Saturday, February 06, 2016


The dramatization of couples losing children makes for wrenching film. In Meadowland a couple copes with losing their son and it is a powerful drama. There is very little dialog, but with there is it is a bit of a gut-punch. This film is a poignant story of family, love, loss and coping. A bit raw. Good film.

Friday, February 05, 2016


When it came to light that George W. Bush may not have been the war hero he claimed to be, CBS ran with the story...a little too fast. Armed with photocopied documents and vague promises that they were authentic, Mary Mapes released the story. This opened she and Dan Rather to accusations of lying, forgery and ultimate disgrace. In the film Truth this story is dramatized with a sympathetic eye to Mapes and Rather. Well done.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A Ballerina's Tale

Last year, A Ballerina's Tale was screened at Tribeca Film Festival with a Q & A with Misty Copeland. I missed the event but finally saw the film on DVD. This documentary speaks a bit to Copeland's rise to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, but speaks more to her struggles to stay there despite injuries. Her dancing is beautiful and the brutality of the ballet, both psychologically and physically is apparent. Copeland is a beautiful dancer whose career is both historic and inspiring. Hard work and perseverance pays off.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

45 Years

In 45 Years there is a miscommunication between a couple that has been married for 45 years and we watch the emotional fallout. The word that kept popping into my head as I watched was dour.The husband knows that his wife is upset, but doesn't really validate her feelings. The wife is more upset than she probably should be, but keeps it all in. This leads to scenes of talking around the issue and many sad, pensive looks. Excellent performances, but all in all, to me this was a sad story.

Friday, January 29, 2016


There is an amazing amount of stress in a professional kitchen. In Burnt we are thrown into it head first. As a chef struggles to redeem his career and reputation we learn of his relationships old and new. Some help him, some don't. I liked this film a lot more than I expected to.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


In the midst of all of the race controversy in Hollywood, I decided to see Spike Lee's latest film Chi-Raq.This film re-tells the story of Lysistrata and sets it in modern day, violent Chicago with a predominantly African-American cast.The women in the city decide to try withholding sex until the men can live in peace. A tall order. The dialog is in verse which reminds us of what a fantasy this story is. This film is a visual wild ride, the performances are strong and the story is a bit crazy. Glad I saw it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


A man's mental issues are played out in stop-motion animation in the film Anomalisa. Though the story is told with puppets, the story is so human you soon do not see the seams. The main character Michael is like a lot of men I've known. He is selfish, winy and manipulative. An impressive film, though the characters were unlikable for me. Interesting animation.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

The overwhelming violence of the Ukrainian revolution is brought to the screen in Winter of Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom. This documentary chronicles the student uprising against the Ukrainian government that started in 2013.Their passion on issues are brought to light well. What a film.