Month: September 2014

“Words and Pictures”–Graphic Dullness

This movie’s central theme asks the question:  “Is a picture worth a thousand words?” In a contest between art and literature, a high school teacher of English literature and a teacher of painting are determined to prove that their specialty depicts the reality of experience more effectively than the other. English  teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) is barely making it to his classes on time, drinking from a flask in his car during recess.  In the past he was a gifted poet but no longer.  Then the renowned artist  Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche) is hired to teach gifted aspiring...

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“Incendies”–Scorched and Fiery

Incendies “Incendies” was nominated for a 2011 Best Foreign Film Academy Award and also named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best films of 2011.  A French-Canadian drama  adapted from Wajdi Mouawad’s play of the same name, “Incendies” tells the family saga  of twenty-something twins, — brother (Simon) and sister (Jean)– who are determined to  know the mystery of their reserved mother’s life even though they have not had a warm, affectionate relationship with her. In their mother’s will she has left two letters.  One is to be delivered...

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The Book Thief–Not to be Shelved

A pre-teen  girl, Liesel Menninger (the extraordinary Sophie Nelisse)  is handed off by her mother, who no longer  can care for her , to a middle-aged couple. The time is pre-Kristallnacht Germany, 1938. Her foster home is simple and impoverished.  Her foreboding foster mother, Rosa Hubermann (the extraordinary Emily Watson) shows little affection, at first,  for the frightened girl. But the  irascible  father Hans (the endearing Geoffrey Rush) comforts the shy twelve-year old with magical and fanciful allusions to literature and music, playing his accordion and composing songs just for her. Liesel...

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“Happy Valley”-No One’s Idea of Happiness

This compelling and addictive police drama stars Sarah Lancashire as  the middle-aged Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood,  who struggles daily between remembering  the suicide of her teenage daughter and developing love for the young boy her daughter left behind.  Divorced and estranged from her son partly because of that tragic death, Catherine  is determined to capture her daughter’s lover/killer/rapist, but the search almost spirals out of control when the perpetrator, Tommy Lee Royce (played by James Norton) is released from prison.  Her pursuit of Tommy Lee Royce becomes...

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