Atonement (2007)

JOE WRIGHT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/France, 2007.  Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films.  Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel Ian McEwan.  Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.  Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster.  Music by Dario Marianelli.  Production Design by Sarah Greenwood.  Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran.  Film Editing by Paul Tothill.  Academy Awards 2007.  Golden Globe Awards 2007.  Toronto International Film Festival 2007.  A…

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The Simpsons Movie

BB.5 (out of 5) Television’s longest running sitcom, and one of the warmest, wittiest skewerings of popular American culture, gets its shot at the silver screen with this lovely adventure which basically plays like a feature length episode. Homer really screws up royally when his lazy attitude towards Springfield’s attempts to clean up its environmental…

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Hairspray (2007)

BBBB (out of 5) A teenager in the 1960s decides to fight racial segregation and is met with serious threats to her future; sounds like an update of Mississippi Burning until you add big hair, rocking tunes and John Travolta in a dress. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky plays the youngster in question, Tracy, in this wonderful…

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Juno

BBB.5 (out of 5) Sixteen year-old wiseass Juno (Ellen Page) has curiousity-driven sex with her boyfriend (Michael Cera) and finds herself knocked up.  Without the slightest hesitation she seeks out a well-off childless couple (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner) to be the adoptive parents, in the meantime befriending them and finding that the husband is more…

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Away From Her

BBBB (out of 5) Actress Sarah Polley makes her directorial debut with this poignant adaptation of Alice Munro’s story The Bear Came Over The Mountain.  Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie play a four-decades married couple whose relationship unravels when the symptoms of her Alzheimers disease begin to appear with a vengeance. He is eventually forced to place her…

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Into The Wild

BBBB (out of 5) Heartbreaking examination of the true story of Chris McCandless, a college graduate from a well-to-do family who decides to drop it all and head for the wilderness. Abandoning his car in the desert and hitchhiking west, McCandless (who now calls himself Alexander Supertramp) encounters kind-hearted hippies Brian H. Dierker and Catherine…

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4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (4 Luni, 3 Saptamani si 2 Zile) (2007)

CRISTIAN MUNGIU Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Romania, 2007.  Mobra Films, Centrul National al Cinematografiei, Mindshare Media, McCann-Erickson, Televiziunea Romana, Saga Film, The Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam Festival.  Screenplay by Cristian Mungiu, script consultant Razvan Radulescu.  Cinematography by Oleg Mutu.  Produced by Cristian Mungiu, Oleg Mutu.  Production Design by Mihaela Poenaru.  Costume Design by Dana Istrate.  Film Editing by Dana Bunescu.  Cannes Film Festival…

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Enchanted

BBBB (out of 5) Amy Adams simply could not be more endearing in this umpteenth sassification of classic fairy tales, as a storybook heroine who meets her handsome prince (James Marsden) in the world of Disney animation and goes to marry him the following day. Just before her wedding, however, the prince’s evil stepmother (Susan Sarandon,…

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Across The Universe

B (out of 5) Julie Taymor follows her brilliant biography of Frida Kahlo with this completely soulless exercise in style, an exploration of the birth of 1960s counter-culture using songs by the Beatles as its main score. A Liverpudlian boy named Jude (get it?) jumps ship and ends up in New York City, falls in…

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age

BBB.5 (out of 5) Since we last saw her on the big screen nine years ago, Elizabeth has become a beloved and impressive ruler of the great nation of England, keeping the peace between conflicting factions of Protestant and Catholic and increasing the impossibly burdened coffers of the treasury by improving British trade. Her commitment…

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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

BBBB (out of 5) Towards the end of his life, singer Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is about to go on stage and perform his last big song but finds he needs to take a moment. Cox, we find out from his long time collaborator, can’t go on without thinking about his entire life first….

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The Brave One

BB.5 (out of 5) Jodie Foster is once again the nation’s face of tragedy, this time as a radio show host who spends her days travelling the streets of New York recording the many sounds of its energetic happenings as background for her on-air monologues. One night while walking her dog with her fiance (Naveen Andrews)…

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