Wonderstruck (2017)

TODD HAYNES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 2017.  Amazon Studios, Cinetic Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Killer Films, Picrow.  Screenplay by Brian Selznick,  based on his book.  Cinematography by Edward Lachman.  Produced by Pamela Koffler, John Sloss, Christine Vachon.  Music by Carter Burwell.  Production Design by Mark Friedberg.  Costume Design by Sandy Powell.  Film Editing by Affonso Goncalves.  Cannes Film Festival 2017.   A little boy (Oakes Fegley) in 1970s…

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

MATTHEW VAUGHN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marv Films, Shangri-La Entertainment, TSG Entertainment.  Screenplay by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book The Secret Service by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons.  Cinematography by George Richmond.  Produced by Adam Bohling, David Reid, Matthew Vaughn.  Music by Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson.  Production Design by Darren Gilford.  Costume Design…

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Maggie’s Plan

BBB (out of 5) Greta Gerwig is a college professor who is absolutely sure that she is ready to have a baby, and since there is no father in sight, she has selected a donor and is prepared to do the rest on her own. On the eve of accomplishing this task she meets a fellow instructor (Ethan Hawke) who…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

BB.5 (out of 5) The nonsense continues in this conclusion to the trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, which like many of the adventure sagas aimed at young people ends with far more self-important sobriety than it began with. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was informed in the first film that she’s going to have to fight…

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

B (out of 5) The land of Panem is a dire place to be after our heroine Katniss has destroyed the Hunger Games, rendering the country just as humorless as it was before but without all the score keeping. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned to her home district from which she will grow a new career…

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Maps To The Stars

BB.5 (out of 5) In David Cronenberg’s Hollywood, incest is not just a way of doing business but a reality at home as well.  A child star (Evan Bird) with a drug problem, a therapist (John Cusack) who physically shakes insecurities out of his celeb clients, an emotionally unstable actress (Julianne Moore) who is trying…

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Still Alice

BBB (out of 5) A successful linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) has her life of non-stop lectures and conferences crumble to pieces when she learns from her doctor that her random forgetfulness and periodic confusion is actually early onset Alzheimer’s. She is told she will begin to deteriorate quickly, which means that her marriage to Alec…

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Altman

BBBB (out of 5) Ron Mann gives a wonderful overview of the career of filmmaker Robert Altman, the American auteur who reached his height at a time when the notable artists of singular vision were coming from Europe. Altman got involved in screenwriting and directing after serving in World War II, making industrial films before a…

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What Maisie Knew

BB (out of 5) Henry James’s novel, about a couple’s divorce seen through the eyes of their precocious little girl, is updated to modern day with an opaque Onata Aprile playing the tot who is torn between bickering parents Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan.  The upper class origins of the novel’s couple have been turned into the…

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The English Teacher

BB.5 (out of 5) Julianne Moore lives an ideal existence as an English teacher in a small town, her daily rituals pre-arranged right down to her sensible meals.  Her life veers off track when a former student (Michael Angarano) returns from the big city a failure as a playwright, forced by his narrow-minded father (Greg Kinnear)…

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Florent: Queen Of The Meat Market

BBB.5 (out of 5) Sometimes a place is as much a character in the story of a city as is a citizen; that certainly appears to be the case with Florent, the diner in New York City’s meat packing district. Opened during a time when the neighbourhood was mainly a handful of leather bars, Florent…

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The Forgotten

BB (out of 5) Julianne Moore plays a devoted mother who is still grieving for the child she lost in an airplane accident years earlier. When she notices that her photographs no longer bear his face, and, even more horrible, her husband (Anthony Edwards) insists that they never had a child, she starts to wonder if…

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