FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS Reviewed Aug26

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS Reviewed

Director: Stephen Frears Writer: Nicholas Martin Stars: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg Three-time Oscar winner, Meryl Streep stars in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, the story of a woman who couldn’t sing but didn’t know it. The film is truly a three-hander because Streep is given immense help by Hugh Grant (her husband) and Simon Helberg (her pianist). On paper, this film would seem to be about the narcissism of a rich woman. Or the ways in which her husband feeds this vanity for personal gains, or the way a no-name pianist earns a tidy salary going along with the stunt. But, in fact, it’s a movie about kindness. And as...

2016 Traverse City Film Festival Aug13

2016 Traverse City Film Festival

Traverse City Film Festival The 2016 Traverse City Film Festival began on July 25 and ended on July 30. Michael Moore and his crew did something no mainstream festival has ever done in this country —100% of the films in the Official US Section of the festival (fiction and documentary) were from women directors. The 12th annual festival screened 120 feature films and 107 shorts, welcomed over 123,000 admissions across the festival’s 12 different venues, offered classes in its TCFF Film School, and held panels, parties and podcasts throughout a week that saw a record high of 175 filmmakers bring their films from around the world and across...

Woody Allen’s CAFE SOCIETY Reviewed Aug06

Woody Allen’s CAFE SOCIETY Reviewed

Cafe Society Directed and Written by Woody Allen Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Blake Shelton It is the 1930s yet again and Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) travels from New York to Hollywood to make his fortune under the tutelage of his uncle, a Hollywood agent (Steve Carell). Not knowing what to do with his young nephew, Carell puts him the tutelage of his assistant, Vonnie (Stewart). Of course, Bobby falls in love with her, but she is having an affair with someone else and puts him off. A third tier film in the Allen oeuvre and not even a European setting to save it. Eisenberg is one of the most boring of the...

THE INNOCENTS Reviewed Jul29

THE INNOCENTS Reviewed

The Innocents Directed by Anne Fontaine Written by Sabrina B, Karine and Alice Vial Starring: Lou De Laage, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne It is 1945 in Poland and a French Red Cross doctor is called on to minister to a convent out in the countryside. A number of the nuns are pregnant, raped by Russian soldiers who still menace the convent and village. It is that the odd year or two before Poland’s fate was completely decided. The nuns only accept Mathilde’s (De Laage)help when she agrees to keep silent about their condition. Many of the nuns were virgins before their assault and most of them are deeply disturbed...

Comic-Con footage suggests that DC may have finall...

This weekend San Diego was overrun with fanboys, geeks and all sorts of obsessed folk dressed in garb that likely leaves most people scratching their heads. Comic-Con is upon us. Once upon a time, it was about comics, but now is a launching pad for all things Hollywood. And this year, it looks like DC Comics’s Entertainment Division has found it’s funny. After years of dark, brooding films, the new trailers for WONDER WOMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE and SUICIDE SQUAD provide color, humor and a spirit that has been missing for years. Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN films did have spirit, but were the birth of the darkness that enveloped...

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE Reviewed Jul22

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE Reviewed

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE Directed by Taika Waititi Written by Barry Crump Starring Julian Dennison, Sam Neill, Reima Te Wiata A boy who’s been shuffled from foster home to foster home finds a nurturing environment with an older couple in the New Zealand bush. When his foster mother dies, the father (Neill) reluctantly takes in the boy. The social worker, assigned to the case, finds this arrangement, untenable and this leads to a long chase through the bush country. This is the plot in general but it fails to account for the humor, tenderness, and quirky characters the two runaways come upon. HUNT also has a great soundtrack, terrific...