Film Review: I’ll See You in My Dreams Jul03

Film Review: I’ll See You in My Dreams

“I’ll See You in My Dreams” Directed by Brett Haley Written by Marc Basch, Brett Haley Starring: Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, Sam Elliott, Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place, June Squibb Carol is a long-time widow living out the last decades of her life, enjoying only the company of her three friends and her beloved dog. The movie explores in a gentle, respectful way why this is the case and asks the question: can her situation be changed? It is well-acted, well-made but a tad too familiar for a big screen movie. We have seen it before with Meryl Streep or Diane Keaton playing this part. However, the theater was filled with...

Behind the Book: Patti Abbott Jul01

Behind the Book: Patti Abbott

“Why Do You Write Such Dark Stories” by Patti Abbott Whenever I spend an evening with friends familiar with my stories, this question often arises. “You seem like a happy person,” and they usually go on to say. “Was your childhood difficult?” Um, no. And I can’t really give a definitive answer to the question. Is it true even? Are my stories all dark? I paged through a list of stories I’ve published over 15 years and I find I have finished people off in many odd ways: a woman pushed off a boat into a melting ice floe in Alaska; death due to a collapsed ceiling; becoming part of a cello;...

Film Review: THE WOLFPACK Jun27

Film Review: THE WOLFPACK

THE WOLFPACK Directed by Crystal Moselle Certainly everyone is familiar with THE WOLFPACK’s premise by now. A few years back, documentary film maker, Crystal Moselle, ran into one of the Angulo brothers wandering the streets near their housing project in lower Manhattan. The six Angulo brothers (and their one sister) had spent their entire lives locked in a tiny apartment by their father, Oscar, sometimes only leaving their apartment once a year. His wife, Suzanne, was also a victim of his paranoid delusions (or excessive need for power) that they were safer there. To occupy themselves, the boys watched the over 5000 videos, Oscar...

Film Review: LOVE & MERCY Jun19

Film Review: LOVE & MERCY

LOVE & MERCY Directed by Bill Pohlad Written by Oren Moverman and Michael Lerner Starring: Paul Dano, John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Jake Abel Full disclosure. I am not a fan of biopics–there’s little room for art or an artistic vision. The most successful ones seem to be about men/woman of action. Dramatization of political campaigns or wars or dramatizations of true crimes usually are usually the most satisfying for me. Music biopics can work if the music is plentiful and the life is rough (WALK THE LINE or LA VIE EN ROSE).  LOVE & MERCY would seem to fall into that category and parts of this film did...

Five Favorite Novels About Mothers and Daughters b...

1) AMY AND ISABELLE by Elizabeth Strout. This was Strout’s first novel and boy, was it an amazing beginning to what’s gone on to be a sterling career (OLIVE KITTEREDGE, THE BURGESS BOYS, ABIDE WITH ME). In AMY AND ISABELLE, a mother’s shocked to learn her teenage daughter is having a sexual relationship with a teacher at her school. Strout sets the book in a small town where other issues like crop failures and UFO’s add to the confusion. The closeness yet distance of mother-daughter relationships comes across especially strongly. 2) UNLESS, by Carol Shields. In this, the wonderful Canadian writer, Carol...