The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

NICOLE HOLOFCENER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2018.  Likely Story.  Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, based on the novel by Ted Thompson.  Cinematography by Alar Kivilo.  Produced by Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman.  Music by Marcelo Zarvos.  Production Design by Dina Goldman.  Costume Design by Alex Bovaird.  Film Editing by Robert Frazen.  Toronto International Film Festival 2018. Ben Mendelsohn is enjoying life in early retirement,…

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The Comedian

BB (out of 5) A once-famous comic (Robert De Niro) has to settle for the crummy gigs his devoted agent (Edie Falco) gets for him, divey bars outside the city where crowds mostly ignore his jokes and expect him to do famous catchphrases from the sitcom that made him a household name decades earlier.  Things hit a…

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The Unbelievable Truth

BBB.5 (out of 5) Robert John Burke gets out of prison and returns to his hometown, getting a job at a repair shop and looking up a woman connected to his past. His boss’s daughter (Adrienne Shelly) is a rebel without a cause, constantly arguing with her father about future plans for university while rejecting…

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Judy Berlin

BBBB (out of 5) There’s a sleepy, quiet quality about this film that is irresistible. Eric Mendelsohn makes a strong directorial debut with this tale of dreams and longings in tiny little Babylon, Long Island. A very funny Aaron Harnick stars as David Gold, a young man just returned from California after failing to make it…

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Then She Found Me

BB.5 (out of 5) Helen Hunt is almost forty, a schoolteacher, and very anxious to have a baby. Having been raised in a family where she was the adopted sibling next to her “natural” brother (Ben Shenkman), the idea of having a child the old-fashioned way is very important to her. Two explosive things happen to…

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Random Hearts

BB.5 (out of 5) Valiant but unfortunately disastrous effort to bring out the more serious side of Harrison Ford, with director Sydney Pollack also trying to recapture the mellow romanticism of his stunning Out of Africa with minimal results. Ford’s wife dies in a tragic plane accident, the aftermath revealing that the man she was…

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Sunshine State

BBB (out of 5) John Sayles has dealt with different American states in many of the films he’s made in the last fifteen or so years, this time giving us a slice of life from the orange-growing capital of the world, Florida. The story features an endless slew of characters and their involvement in the…

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Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

WOODY ALLEN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 1994.  Miramax, Sweetland Films, Magnolia Productions.  Screenplay by Woody Allen, Douglas McGrath.  Cinematography by Carlo Di Palma.  Produced by Robert Greenhut.  Production Design by Santo Loquasto.  Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland.  Film Editing by Susan E. Morse.  Academy Awards 1994.  Golden Globe Awards 1994. John Cusack plays an idealistic playwright in 1930s New York City who decides that, for his…

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