Movies

Frantz

“Frantz” is ostensibly a movie about World War I — a time far removed from most Americans’ thinking. As a child one heard of it, of returning veterans, of poppy fields far away in Flanders, but it had no resonance. …Read More

A Quiet Passion

The thing about this two-hour biopic on the life and times of Emily Dickinson is that you will get a sense of life in Amherst, Mass., between 1830 and 1890 for a hermit/poet from a substantial family. “A Quiet Passion” …Read More

Frantz

Inexplicably, the excellent “Frantz” has had an all too short shelf-life on the art house circuit since its March launch. Yet this compelling tale (inspired by Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 “Broken Lullaby”) about the ravages of war, guilt, redemption, forgiveness, devotion …Read More

The Lost City of Z

This haunting film about destiny is both beautiful and poignant. Charlie Hunnam is the British Major Percy Fawcett who “has chosen his ancestors badly” as one wag puts it, and he is determined to put his own reputation to rights. …Read More

The Promise

We saw “The Promise” last night alone in a West Palm Beach movie theater. It was a pleasure having our own screening room. Set in Turkey between 1914–1916, this is an epic tale about the Armenian genocide and their struggle …Read More

NOLA French Film Festival and “Things to Come”

A great event every year in NOLA is the French Film Festival. This year has been no exception. I did not see all the films, but went to about half and all were wonderful. My favorite was “Things to Come” …Read More

Spoiler Alert: “Norman” and “Their Finest”

Two emotional film dramas opened last week, but neither of them has the usual happy ending that such stories are wont to do. Rather than reveal their conclusions, however, I will say that, given the respective journeys of their main …Read More

The Lost City of Z

Having recently read “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” I developed a greater understanding of the scope of devastation done to those living here by those who came from Western Europe. It was then even more interesting to …Read More

The Zookeeper’s Wife

For the same reason “Woman in Gold” was an important film, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” revisits the horror that was Nazi Germany through the lens of a zoo in Warsaw during the five-year period starting in 1939. In the words of …Read More

Beauty and The Beast

We are currently in Palm Beach with almost no decent movie choices, but will be returning to New York for a week of theater. When Dale suggested that we see “Beauty and the Beast,” I protested. My protestations were confirmed …Read More

Viceroy House

For the British the “special relationship” has always been India. Starting in 1600, under Elisabeth I, the East India Trading Company was granted a charter. Thus assumed an incredibly complex interplay between a very old civilisation and a newer mercantilist …Read More

Song to Song

I’ve always been fond of the word “stultifying,” but have seldom had the perfect opportunity to use it. Now I have… although in its adverbial form: “Song to Song” is the most stultifyingly boring movie I’ve ever seen. Imagine sitting …Read More

Get Out

“Get Out,” the new movie written and directed by Jordan Peele, of “Key & Peele” fame, is stylish, fun, scary and…a jolting commentary on race relations in America. A young woman takes her boyfriend home to meet her well-to-do white …Read More

Lion

A more popular film for the global set is hard to find right now, as “Lion” at the Paris Theater fills night and day with eager film lovers looking forward to a poignant story. And so it is… We hear …Read More

Fifty Shades Darker

As always, it depends where you are and what your alternatives are. Last night, Dale suggested that we see “Fifty Shades Darker.” Before buying tickets, I checked Rotten Tomatoes and was horrified to see that the professional reviews averaged 10%… …Read More

Jackie

“Jackie” has opened to good reviews. Natalie Portman is to be congratulated for her costuming and ability to look gorgeous in 20-foot across misty close ups. She has a soft and vulnerable face and can cry effectively without disturbing its …Read More

Jackie

Natalie Portman does a memorable job of reproducing the multiple facets of Jackie Kennedy — the wide-eyed, breathless, artificial naïveté during her famous White House tour with CBS’s Charles Collingwood, the grief-stricken widow and mother, and the calculating myth-creator with …Read More

20th Century Women

I’ve been sitting with this movie for a few days, and while there is something that appeals, there’s also something that repels — the combination that draws me to most works of art. Mike Mills has written and directed a …Read More

13th

“13th” is a great documentary by Ava DuVernay about the criminal justice system. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery “except as a punishment for crime.” DuVernay makes the point that in the US, mass incarceration is a continuation of slavery and …Read More

Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past

“La La Land” isn’t the only feel-good movie playing these days. Less well known, but just as entertaining, is “Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past,” playing at the Cinema Village on E. 12th St. It will not …Read More

Elle

I love watching Huppert, even when she is making really horrible choices, which she seems to do often in the films she stars in (“The Piano Teacher” and “The Abuse of Weakness” come to mind). In “Elle” she plays a …Read More

The Founder

Years ago, I read a book about McDonald’s and found it a fabulous story of a time in America where a hard-working salesman stumbled upon a client who understood the value of his product where others didn’t and bought many …Read More

Silence

This is a tough one to review as part of me kept thinking of “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” which I loved, and part of me was wondering what on earth Scorsese was saying. The film is gorgeous and …Read More

A Trifecta of Misery

Just a short comment on what everyone has already written about but for various reasons, we have just seen: “Manchester by the Sea” (a film) and “The Humans” (a play) plus “The Present” (comments last week)… were, discounting the extraordinary …Read More

Manchester by the Sea

No spoiler alert is needed for this film because the preview trailer gives away the central event: the sudden death of a man that leaves his brother responsible for the orphaned teenage son. Yet there is another event that drives …Read More

Hidden Figures

What a wonderful film, probably the best movie we’ve seen all year. A terrific story well told. The writing is light-handed and pitch perfect. The moment when the smartest woman in the room has to run a half mile in the …Read More

La La Land

There’s a magic moment early in “LaLaLand” — after boy-meets-girl-and-they-rub-each-other-the-wrong-way— when Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone break into an avoid/attract dance on a hilltop overlooking the Los Angeles night skyline. It’s meant to evoke a moment in “Top Hat” when …Read More

La La Land

This delightful throwback to old cinematic times is a fresh breeze in an otherwise overly introspective world. The beginning sequence is worth the price of the tickets. A crowded freeway in Los Angeles becomes the backdrop for a vigorous, rousing, …Read More

La La Land

Watching “La La Land” the night after Christmas was like finding a forgotten gift under the tree and unwrapping it slowly — box within a box within a box — and enjoying the process enormously. We will return and see …Read More

Patriot’s Day

As a Bostonian, this is one I had to see – and I wasn’t disappointed. The story of the bombers at the Boston Marathon (properly, The Marathon) is well-known, although I had forgotten how the entire city had been closed …Read More

Fences

As it’s our custom to spend New Year’s Eve at the movies, we saw “Fences” in an empty theater last night. We think of it as our screening room. August Wilson’s writing is spectacular and expresses the African-American experience of the …Read More

Jackie

For those of us who lived through JFK’s murder, few of us used that word or thought through the first week of this tragedy through Jackie Kennedy’s eyes. How many of us even knew Jackie? In this film, those who wrote …Read More

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

The first attempt to connect over the worldwide network was supposed to be “Log On.” The connection could only be maintained for two strokes: “Lo.” Thus, the title. The storyline of this documentary is “Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet …Read More

The Missing Ingredient: What is the Recipe for Success?

This is an 87-minute documentary about Gino’s Restaurant and what it takes to become an “institution.” It also follows the story of another restauranteur trying to save his business by copying Gino’s famous zebra wallpaper. I must admit to a conflict …Read More

Moonlight

The last first-rate film made on a low budget we saw was “Whiplash;” we loved it. Last night we saw “Moonlight” and, though it was made for $5 million, you’d never have guessed. It is a beautiful and important film. …Read More