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Gentleman in Moscow –Rules of Civility

Based upon the bestseller by Amor Towles, Gentleman in Moscow  tells the story of an aristocrat whose status makes him an enemy of the state, namely, Bolshevik Russia in 1918.  Count Alexander Rostov (Ewan McGregor) is sentenced to a lifetime as a resident in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, narrowly escaping execution during Stalin’s reign of terror.   Confined to the walls of the Metropol, the Count– a single, highly entitled but lonely man,– is relegated to a threadbare attic room, without his sumptuous possessions or his much-cherished status as a member of the elite ruling...

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I Came By (2023)Don’t Look

A dark psychological thriller, I Came By portrays two young working-class graffiti artists who wish to taunt the most privileged and wealthiest by tagging I Came By inside their mansions while they sleep.  Toby (George McKay) and Jay (Percelle Ascott) view themselves as activists, not losers, fighting for social justice and a more equitable pay structure.  The highly respected authority of the affluent, they hope, will be questioned and unraveled by their bold trespassing into the purportedly secure, safe, and protected abodes of the elite. One night,  while breaking into...

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Marsh King’s Daughter–A Companion Piece to Where the Crawdads Sing?

In this mystery thriller based on Karen Dionne’s novel of the same name, we see a story taking place  in a swamp with a young girl and her mother trapped by an abusive father.   The Marsh King’s Daughter opens with the ten-year old Helena [Brooklyn Prince of “Florida” (November 7, 2017 review )] in the woods with her father (Ben Mendelsohn of “Bloodline”), having a lesson in survival skills.  Helena is shown how to hunt and  skin wild animals as well as  how to interpret animal tracks.  All of these skills will prove invaluable...

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Poor Things–The Lucky Devils

Poor Things, starring Emma Stone in her 2024 Academy Award-winning role, is a feminist Frankenstein-like tale based upon Alasdair’s 1992  eponymous novel.   Opening  with emotionally and physically scarred mad scientist Godwin (“God”) Baxter (Willem Defoe) admiring his creation, Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) on the operating table, we know immediately that God’s sinister surgery has produced a freak.  He has given the gift of life back to Bella (ironically, “the beautiful”),  now reborn after she  jumped off the London Bridge.  Pregnant before committing...

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What Happened to Monday?–A Weekly Menace

The year is 2073,. Overpopulation and limited resources, especially food and fuel, have created a mandatory one-child policy called “The Child Allocation Act”.  What Happened to Monday   explores what such a world  would look like with an autocrat as leader and mandatory enforcement with surveillance required for all citizens.  In the opening scene Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe)  is grieving watching his daughter die in giving birth to septuplets: seven identical baby girls (all of them portrayed by Noomi Rapace best known for “Girl with the Dragon...

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Woman in the Wall–Imprisonment in  the Magdalene Laundries

Set up as a six-episode thriller, Woman in the Wall is based on the horrific exploitation of teenage girls and young women in “the homes for unwed mothers” in Ireland.  The scandal of the Magdalene Laundries has damaged the Catholic Church for over a century and a half.   This fictionalized account focuses on Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson of “The Affair”, “Luther”, “Saving Mr. Banks”, “Dark Materials” among many others) and her determination to find her now thirty-year old daughter who was taken from her at the Magdalene Laundries....

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