DON’T BE TURNED OFF BY THIS PHOTO – “ROMA” IS BRILLIANT

Netflix is going to take home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film this year – Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is an unexpected MASTERPIECE! We can’t say enough good things about it. This is the story of the director’s memories of his childhood in the early 70’s in Mexico City. His upper middle class family has beloved servants and these young women are considered to be part of the family. It is their story we are drawn into. And “drawn into“ is no exaggeration – almost from the first scene we feel as if we are part of the family living this story. It’s a rare and wonderful connection, perhaps partly due to the fact that most of the cast are non-actors working without a script. An astonishing achievement.

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Posted by Janet on November 6, 2018

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Filed Under: Alfonso Cuaron > Movies > Netflix > Roma

TOXIC MASCULINITY RUINED THE DRAGON TATTOO GIRL

If this is Sweden’s idea of Goth, we want nothing to do with it. The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a movie ostensibly about women (most of them horrible people) produced, written and directed entirely BY men FOR men and it is just as absurd as you would expect. All the female characters think and behave exactly like men. There is a sorry lack of plot and instead, an abundance of the mindless car chases and explosions that men love so much. The intelligent and mysterious tech genius Lisbeth Salander character has been reduced to a violent superhero. One interesting note: Lisbeth ’s girlfriend is played by transgender model Andreja Pejic. The rest of the film is dark and dismal, with diminutive Lisbeth (played by Claire Foy) trouncing groups of large men by using weapons and violence instead of her brain power. Previous Dragon Tattoo movies relied on Lisbeth OUTSMARTING men, not decimating them. You will walk out of this movie feeling dreary and depressed.

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IGNORE BAD REVIEWS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY WILL ROCK YOU!

Rami Malek did an amazing job of imitating Freddie Mercury – we couldn’t take our eyes off his teeth. There’s nothing more colorful and fun than London in the 70’s, so the whole music and fashion scene (Biba!) is enchanting. Freddie’s life story takes precedence over the band as a whole, and that was a good idea. Granted, the debauched details of Freddie’s drug and sex drenched life are somewhat glossed over, but definitely addressed. We only wish they could have featured more of his extravagant costumes. Queen’s glorious music lifts every bit of the movie that could have been depressing. You will walk out happy and wanting MORE! We can’t help but wonder what Sacha Baron Cohen’s version of Freddie would have been like – maybe he’ll make his own film…

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Posted by Janet on October 31, 2018

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Filed Under: Bohemian Rhapsody > Freddie Mercury > Movies > Rami Malek

MELISSA MCCARTHY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HER

Melissa McCarthy is a whole new person in her upcoming movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? and it might be the best role she’s ever had. She plays a real person in this true story – a curmudgeonly failed New York writer named Lee Israel who became a literary forger out of financial necessity. (Her cat needed expensive surgery.) She’s also an alcoholic with a dour personality and no interest in fashion. But she’s clever, and starts forging amusing letters, supposedly written by Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, and other notables – they sell to collectors for a high price. Her adventures and eccentric friend played by Richard E Grant make for a smart and amusing comedy/drama.

Photo Credit: BACKGRID-USA

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Posted by Janet on October 16, 2018

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Filed Under: Can You Ever Forgive Me? > Melissa McCarthy > Movies

WILDLIFE: CAREY MULLIGAN AND JAKE GYLENHAAL ARE FAR FROM PERFECT PARENTS

If you had a not-so-perfect childhood (isn’t that MOST people?) the movie Wildlife will bring you back to some very uncomfortable experiences. It’s set in 1960 and pretty housewife Carey Mulligan thinks she’s already over the hill at 34. She and Jake Gyllenhaal’s character have a 14 year old son who watches all their drama unfold, much like YOU did at home. Jake can’t hold down a job and he’s too “proud” to take one beneath him, so he volunteered to fight wild fires threatening his small Montana town, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Lacking job experience, Carey’s practical housewife does what she figures she has to do – she gets a job teaching swimming and starts flirting with a wealthy single older man. The son is tormented by his parents’ actions and you can’t help but identify with him. It’s a wonderful script, beautifully directed by Paul Dano – a must-see if you appreciate sensitive films.

