Nancy (2018)

CHRISTINA CHOE Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 2018.  Mental Pictures, EON Productions, Gamechanger Films, XS Media.  Screenplay by Christina Choe.   Cinematography by Zoe White.  Produced by Michelle Cameron, Amy Lo, Andrea Riseborough.  Music by Peter Raeburn.  Production Design by Charlotte Royer.  Costume Design by Tere Duncan.  Film Editing by David Gutnik. Andrea Riseborough gives a committed performance as a thoroughly unappealing…

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The First Wives Club

BBBB (out of 5) Serious alterations have been made to Olivia Goldsmith’s original novel, but it’s possible that even devoted readers will still enjoy it. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton are in peak form as three middle-aged women who are abandoned by their husbands (Dan Hedaya, Victor Garber, Stephen Collins respectively) for women much younger than…

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In & Out

BBBB (out of 5) Pointedly funny comedy by Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey, Addams Family Values) about a shy, mild-mannered high school teacher (Kevin Kline) whose life is thrown into a frenzy when a former student (Matt Dillon) wins an Academy Award and tells everyone that his favourite teacher Kline is gay (the film’s plot is a…

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The Proprietor

BB (out of 5) There are about six or seven different stories interwoven together in this Merchant Ivory disaster, and separately they might have made for six or seven good films. When put together, however, they make for a terrible mess that director Ismail Merchant has no idea what to do with. Jeanne Moreau plays…

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Margaret

BB (out of 5) Anna Paquin is a hormonal, hypersensitive, sometimes charismatic but mostly trite teenager who, on a random shopping excursion to look for a hat, finds herself in the middle of a gruesome tragedy: a woman (Allison Janney) is run over by a bus and Paquin holds her in her final moments of life. From…

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Harriet The Spy

B.5 (out of 5) Dreadful adaptation of one of the greatest children’s novels of all time. Louise Fitzhugh’s book was originally published in 1964 and here has been awkwardly adapted to the modern age where certain things really don’t fit (like Harriet having socialite parents and a live-in nanny). The charming tone of her curiosity…

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Sabrina (1995)

BB (out of 5) Remaking Billy Wilder’s 1954 comedy classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was a bad idea in the first place, but considering the cast you’d think it could still be better.  Julia Ormond aptly steps into Hepburn’s shoes as the plucky young lass who lives above the garage of her rich…

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You Can Count On Me

BBBBB (out of 5) One of the most accomplished films of the year is this very fine tribute to the complexities of family relationships. Laura Linney couldn’t be better as Sammy, a loans officer at a bank in a fictitious upstate New York small town who finds out her drifter baby brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) is…

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That Night

BBB (out of 5) Sweet romantic comedy about a little girl (Eliza Dushku) growing up in the sixties who becomes obsessed with the beautiful, popular girl who lives across the street (Juliette Lewis). Lewis is madly in love with her boyfriend (C. Thomas Howell), but gets into some pretty serious trouble and ends up having to move…

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Jeffrey

BBB.5 (out of 5) Paul Rudnick’s hysterical off-Broadway play has been turned into a stagy but equally funny film. Directed by the original theatrical director, Christopher Ashley, the film version actually deserved someone with motion picture experience who could give the story more energy (Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion! suffered from the same problem), but…

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Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

WOODY ALLEN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1995.  Sweetland Films, Magnolia Pictures.  Screenplay by Woody Allen.  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 1995.  Golden Globe Awards 1995.  Toronto International Film Festival 1995.   Woody Allen and Helena Bonham Carter play a happy couple who decide to adopt a baby and…

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