A MAN CALLED OVE Reviewed Nov08

A MAN CALLED OVE Reviewed

A Man Called Ove Written and Directed by Hannes Holm; based on the novel by Fredrick Backman Starring: Rolf Lassgard, Bahar Pars, Ida Engvoll Ove is a Swedish curmudgeon with OCD. Only the occasional person will bother to find the softy underneath. When the story opens, his wife has died and he is attempting to join her. If this sounds grim, it is in spots. But the grimness gives way to humor or sentiment quickly. And yet it never lets the story run away with it. A Man Called Ove is about as faithful to its source as any movie I’ve seen this year. It took the strengths of the book, cast it perfectly, and told the story efficiently and...

AMERICAN HONEY Reviewed Oct28

AMERICAN HONEY Reviewed

Written and Directed by Andrea Arnold Starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough Andrea Arnold’s American Honey brilliantly captures the aimless, lost generation now designated the millennials. This is a road picture that finds no romance on the road itself, but only in the gyrating bodies and music of a vagabond group of magazine salesmen lead by its quasi-cult leader, Krystal. We make the journey along with Star, a nineteen year old with no place to go and nothing to do although none of the dozen youth in her van sees life very differently. They are content to knock on doors by day and have sex, smoke pot, and dance at night....

THE GIRL ON A TRAIN Reviewed Oct21

THE GIRL ON A TRAIN Reviewed

Directed by Tate Taylor Written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Alison Janney Because I went into the theater with such low expectations, my initial reaction to THE GIRL ON A TRAIN was it was better than the reviews. But in the five days since then, it’s become apparent that whatever suspense, characterization, and craft found in the book (I didn’t read it) was absent in the film.  When I tried to describe its strengths to some friends who were fans of the book, I came up short. In THE GIRL ON A TRAIN, we spend a lot...

TOP 5 MOVIES by Gerald Elias

There are two general things I appreciate about a piece of music. One is craftsmanship. The other is integrity: how true it is to what it is. For example, I enjoy listening to a Strauss waltz as much as I do a Mahler symphony. The former exists to entertain and delight, the latter to make a profound statement about life and death. Each accomplishes its goal with consummate skill and conviction. If a composition lacks craftsmanship or has pretentions of being something it isn’t I much prefer the honesty of silence. I’ve try to hone my skills as a writer, and make no apology for trying to write mysteries intended simply to entertain the...

AUTHOR-THE J.T. Leroy STORY Reviewed Oct10

AUTHOR-THE J.T. Leroy STORY Reviewed

AUTHOR-THE J.T. Leroy STORY Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig In 2006, the New York Times exposed the writer J.T. Leroy, author of Sarah and a volume of short stories, as a hoax. The work actually came from the pen of Laura Albert, a 40-year old sex phone operator. It seems rather harmless to have used a pen name, but the use of her sister-in-law as a public stand- in for years makes the hoax more complicated. This film, trusting again in the story presented by Albert, attempts to sort it out. This deception went on for about a decade and drew in luminaries such as Gus Van Sant, Courtney Love, Tom Waits and others. They all wanted to believe a...