Photo: IFC Films

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Posted by Janet on October 15, 2018

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Filed Under: Carey Mulligan > Jake Gyllenhaal > Movies > Paul Dano > Wildlife

A SIMPLE FAVOR IS ANYTHING BUT SIMPLE

What a delicious surprise! A Simple Favor is a movie written BY women ABOUT women and the male director didn’t louse it up – he got it just right! It has everything a woman wants in a movie – gorgeous fashion and style, beautiful architecture and design, smart conversation, sophisticated humor, compelling but hilarious characters, and a PLOT! Blake Lively rises to the occasion – her impossibly glamorous and darkly sarcastic character is SO on the mark – and Anna Kendrick is perfectly cast as a supposedly “innocent” mommy vlogger. Of course, what’s NOT to love about the astute and very decorative Henry Golding. Never a dull moment in this movie – don’t want to say more – just see it right away!

Afterthought: No WONDER Blake Lively has been wearing all those fabulous power suits…
Photo: Lionsgate

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Posted by Janet on September 16, 2018

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Filed Under: A Simple Favor > Anna Kendrick > Blake Lively > Henry Golding > Movies

FRENCH FILM “CUSTODY” IS THE SCARIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR

During a summer of testosterone-fueled supermovies, it’s almost hard to remember what a really good film looks like. The subtitled French movie Custody is one of the most amazing movie experiences we have ever had. A few weeks ago we saw what was supposed to be a “scarey” movie, “Hereditary,” but it turned out to be silly and a huge disappointment. Custody tells the story of a REAL LIFE situation and THOSE can be far more frightening than monsters or ghosts. This brilliant and subtle movie starts off documenting an ”ordinary” divorcing couple and slooowly builds up to a shocking and unbelievably frightening finale. (It could happen to YOU!) When it was over, the audience was visibly shaken – and many were in tears. Need we say more? (Opens today)

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Posted by Janet on July 13, 2018

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Filed Under: Custody > French > Movies > Scarey movies

PENELOPE CRUZ AND JAVIER BARDEM: WHAT EVERYBODY DOESN’T KNOW

Now that the Met Gala has past, we turn our attention to The Cannes Film Festival – the next major fashion event. Spain’s power couple Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are as fabulous as anyone at the Met. They costarred in a new kidnapping thriller “Everybody Knows” that opened the festival, and the movie really looks interesting. Penelope’s character and her teen daughter fly to her family home for a large wedding. Her daughter disappears in the middle of the night and Javier’s character (an ex-boyfriend) steps in to help find her. All the family members are under suspicion and surprising things happen…

Photo Credit: BACKGRID-USA

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Posted by Janet on May 8, 2018

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Filed Under: Fashion > Javier Bardem > Movies > Penelope Cruz

THE DIVINE ORDER REVEALS SWITZERLAND’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

Suddenly it turns out that Switzerland is not the superior progressive country we always thought it was! Screenwriter/director Petra Volpe has let us in on Switzerland’s dirty little secret in her new movie The Divine Order – women didn’t get the vote there until 1971! Impossible to believe, but TRUE. Switzerland’s patriarchal system kept women oppressed THAT long! Despite the timely subject matter, the movie, about small town women waking up to the desire for equality, is charming, sometimes funny, and quite likeable. The best part about it is it teaches men what they did and still do wrong. It’s a nice lesson to be learned.

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Posted by Janet on November 28, 2017

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Filed Under: Movies > Switzerland > The Divine Order > Women's Rights

THE DISASTER ARTIST: TRUTH IS FUNNIER THAN FICTION

Usually we recommend to filmgoers that they avoid reading too much about a movie before seeing it because it spoils the element of surprise. But “The Disaster Artist” is the exact opposite – read all you can about it ahead of time and it will be even FUNNIER. James Franco directed and stars and he does a bang-up job for a change. It’s about a very peculiar and eccentric aspiring filmmaker who happens to have enough money to make his own feature film and proceeds to do so without any experience. The resulting film is called “The Room” and has been described as one of the worst movies ever made and a cult classic. Knowing this twisted story is true makes it extremely entertaining.

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Posted by Janet on November 13, 2017

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Filed Under: James Franco > Movies > The Disaster Artist

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    Love him or hate him, this guy is a loudmouth who doesn’t hesitate to tell it like he sees it- but there’s one thing he NEVER talks about: his prostate problem. Long story short: he LEAKS! He likes to project an image of macho virility, but under his custom made suits are custom made “diapers.” He’s VERY self-conscious and has absorbent but undetectable “panty liners” sewn into all his underwear, to avoid wet spots. Thanks to his arrogant behavior, he has more than a few enemies and he’s terrified his secret will be exposed and he’ll be forever ridiculed!

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