Month: March 2013

“The Sessions”, “NoBody’s Perfect”, and “The Intouchables”: Twisted Bodies, Open Minds

Recently, we have seen a series of engaging movies portraying handicapped people without pity.   These three deal with body image in the nearly unexplored territory of the disabled: “The Sessions”, “NoBody’s Perfect” and “The Intouchables”.  All three are surprisingly gentle yet fearless journeys into the human needs of sexuality and respect. “The Sessions”, nominated for multiple Academy Awards, reveals the often unacknowledged and ignored subject of human sexuality for the disabled.  Based upon a true story, the severely handicapped Mark...

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“The Following” Redux–Not Going There Again

In February I reviewed and recommended “The Following”, a Fox television drama series starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy.  There have been a total of nine episodes so far, but this past week’s episode has made me recant my earlier review.  How disappointed I am in this series! The story is focused on two main characters:  an FBI agent, Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and a brutal serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) who has a cult following of wannabe killers, mostly young outliers trying to find a place to belong.  But the last episode has overstepped the boundaries for...

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“Silver Linings Playbook”–Behind Every Cloud

The best comedies go for truths, not laughs.  And, although “Silver Linings Playbook” is billed as a comedy, it is more a romance between two young adults with bipolar disorder whose families and friends have to deal with the turmoil that mental illness creates. David O. Russell, the director of this blockbuster multiple Academy Award winner, wrote the screenplay partly as an acknowledgement of his son’s bipolar disorder and as a message about this form of mental illness. Russell has delivered two sympathetic characters to raise  our awareness.  In this way, “Silver Linings...

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“Parade’s End”–An Historian’s Downton Abbey?”

  The five-part BBC/HBO miniseries “Parade’s End” premiered on HBO last week (February 26) and is also available on video-on-demand.  The playwright Tom Stoppard has adapted  Ford Madox Ford’s monumental 900 page, four-novel series “Parade’s End” for television:  the intellectual’s  Edwardian-era alternative to “Downton Abbey.”   Both series take place in the same time period, beginning with the decade before the First World War.  But the view of the British class system, the end of the Empire, and the attitude towards the war could not be more...

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