August, 1984: Deborah Sykes goes missing. Winston-Salem police zero in on a black man, Darryl Hunt, who is quickly arrested, convicted, & imprisoned for life. It takes 20 years for North Carolina authorities to exonerate & release him. Compelling story, but the telling is too linear, literal & plodding. More on THE TRIALS OF DARRYL… Continue reading Film Review: THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT
Probably sensing that this was her one shot as a lead, Julie Kavner (beloved for her TV roles as “Brenda Morgenstern” & “Marge Simpson”) hits a homerun in this dramedy about a divorced mother of two who wants to be a stand-up comedienne. Samantha Mathis also shines as her teenage daughter. Writer/Director Nora Ephron makes… Continue reading THIS IS MY LIFE
Two out-of-control L.A. teens drink & shoplift, then experiment with drugs & sex, while their bewildered parents/guardians, obsessed with problems of their own & watching from the outside, try to figure out what’s “normal” for today’s adolescents. Hunter’s particularly impressive & both girls are strong, but Jan wanted more backstory. More on THIRTEEN.
A 12 year old girl is brutally gang-raped. Years pass & her life is controlled by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has flashbacks she can’t put into context, & keeps finding herself standing drunk in front of a house she can’t identify. A sincere & moving depiction of an important story. More on THINGS BEHIND… Continue reading Film Review: THINGS BEHIND THE SUN
Split decision: While “Highly Recommended” by both of us, we each see this film differently. Jan sees an exhilarating feminist classic celebrating the ebullient chemistry between Davis & Sarandon. Rich sees two abused women in an alcoholic haze spiraling out of control. Diagnostic incident: when the truck explodes. You decide! More on THELMA & LOUISE.
First Broadcast date = 3/6/05 on ABC-TV. Jan enjoyed the ABC broadcast even with all the commercials, but Rich got frustrated & gave up, so he advises you to wait for the DVD. Beautifully acted version of Zora Neal Hurston’s classic novel. More on THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD.
Dex was one of the “cool guys” in college, but 10 years have passed & he’s still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s reintroduced to Syd at the reunion; he barely remembers her, but she sure remembers him. Charming, low-key romantic comedy. More on THE TAO OF… Continue reading Film Review: THE TAO OF STEVE
Biopic stars Cheadle as “Petey” Greene, a radio DJ who became the voice of Black Washington after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Terrific story, fabulous performances; captures both the man & his times in high-energy mix of comedy & tragedy. Oscar noms NOW for Cheadle, Henson & Lemmons. More on TALK TO ME.
Thirtysomething Manhattanite (Laura Linney) puts her own life on hold when her estranged father (Philip Bosco) succumbs to dementia. Caring for him with a brother she knows only slightly better (Philip Seymour Hoffman) becomes life-changing for both of them. Jan’s agog, but while Rich loved performances, he found frequent “shifts-of-tone” between comedy & tragedy… Continue reading Film Review: THE SAVAGES
Beautifully constructed mood piece walking the tightrope of father/daughter love. Jack’s a 60’s guy of independent means stubbornly clinging to life on an abandoned commune. Rose is his daughter, totally devoted but also aware that he’s sheltered her from the “real” world. Resonates well beyond the specifics of its plot.
Two Days in Paris follows a New York couple, French photographer Marion (Julie Delpy) and American interior designer, Jack (Adam Goldberg) as they try to reinfuse their relationship with romance on a European vacation. Julie Delpy wrote, directed, and starred in this hilarious film which was nominated for Cesar, Independent Spirit and European Film Awards,… Continue reading TWO DAYS IN PARIS