Film Review: BIRDMAN Nov21

Film Review: BIRDMAN

BIRDMAN Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Written b y Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Nicholas Giacabone, Armando Bo Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, Zach Galifianakes I guess it’s no secret that Michael Keaton has struggled for some years now in finding a vehicle worthy of his talents. He came out of nowhere thirty years ago to make NIGHT SHIFT and MR. MOM. Here and there over those years, we find him in a film like BEETLEJUICE or in smaller parts in OUT OF SIGHT and JACKIE BROWN. But on the whole, he has to be disappointed in his filmography. BIRDMAN changes all that by giving Keaton a part...

Film Review: THE BLUE ROOM Nov07

Film Review: THE BLUE ROOM

THE BLUE ROOM Directed by Mathieu Amalric Written by Mathieu Amalric, Stephanie Cleau-based on the novel by Georges Simenon Starring Mathieu Amalric, Stephanie Cleau, Lea Drucker THE BLUE ROOM tells the story of two philanderers (Amalric and Cleau) who despite spending only a few weeks worth of stolen afternoons together manage to allow their passion to set them on a course of action that will destroy lives including their own. THE BLUE ROOM is about sexual desire gone berserk, but the scenes devoted to their passion feel too brief and too coolly directed to really get at the heart of it. Amalric uses the signifier of a bit lip and the...

Film Review: PRIDE Oct31

Film Review: PRIDE

PRIDE Directed by Matthew Warchus Written by Stephen Beresford Starring Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Ben Schnetzer, George MacKay, Faye Marsay, Imelda Staunton You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by PRIDE. In 1984, miners in Wales are in the midst of a mining strike largely caused by Thatcher’s complete indifference to their hard lot. A group of gay Londoners back in England are moved by the Welsh miner’s plight but also looking for an opportunity to bring their personal strife to public attention. AIDS had begun to impact the British gay population by then. So the gay activists organize themselves into a...

Film Review: A SUMMER’S TALE Oct24

Film Review: A SUMMER’S TALE

A SUMMER’S TALE Written and Directed by Eric Rohmer Starring: Melvil Poupaud, Amanda Langlet, Aurelia Nolin, Gwenaelle Simon A SUMMER”S TALE was released in 1996 in France but for some reason never found a distributor in the U.S. until now. It is part of Rohmer’s TALES OF FOUR SEASONS, the other three making a US debut at the time. (Rohmer also gathered another set of earlier films into SIX MORAL TALES : CLAIRE’S KNEE, MY NIGHT AT MAUDE’S, etc.) All of his films (and there are many more) deal with the human condition and concentrate often on young people falling (or not falling) in love. I have always been a...

Film Review: GONE GIRL Oct17

Film Review: GONE GIRL

GONE GIRL Directed by David Fincher Written by Gillian Flynn, based on her novel Starrint Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry SPOILERS GALORE I was ready to write a review of GONE GIRL this week although everyone with a column, a blog or a facebook account has already written one. Not much left to say at this point. Four of us saw it, all fans of the book, and all of us liked it. Each of us had some minor issues: too long, too much time spent on the media, Nick is too bland—hard to believe Amy would marry this dolt, the Desi part doesn’t work all that well, occasionally it seemed too much...

Film Review: The Skeleton Twins Oct10

Film Review: The Skeleton Twins

Directed by Craig  Johnson Written by Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson Starring: Kristin Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell Twins Maggie and Milo have been estranged for ten years when Milo’s attempt at suicide brings them together. She bundles him up and takes him back to New York where she lives with her lovable if not much loved husband. (Wilson). The siblings are prickly but their shared memories of a difficult childhood bring them together in the end. That’s basically the plot but the two are entirely believable as siblings, as troubled people, as characters you root for. The trailers make this seem more like a comedy...