Month: January 2022

“The Power of the Dog”–Bad Dogs Barking Loud

Guest Reviewer Densie Webb  (International Book Award finalist for When Robins Appear) This slow-spun Western, sparingly based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, is set on a fictional sprawling ranch in 1920s Montana (filmed in New Zealand). Directed by Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog centers on the dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship of two brothers, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (of “Sherlock Holmes”, “Dr. Strange”, and “The Imitation Game”) as Phil and Jesse Plemons (of “Breaking Bad” and “Friday...

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“Being the Ricardos”–Making America Great Again

Academy-Award nominated Being the Ricardos  (2021) opens in the  the year 1939 with a handsome 22-year old Cuban singer named Desi Arnaz (played by Javier Bardem), touring the country with his orchestra.  After Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi fall in love and marry, Desi continues to have modest success on tour while Lucille struggles with bit parts in low-budget films.  After ten years trying to breakthrough to stardom, Lucille turns to radio, and with “My Favorite Husband”,  finds a popular medium for her comic timing.  CBS asks her to...

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“The Dressmaker”–Quirky Down-Under Drama

Based upon Rosalie Ham’s novel by the same name, The Dressmaker  (2015) gives us an opening scene in which  10-year-old Tilly Dunnage is being bullied by classmate Stewart Pettyman, the mayor’s son,  and a group of boys in Dungatar, a town in the  Australian outback. With little investigation she is sent away by police Sergeant Farrat (Hugo Weaving) for the boy’s murder. Twenty-five years later (1951) Tilly (Kate Winslet) returns to Dungatar after a highly successful career as a couturier working in Paris.  Presumably returning to care for...

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“The Lost Daughter”–Missing Mom

In her directing and writing debut  Maggie Gyllenhaal gives us  The Lost Daughter,  a courageous look at the “maternal instinct”… which isn’t. Leda Caruso (Olivia Colman), a college professor, is vacationing in a quaint Greek resort. Traveling alone with her books, she is enjoying a lazy day on the beach when she observes Nina (Dakota Johnson), a distracted young mother,who is not watching her little girl. When her daughter goes missing, Leda manages to find her. In a series of  flashbacks, a younger Leda (played by Jessie Buckley) has a troubled...

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My Top 30 Movies and TV Series for 2021

While we all continue to  shelter-in-place during this lockdown, many of us craved new content to watch, some less well-known and under-the-radar.  Well, this year I watched more movies and television than ever before, so I have thirty to recommend, instead of the usual 15-20. Here are the reviews I wrote this past year with the criteria that they were available online since movie theaters were either shut down or offered very limited screenings. Of the 52 reviews I reviewed this year, here are my favorites.  Yet another difficult year to make my “listicle”. ...

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