movie review

  • Screen Savor: More fantastic women

    Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio has been on a seemingly unstoppable roll since his award-winning 2013 breakthrough feature “Gloria”. That movie was such a success for Lelio, that he is directing the English-language remake starring Julianne Moore. Additionally, Lelio’s film “A Fantastic Woman” took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in early 2018.

  • Screen Savor: Phantom menace

    There’s more than one intricate stitch sewn into the fabric of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated “Phantom Thread” (Focus). As the final film of retiring actor Daniel Day-Lewis, it’s not only a high point for the performer who already has three Oscars to his name, but also for the filmmaker and supporting cast members.

  • Screen Savor: Say Oui to “Paris 05:59”

    “Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo” (Europa/Epicentre), co-written and co-directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau is a timely and sensitive reminder of the current state of things in the world of gay sex. The lengthy, erotically-charged and sexually graphic opening sequence takes place in a sex club where the red-lit lower level is swarming with writhing naked men engaging in various sex acts.

  • Screen Savor: Sense and Sensibility

     Based on the novel by Julian Barnes, Ritesh Bartra’s “The Sense of an Ending” (CBS Films) will probably remind some audience members of gay filmmaker Andrew Haigh’s marvelous “45 Years,” and that’s not only because both films starred Charlotte Rampling. The common thread is that the main male characters in both films receive letters that stir up the dust of their pasts.

  • Screen Savor: Skating Away

    Do two movies about teenage skateboarders released within months of the other in the same year qualify as a trend? What if both movies feature single mothers trying to keep their respective offspring out of harm’s way? If so, we have a trend.

  • Screen Savor: SoBe it

    Co-filmmakers Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch strike a sunny and satisfying balance between presenting an homage to a bygone era in Miami Beach and a tribute to the late photographer Andy Sweet, whose work documented said time period, in their affectionate documentary “The Last Resort”. The co-directors incorporate marvelous period film footage, both amateur and professional. Additionally, interviews with Sweet’s friend, classmate and fellow photographer Gary Monroe, Jewish historian Susan Gladstone, crime writer and novelist Edna Buchanan (who first came to Miami Beach in the early ‘60s), Sweet’s sister Ellen Sweet Moss and his brother-in-law Stan Hughes, Mitchell Kaplan of Books & Books, filmmaker and Miami native Kelly Reichardt, and gallerist Denise Bibro, add to the spirit of the documentary.

  • Screen Savor: Sorry, Not Sorry

    It’s been quite a year for black cinema. In March 2018, Jordan Peele won an Oscar for the screenplay for “Get Out” (which was also nominated in the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor categories). A few weeks before that Ryan Coogler’s groundbreaking Marvel Studios feature “Black Panther” opened to rave reviews and boffo box office.

  • Screen Savor: T2 Trainspotting Is Spot On

    It’s been 20 years since the last time we saw unrepentant junkie and thief Mark (Ewan McGregor) in the original Edinburgh-set “Trainspotting.” At that time, he was waffling between addiction and sobriety. Even in that condition he had enough clarity to screw his best friends Simon aka Sick (Jonny Lee Miller), gentle Spud (Ewen Bremner) and violent-tempered Franco (Robert Carlyle) out of a massive sum of money in a drug deal scam.

  • Screen Savor: Table 19 is a Wedding Crusher

    If you’ve ever wondered what became of the early 21st century cinematic genre known as mumblecore (and who among us hasn’t?), a hokey style that launched the career of Greta Gerwig (gee, thanks!), you need look no further than Table 19 (Fox Searchlight). Co-written by mumblecore progenitors and brothers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, "Table 19" is one of the most unappealing rom-coms in recent memory.

  • Screen Savor: The Zookeeper’s Wife is No Zootopia

    In the pantheon of holocaust cinema, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (Focus) isn’t as powerful or epic as “Schindler’s List,” but neither is it as dreadful as “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas.” Landing somewhere in between, the film, based on the book by Diane Ackerman, tells the true story of the titular Antonina Żabińska (played by Jessica Chastain), and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh), and their roles in the Polish underground resistance during World War II.

  • Screen Savor: Unbeautiful Minds

    The Hunger Games have been won. The “Divergent” series was diverted. The insipid and humiliating (2nd) film adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” was anything but smooth. So, who thought “The Darkest Minds”(20th Century Fox), a movie version of the Alexandra Bracken Y/A novel of the same name, would be a good idea?

  • Screen Savor: What’s Not So Funny

    Remember that movie “Danny Collins”where Al Pacino played the washed-up rock star trying to make amends for his bad behavior? Don’t worry, neither does anyone else. Similarly, “The Comedian”(Sony Pictures Classics) may meet the same fate. In the tradition of unfunny movies about comedians (see the Tom Hanks/Sally Field flop “Punchline” and Adam Sandler’s “Funny People”), “The Comedian”is short on laughs and long on scenery chewing.

  • Screen Savor: Wonder woman

    Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio (the acclaimed 2013 movie “Gloria”) has another winner on his hands with “A Fantastic Woman” (Sony Pictures Classics), Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Notable for the way it depicts a few days in the life of a trans woman in Santiago, “A Fantastic Woman” is at turns fabulous and heartbreaking.