum tutorial about Alex Honnold’s obsession to climb El Capitan in Yellowstone without a safety net – e.g., free solo. First, there’s the charming main character, wonderfully ingenuous and open for someone in his position: the best […]

Fahrenheit 11/9 – 7

October 4th, 2018|

Michael Moore has packed four movies, four movies, four movies-in-one, at least! There’s Hillary’s defeat; Flint’s water crisis; the Parkland school shooting; and Trump’s neo-Fascism, at least two of which pick up on earlier Moore films. There’s a ray of hope in the person of four emerging radical candidates for Congress and the West Virginia […]

The Sisters Brothers – 5

October 2nd, 2018|

What a strange movie! The rambling plot could best be described as, A Day in the Life of Two Cold-blooded Gunslingers, c. 1851, Who Happened to be Brothers, Although You Wouldn’t Have Guessed It. The main narrative, the pursuit of an alchemist named Herman, petered out two-thirds of the way; then the climactic High Noon […]

Bad Reputation – 7.5

September 29th, 2018|

Who knew that Joan Jett was still rocking? Somehow, despite all the sturm und drang of a typical rock biography – rejection, no respect, getting ripped off, amazing highs of fleeting fame, falling-out with bandmates, etc., etc. – she resisted and survived, not only setting an example but mentoring other female rockers. After the sold-out […]

Lizzie – 7

September 26th, 2018|

A beautiful period piece, with visuals of ladies in ruffles straight out of William Merritt Chase, plus a nod to de La Tour and some Sargent. When Bridget is seen on a train to Montana at the end, you realize that there hasn’t been any color or fresh air or distance in any shot that […]

The Wife – 7

September 16th, 2018|

This was shaping up as an excellent study of a marriage, with Glenn Close accommodating herself to the shadow cast by her Nobel Prize-winning husband, but then it took a horribly wrong and totally unnecessary turn that was both totally unbelievable and made us rethink, and doubt, the wonderful characterization that Close had offered before. […]

Searching – 7.5

September 15th, 2018|

The whole film is told by looking at computer, iPhone, TV and other screens, which provides a subsidiary comment on how “we” communicate and even live our lives in this modern age. The story itself is a missing “Gone Girl” mystery, with an intricate puzzle plot that makes sense, except for the speed of the […]

Juliet, Naked – 7.9

September 8th, 2018|

A charming rom-com in the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts mold that might have scored even higher if I could have understood the English (Irish/Australian) accents. All four characters were delightful: the beauteous Rose Byrne, the humorously cloddish Chris O’Dowd, the talented slacker Ethan Hawke and the precocious Azhy Robertson, who at maybe 9 years old was […]

Nico, 1988 – 5

August 27th, 2018|

I wondered why someone would want to make a movie about a barely-was has-been, hooked on heroin, mad at the world, as she tries to rebuild a flimsy career in unlicensed Eastern European venues. The last 15 minutes, the film started to click, Nico’s voice sounded better, and I sort of appreciated the punkness of […]