Browsing all articles from December, 2012.

Django Unchained

* * * * Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is an explosion of violence and humor and delicious performances, a visceral and upsetting portrait of slavery that borders on blaxploitation at times, all wrapped up in a spaghetti western. It’s a movie so entertaining for each of its 164 minutes you might not want it to […]

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Les Misérables

* * * 1/2 The screen version of the musical Les Misérables is pretty much what you would expect and a fairly straightforward adaptation of the beloved musical, itself adapted from Victor Hugo’s classic novel.  As mounted by director Tom Hooper, the picture has the look, feel and thematic resonance of an epic–large enough in scope […]

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Rust and Bone

* * 1/2 Marion Cotillard, the world-class, Oscar winning actress whose tour de force in 2006’s La Vie En Rose made her an international movie star, plays a killer whale trainer maimed in an unfortunate accident in Rust and Bone, the sophomore picture from Jacques Audiard, whose 2010 masterpiece A Prophet took Cannes’ top prize […]

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Family Achieves The Impossible in Director Juan Antonio Bayona’s Tsunami Survival Story

You’ve never quite seen anything like the tsunami in director Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible, the true story of the 2004 Thailand catastrophe and how one family’s will to survive became an elemental force. The film, featuring Naomi Watts in a performance for the ages as a mortally wounded wife and mother and Ewan McGregor […]

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The Impossible

* * * The principal reason to see The Impossible is the herculean performance of Naomi Watts as a real-life wife and mother swept away in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, fighting to hang onto her life and family.  In a film directed by the gifted Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), Watts’ powerfully […]

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Hyde Park on Hudson

* * Bland Hyde Park on the Hudson, about a 1939 weekend sojourn between the FDR, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, doesn’t do much to illuminate Roosevelt and even less to enliven its decidedly slight chapter of history. It wants to be a whimsical comedy but never strikes the proper tone, instead offering a […]

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Silver Linings Playbook

* * * * The Silver Linings Playbook is one of the year’s most emotionally generous movies, a crowd-pleaser of a romantic comedy that also happens to be a gritty family drama about bi-polar disorder. If that sounds like an unlikely combination, writer-director David O. Russell deftly juggles such complexities in a movie that believes […]

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