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Truman Movie Review

  Truman from Catalan director Cesc Gay is a warm, insightful and sensitively portrayed gem about an unspoken friendship between two middle-aged men that is humorous, deeply moving and resonates with truth. Tomás is played by Javier Cámara—Talk to Her (2002).  A Spanish expat living in Montreal, he goes on an introspective trip to visit Julian, his longtime childhood friend in Madrid.  Julian is a divorced Argentine actor who lives alone in a downtown Madrid apartment with his loyal...

The Lady in the Van Review

  A BAG LADY AND A VAN… and Maggie Smith. The Lady in the Van is the mostly true story of a British playwright and author Alan Bennett who lived for a time around 1974 in the well know literary community of Camden Town, London, where he became acquainted with an eccentric homeless woman living in a van outside his house on Gloucester Crescent. The peaceful stone-walled, hedged and gated streets of this well-kept cultured community of old converted...

Grandma & The Grump Movie Reviews

  GROUCHY OLD PEOPLE ARE BACK IN STYLE.   Poking fun at grumpy old people who have lost touch with the ever-changing world around them, complaining about how much better life was back in the old days, seems to be striking a chord with the aging Baby Boomer generation if these recent films are anything to go by: Grandma (2015) and The Grump (2014). These two films mine the comedy inherent in feisty silver-haired people who find no pleasure...

Son of Saul Movie Review

  WINNER OF THE GRAND PRIX, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL. Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, has seen too much horror in the senseless deaths of men, women and children.  Stripped of their dignity and unceremoniously gassed or shot to death, their naked corpses are piled like pieces of meat to be incinerated and their ashes shoveled into the river. He is part of a special group of Jews forced to help the Nazi camp commanders to...

Rams Movie Review

In Iceland, we are told by writer/director Grímur Hákonarson, there are more sheep than people, which is a testament to the importance of sheep in Iceland. They are animals as revered as the cattle in India. Two estranged brothers, Gummi and Kiddi, sheep farmers who have inherited their family sheep ranch, have split the property and live in separate houses next to each other but they haven’t spoken to each other in 40 years. Every year there’s a fierce...

Room Movie Review

  MAKE ROOM FOR “ROOM.” The less you know about Room going in, the better.  Its intense performances and disturbing revelations make for a unique viewing experience.  Room is adapted for the screen by author Emma Donoghue from her award winning bestselling novel. Filmed in Toronto, Room is an intimate psychological drama that puts us inside the mind of a five-year-old child who has never seen anything beyond the walls of his room. He was born there and lives...

The Revenant Movie Review

  COMING OUT OF The Revenant I felt like I had just been beaten to an emotional pulp after a relentless brutal battle against man and nature, much like the hero of this story who was mauled by a grizzly bear to within an inch of his life.  And that’s just the beginning of his problems as he miraculously manages to overcome his injuries despite many attempts by angry native tribes and some of his own companions to kill him off....

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight focuses on the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize winning team of newspaper reporters investigating a case of a priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of children.  This is a newsroom drama that reveals a hidden conspiracy and cover-up in the tradition of All the President’s Men (1976) and State of Play (2009). The film focuses on a team of five reporters, known as “Spotlight,” who are assigned to investigate and research a shocking story no one wants to talk...

Mustang Film Review

  A POWERFUL, IMPERATIVE FILM: Young, wild and free-spirited teen girls just want to enjoy life playing on the beach, going out with boys, cheering at soccer games and dancing to music.  It all seems so natural and innocent, unless you happen to live in a small town in Turkey dominated by religious and cultural oppression, where girls are seen only through a veil of sexuality and as domestic slaves to a male-dominated society. Mustang is a powerful and...

Brooklyn Film Review

With today’s headlines filled with stories of mass migrations of people from Syria pouring into Europe, leaving their homelands to flee hardship and find a better life, we would do well to remember the story of our own ancestors who once faced similar journeys and prospects when they came to America by the boatful from their ancestral lands in Europe. Based on the award winning historical novel by Irish author Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn is director John Crowley’s beautifully told, if...

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