Girlfriends

BBB.5 (out of 5) Melanie Mayron‘s starring debut was this low-key charmer that made impressive waves on the late seventies indie scene, including winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto film festival.  She and Anita Skinner play best friends and roommates, one an expressive, neurotic Jewish photographer and the other a contained, neurotic WASPy writer whose…

Rate this:

Inside Moves

BBBB (out of 5) John Savage attempts suicide by throwing himself off a building and miraculously survives, permanently disabled due to the injuries he sustains.  His rehab is followed by him discovering a bar frequented by other compromised souls, where David Morse, a once hopeful athlete whose basketball career was thwarted by a knee injury, serves…

Rate this:

Wise Blood (1979)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1979.  Anthea Film, Ithaca.  Screenplay by Benedict Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzgerald, based on the novel by Flannery O’Connor.  Cinematography by Gerry Fisher.  Produced by Kathy Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzgerald.  Music by Alex North.  Production Design by Sally Fitzgerald.  Costume Design by Sally Fitzgerald.  Film Editing by Roberto Silvi.   Brad Dourif is marvelous as an ambitious but not exactly sophisticated young man…

Rate this:

Crossing Delancey

BBBB (out of 5) Intimate little romance sparkles thanks to heartfelt performances by Peter Riegert and the always riveting Amy Irving. She plays a single New Yorker whose grandmother keeps bothering her to find a man to love, even going so far as to set her up with some random undesirables through a matchmaker. Irving insists on…

Rate this:

Miss Firecracker

BBBB (out of 5) Holly Hunter makes you care deeply about her success in a local beauty pageant when watching this adaptation of Beth Henley’s play, even if you’re someone for whom it does not rate high among human pursuits. Hunter plays a bored spinster who decides to enter the beauty contest that her cousin (Mary…

Rate this:

The Amityville Horror (1979)

B (out of 5) Ridiculous horror film that tries to cash in on the success of films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist and The Omen but with very poor results. It claims to be based on a true story, though it’s actually based on ridiculous claims made by real people whom even the stars of…

Rate this:

The Namesake

BBB.5 (out of 5) Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel is brought to the big screen by director Mira Nair with wonderfully sentimental results. A Bengali man who has been living abroad goes back to India to find a wife, brings her to New York and they raise two children. The first of them, a son,…

Rate this:

Synecdoche, New York

BB (out of 5) Charlie Kaufman decides to forgo the intelligent interpretations of his zany scribblings by the likes of Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze and here directs for the first time. Oddly enough, the film looks and feels exactly the way it would if it were directed by the likes of Michel Gondry or…

Rate this:

Please Give

BBBB (out of 5) Nicole Holocener returns with yet another compelling examination of complicated women. Rebecca Hall is excellent as a health care worker who takes care of her mean, cantankerous grandmother while her callous sister (Amanda Peet) just waits for her to die. Their grandmother’s apartment is owned by their neighbours, two vintage furniture dealers…

Rate this:

Deceived

BB.5 (out of 5) Goldie Hawn made a great decision in opting to momentarily leave her bubbly blonde persona behind and indulge in some Hitchcockian thrills for this murder mystery. Unfortunately, the film lets her down and is basically something Farrah Fawcett could have slept through on a Friday night network special. Hawn plays a successful…

Rate this:

Breaking Away

BBBB (out of 5) A familiar tale is made fresh with a wonderful screenplay and engaging characters. In a small university town, the local working class boys are at constant odds with the snooty, rich students, with one of the locals (Dennis Christopher) an opera-loving bicyclist who plans on racing against the fraternity boys to add…

Rate this:

The Scarlet Letter

BB.5 (out of 5) Demi Moore‘s Harlequin version of the famous Nathaniel Hawthorne novel (which, in all fairness, the film never claims to be directly based on) is well acted but airheaded and dull. Her Hester Prynne is a sexually aware bombshell who scandalizes the town by turning all the men on and then seduces…

Rate this: