• 2014

Year: 2014

“Dallas Buyers Club”– Not for Cowboys (or, A Lone Star in the Fight against AIDS)

Dallas Buyers Club   Jared Leto as Rayon The true-life story of Texas AIDS pioneer, Ron Woodroof,  set in 1985 Dallas, depicts his battle to fight for his life after being diagnosed as HIV-positive. His search for life-supporting  experimental drugs via Mexico to help fellow HIV-positive people is the heart of “Dallas Buyers Club“. Part-time rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof (the skeletal Matthew McConaughey in an Academy Award-nominated performance) is rudderless–smoking heavily, snorting cocaine, having a lot of sex with prostitutes. He is also grossly unsympathetic for...

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“Falling” —In and Out of Love

Falling A post-Valentine’s Day sleeper about romance with a Hitchcockian twist,  “Falling” is a story based on the real-life experience of the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard.  Howard was courageous in exposing her vulnerability in this absorbing story originally produced for British television and now available on Netflix. Middle-aged novelist Daisy (Penelope Wilton, the fabulous classical actress of Downton Abbey and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” fame), is  heartbroken by her husband’s infidelity and subsequent dissolution of her marriage. Escaping to her remote country cottage to write...

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Hi from Ojai!

We are always looking for a mini-vacation no more than four or five hours drive from Monterey. Several weeks ago we had the wonderful experience of staying at the historic Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, a glorious oasis directly east of Ventura. The wonderful climate of the Ojai Valley draws celebrities and regular folk to  rejuvenate their health in a sanctuary of tranquility at the spa or on the vast grounds where tropical birds in large cages talk to you in hilarious repetitions of whatever you say. The trails –especially the Pratt Loop–are easy and long, with sweeping vistas of the...

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“August: Osage County”– Family Secrets and Lies

 “August: Osage County”, the Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play, has been released as an Academy-Award nominated movie starring the incomparable Meryl Streep and an affecting Julia Roberts, together with a stunning supporting cast. The story is a disquieting look at the dysfunctionality of an American family with secrets and lies that keep coming and coming, when the viewer least expects them. “August” opens in Osage County, Oklahoma, with an alcoholic academic, Beverly (the superb Sam Shephard), who likes to quote TS Eliot, interviewing a young Native American woman...

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“Her”—A Techno Romance

“Her”, a wistful meditation on where we are and where we might be going in the not-too-distant future, is an inspired film by Spike Jonze who questions how technology will connect or disconnect us. A lonely recently divorced man, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), develops an emotional connection  with his newly purchased operating system —OS Samantha (the dulcet, sexy voice of Scarlett Johansson).  While Twombly doesn’t understand why his ex-wife (Rooney Mara) fell out of love with him—she accuses him of being emotionally distant— OS Samantha seems to have been engineered to meet his every...

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“Year of the Horse” — A New Year Gallops On

The Chinese New Year doesn’t start until Jan. 31, 2014. but many people start thinking of the animal sign on the first of the New Year.  The spirit of the horse is recognized in the Chinese zodiac as energetic, elegant, warm-hearted, intelligent and able, but also capricious  with a  skittish and anxious nature as well. The year of the Wooden Horse is supposed to be a temperamental one, so if you feel like horsing around during the upcoming festivities, that may be particularly fitting this year. Just be careful with the fireworks! Since 2014 is meant to be a tempestuous year, prepare...

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