Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

A couple struggles to find their way after a major life tragedy. The story is told from both the husband's (Him) perspective and the wife (Her). The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby is the combination of both (Them). The structure is interesting, the performances superb and the story is heartbreaking. I really liked this film.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

The Oscar nominated animated film The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is the last of the nominated feature films available for me to see this Oscar season. Studio Ghilbi brings us a beautifully drawn, sweet story. well done.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Still Alice

Two thoughts ran through my head during the film Still Alice. 1. This is terrifying. 2. This is very respectful. Not only do we see the decline of Alice, trapped in the grip of Alzheimer's Disease, but we also see how family and colleagues react to her. Julianne Moore gives an outstanding performance as Alice and a speech she gives in the middle of the film turned me into a weeping mess. Bring your tissues to this one. I liked it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


One of the most poorly named movies is actually a good movie. The term Laggies refers to something being slow. In this case it would be the character's emotional development. She runs away from her life for a week and learns about herself and others feelings. I really liked the cast and the script is sharp. A good rental.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Song of the Sea

I thought I had been pretty diligent in keeping up with animated features, but when the Oscar nominees were announced I was two short. Thankfully, the nominated Irish film Song of the Sea showed up on the Providence Children's Film Festival's schedule. A packed house of families, and folks like me. enjoyed this tale of family, adventure and fantasy. The animation is gorgeous and lent an air of whimsy to this delightful film.

Sunday, February 08, 2015


Corrupt politicians and a man desperate to hold on to his home are the opposing forces Leviathan. In a Russian fishing town the law comes down hard on a man trying to keep his house and his family together. When the man does not relent, drastic, diabolical measures are taken. The results are dramatic and heartbreaking. A strong drama with a tragic ending. Worthy of the foreign film Oscar nomination.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

White Bird in a Blizzard

When a film starts out looking like a teen angst film, the moment it turns to a thriller there is joy. In White Bird in a Blizzard a seemingly formulaic film takes a very satisfying twist. My favorite style of storytelling. Solid rental.

Mr. Turner

In many shots of Mr. Turner, I found myself thinking "show off". Dazzling cinematography and set design are the strong suit of this film. I'm glad I saw this in the theater for the shear beauty. The story plods and the editing is all over the place. The acting is OK. The visual experience is the reason to see this film.

John Wick

I had heard that John Wick was an entertaining action movie. Upon renting it, all I can say is this is violence punctuated by violence. Well done, but and hour and forty minutes is more than you need in a revenge story of an assassin who loses his wife, dog and car. Nuff said.


Jihadist militants rule over parts of Africa with a terrorist-like hand. In the film Timbuktu we see a story set in this land where people just want to live peacefully, but are oppressed by this violent regime. This disturbing story is beautifully shot and worthy of the Oscar nomination. I was fortunate enough to see this film in NYC where the director conducted a very interesting Q & A after the film.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Last Days in Vietnam

Watching Last Days in Vietnam, I remembered how desperate people were to get the heck out of there. The refugee stories show a population that would do anything to get away. This well structured documentary is a view of the end of a war I saw unfold on TV. Interesting to see all of these events in one sitting. Excellent documentary.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


The drama of World War II is popular for subjects in film. Fury not only takes on the logistics of tank warfare, but the relationships that evolve from close quarters, trust and desperate situations. It does not shy away from the violence or awful way people can behave. A bit rough to watch, but another interesting take on this piece of history.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Intense situations can be too much for some. They can be the smartest people in the room. Aaron Swartz was that smart guy. Programmer and activist, he fought for the internet and civil liberties, as we see in the documentary The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. A brave young man.