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The Front Runner – 7.5

2018-11-29T00:07:40+00:00November 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A fascinating look at recent political history, turning on the question whether a candidate's "zipper problem" should outweigh the substantive benefits he could provide the country. Of course, the question seems a bit quaint and dated, given the personal foibles of our current president, but it was certainly alive a decade later when Ken Starr [...]

Maria by Callas – 4

2018-11-28T23:44:04+00:00November 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|

If you're an opera fan - or, better, a Maria Callas devotee - there's plenty here to savor: biography, interviews, soaring music and endless views of La Diva. If you're not, there's a lot of scratchy recordings, pictures of Maria getting into limousines and out of airplanes, old newsreel-style clips and not much insight into [...]

Bohemian Rhapsody – 8

2018-11-16T05:53:31+00:00November 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

I give this a zero for originality and a 100 for hitting all the right chords, and when the chords in question are booming '80s arena-rock anthems by Queen, you've got a head start on a really fun movie. It's also a feel-good movie, despite the difficult private life and AIDS-related death of the lead [...]

The Happy Prince – 6.5

2018-11-05T03:03:07+00:00November 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Rupert Everett's paean to Oscar Wilde's final, desperate days is mainly interesting for its connection to Oscar Wilde. "The Importance of Being Ernest" was in the back of my mind the whole time I watched Wilde's dissolution in turn-of-the-century Paris and Naples. Coming on top of Collette, I'm getting familiar with the period, not to [...]

NY Fall Entertainment

2018-11-05T02:49:55+00:00November 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Our fall entertainment schedule in New York began and ended with audience singalongs. At "Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" the elderly crowd at the 59E59 Theater heartily joined in on "God Bless America" and many other Berlin classics. They weren't as put off by Hershey Felder's unpleasant looks and persona as I was. A much [...]

A Star Is Born – 7

2018-10-08T23:28:56+00:00October 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|

If you like watching Bradley Cooper (with Sam Elliot's voice) and Lady Gaga (with and without makeup), you'll find plenty to like in this movie, which owed its feeling of longeur partly to overlong closeups of the two stars. If you're looking, however, for credible characters, gripping story or particularly good music, you may be [...]

Madeline’s Madeline – 7

2018-09-04T03:46:16+00:00September 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|

An innovative and rather intense look inside the mind of a 16-year-old biracial girl (Helena Howard), who comes in and out of focus, both literally and figuratively. Actually, more interesting is her relationships with, or maybe it is just her views of, two white mother figures, played adroitly by Molly Parker and Miranda July, whose [...]

Three Identical Strangers – 6

2018-08-15T04:47:29+00:00August 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Maybe it's just that I wasn't shocked, or even surprised, that 45 years ago someone engineered a study of twins separated at birth, or that an adoption agency wouldn't tell the adoptive parents about the twins, or that one of the reunited triplets would eventually go his own way and have emotional issues, or maybe [...]

The King – 8.5

2018-07-18T05:11:30+00:00July 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The King tells a story of America over the last 60 years using the life of Elvis Presley as its metaphor. From an era of innocence and authenticity and world-shaking change, we progress, or regress, to bloated stagnation with money the only goal, from Tupelo to Las Vegas. But director Eugene Jarecki doesn’t preach; he [...]

First Reformed – 7

2018-06-10T21:35:18+00:00June 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|

This will win the award for darkest film of the year (I hope). Ethan Hawke was riveting, although I wish he had had a bit more presence to begin with. He never seemed to fill his pastoral robes, so didn't convince me of what he used to have been. We came upon him already subject [...]