The Shape Of Water (2017)

GUILLERMO DEL TORO Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Canada/USA, 2017.  Bull Productions, Double Dare You, Fox Searchlight Pictures.  Story by Guillermo del Toro, Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor.  Cinematography by Dan Laustsen.  Produced by J. Miles Dale, Guillermo del Toro.  Music by Alexandre Desplat.   Production Design by Paul D. Austerberry.  Costume Design by Luis Sequeira.  Film Editing by Sidney Wolinsky.  Academy Awards…

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Battle Of the Sexes (2017)

JONATHAN DAYTON, VALERIE FARIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Cloud Eight Films, Decibel Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Robert Graf.  Music by Nicholas Britell.  Production Design by Judy Becker.  Costume Design by Mary Zophres.  Film Editing by Pamela Martin.  Golden Globe Awards 2017.  Toronto International Film Festival 2017.  …

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My Cousin Rachel (2017)

BBBB (out of 5) Orphaned Sam Claflin was raised by his loving, older cousin (also played by Claflin) who, once his ward has arrived at adulthood, spends his last few years in southern Europe for the good of his health.   Knowing that his guardian took a wife before dying, the younger Claflin is determined to…

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Jackie

BBBB (out of 5) Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain makes the film that should have marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy three years earlier, in place of the failed Parkland.   Natalie Portman is surprisingly effective, despite a scant physical resemblance, as the First Lady who is suddenly relieved of her position when her husband is murdered on…

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

BBB.5 (out of 5) They smoke too much, they drink too much, they have no respect for any person or institution and they spend money while hardly bothering to make it: in short, they are treasures, as Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley have been proving since the characters of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone premiered on British television…

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Mistress America (2015)

NOAH BAUMBACH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 2015.  Fox Searchlight Pictures, RT Features.  Screenplay by Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig.  Cinematography by Sam Levy.  Produced by Noah Baumbach, Rodrigo Teixeira, Lila Yacoub.  Music by Britta Phillips, Dean Wareham.  Production Design by Sam Lisenco.  Costume Design by Sarah Mae Burton.  Film Editing by Jennifer Lame.  Gotham Awards 2015.   Lola Kirke is attending college in New York City,…

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Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)

BBB (out of 5) Carey Mulligan is perfectly cast as Thomas Hardy’s modern-minded heroine, a woman who refuses to be held back by marriage and prefers her own run of her property.  After rejecting the suit of handsome neighbouring farmer Matthias Schoenaerts, she inherits the estate of a wealthy uncle and becomes owner of a massive…

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Wild

BBB (out of 5) It’s 1995 and Cheryl Strayed is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, an 1100-mile adventure that has her marching in the hot sun all the way up the California Coast through Oregon and up to the Washington state border, the entire time looking to get her life back on track and earn…

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The Drop

BBBB (out of 5) James Gandolfini‘s Brooklyn bar is a quiet, out of the way joint that was purchased from him by Chechen mobsters who now use it as a central station for payment drops.  Gandolfini still runs the place, assisted by his quiet, unassuming cousin (Tom Hardy) who sees everything and says nothing.  Two…

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Calvary

BBBB (out of 5) John Michael McDonagh, brother of famed playwright Martin and a director in his own right, has made a film so unabashedly concerned with his native land’s cultural issues, hangups and history that it could just as easily be called This Is Ireland.  That said, the heart worn on the sleeve does…

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

WES ANDERSON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Germany, 2014.  Fox Searchlight Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, American Empirical Pictures, TSG Entertainment, Scott Rudin Productions.  Story by Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness, Screenplay by Wes Anderson, inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig.  Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman.  Produced by Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin.  Music by Alexandre Desplat.  Production Design by Adam…

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500 Days Of Summer

BBBB (out of 5) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is thoroughly smitten by charming Zooey Deschanel when she becomes the newest assistant to his boss at their greeting card company. After a few awkward meetings they begin dating and enjoy some thoroughly charming times together, she urging him to resurrect his dreams of becoming an architect and leave the life…

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