• 2018

Year: 2018

“The Invisible Guest”–What You See is Not What You Guess

    The Invisible Guest (2016) (Spanish: Contratiempo) is a 2016 Spanish crime thriller by director and writer Oriol Paulo. The intricate plot will leave the viewer spellbound . Adrián Doria, a successful business entrepreneur, husband and father, is knocked unconscious, and wakes up in a locked hotel room to find the dead body of Laura Vidal, his married lover. Charged with murder but wealthy enough to be out on bail, Adrian soon learns that his lawyer, Félix Leiva, has hired the renowned defense attorney, Virginia Goodman, to represent him. She visits him late one evening to inform him...

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“Colette”–A Woman Ahead of Her Time

  Guest reviewer: Barbara Donsky, author of the memoir, Veronica’s Grave   “Colette,” opens in the countryside of rural France as we meet the young Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) at home in Burgundy. In short order, a successful Parisian writer known as “Willy” (Dominic West) pays a visit to Saint-Saveur-en-Puisaye, and before long he and Sidonie are enjoying an energetic romp in the hayloft. Soon after, Sidonie (destined to be known simply as ‘Colette’) is installed as his wife in Paris. But when Willy begins having problems with creditors, he convinces...

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“Ozark” (Season 2): “Dexter” Meets “Breaking Bad”

    Marty Byrde (played by Jason Bateman), his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), teenage daughter Charlotte and son Jacob continue as criminal minds laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel with roots in Chicago. The introduction of Helen Pierce ( the stunning Janet McTeer) as the attorney for the drug cartel ratchets up the ruthless and cunning subplots that made Season 1 of “Ozark” (see September 20, 2017 review) so addictive to watch. The Byrdes are finally settling in to the Ozarks, compartmentalizing their illegal activities which they excel at with their determination...

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“The Wife”–The Invisible Woman, or…Stand by My Man

The Wife, based upon Meg Wolitzer’s bestselling novel by the same name, opens with a sixty-something affluent couple, Joan Castleman (Glenn Close) and her husband, Joe (Jonathan Pryce), waiting for the phone to ring in the middle of the night. A perhaps futile hope that the Nobel Prize committee will grant Joe his dream of a lifetime–the Nobel Prize in literature. Like two kids, Joan and Joe jump on the bed, ecstatically holding hands, singing “I won the Nobel.” Or was that a “we?” It is 1992 and Joe and Joan Castleman’s lives are about to be changed irrevocably. A raw unfolding...

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“Jack Ryan”– New Version of “Homeland”

  This new undertaking (by Amazon Prime) of Tom Clancy’s blockbuster Jack Ryan series pays off big-time. John Krasinski as a boyish Jack Ryan adds unexpected dimension to this eight-episode series focused on a terrorist plot in Syria. If this is your genre, you will inevitably make a comparison with Clancy’s books and the older cinematic depictions of Jack Ryan.   However, standing on its own, the new Jack Ryan series is riveting, albeit with some graphic violence and cultural stereotyping. Reluctantly drafted into being a CIA operative instead of a number-crunching budget...

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society   is a Netflix historical drama based on the 2008 historical best-selling novel of the same name by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, a year after the end of the Second World War, we see Julie Ashton (the talented Lily James –Lady Rose in “Downton Abbey”), a London author writing under a male pen name. She yearns for a writing project in her own voice. Ashton gets a letter from Dawsey Adams, a Guernsey pig farmer, who has a used book with her name and address. Exchanging...

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