Marjorie Prime (2017)

MICHAEL ALMEREYDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 2017.  Passage Pictures, BB Film Productions.  Screenplay by Michael Almereyda, based on the play by Jordan Harrison.  Cinematography by Sean Price Williams.  Produced by Michael Almereyda, Uri Singer.  Music by Mica Levi.  Production Design by Javiera Varas.  Costume Design by Kama K. Royz.  Film Editing by Kathryn J. Schubert.  Gotham Awards 2017 An elderly woman (Lois Smith) succumbing to…

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Lady Bird (2017)

GRETA GERWIG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2017.  Scott Rudin Productions, Entertainment 360, IAC Films.  Screenplay by Greta Gerwig.  Cinematography by Sam Levy.  Produced by Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill, Scott Rudin.  Music by Jon Brion.  Production Design by Chris Jones.  Costume Design by April Napier.  Film Editing by Nick Houy.  Academy Awards 2017.  Golden Globe Awards 2017. Gotham Awards 2017.   Toronto International Film Festival 2017. Saoirse…

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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 Nice Guys

BBB.5 (out of 5) A hired thug (Russell Crowe, more lighthearted than he’s been in years) is hired by a young woman to keep a couple of guys off her tail; this leads him to a private investigator (Ryan Gosling, playing the clown to perfection) whose ineptitude reaches Inspector Clouseau levels who has been hired…

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Falling Down

BB.5 (out of 5) Michael Douglas is stuck in traffic on a super hot day in L.A. and decides he’s mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Busting up after an altercation with a Korean store owner who is the victim of Douglas’ ignorant racism, our “hero” then takes to the streets, gets…

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The Pledge

BB.5 (out of 5) Jack Nicholson plays a retiring police officer whose small town is shocked by the rape and murder of a little girl on the night of his retirement party. Deciding to go in for just one more case, he meets the parents of the victim and vows to her heartbroken mother (Patricia Clarkson)…

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Tumbleweeds

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Opening the same weekend as Anywhere But Here, this superbly written and directed comedy-drama doesn’t feature the star power of Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman’s maudlin vehicle, but it’s much, much better. Like Wang’s film, it features a mother and daughter team who are moving from place to place in an effort…

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How To Make An American Quilt

BBB (out of 5) How much better this film would have been if it had only taken enough time to tell its many stories.  Winona Ryder stars in this adaptation of the popular Whitney Otto novel about a young woman working on her university master’s thesis unsuccessfully after having changed the subject of it numerous…

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

ADRIAN LYNE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1987.  Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by James Dearden, based on his short film.  Cinematography by Howard Atherton.  Produced by Sherry Lansing, Stanley R. Jaffe.  Music by Maurice Jarre.  Production Design by Mel Bourne.  Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick.  Film Editing by Peter E. Berger, Michael Kahn.  Academy Awards 1987.  Golden Globe Awards 1987.   Michael Douglas plays a hapless married man who is left…

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Up The Sandbox

BBBB (out of 5) Barbra Streisand is great as a New York housewife who is constantly indulging in odd daydreams, some pleasant and some paranoid, about all aspects of her life. Is her husband faithful? What do people think about when they stare at her? Is there something about the crisis in Cuba that she…

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P.S.

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Dylan Kidd follows up his enjoyable Roger Dodger with this unforgettable drama that is punctuated by moments of humour. Laura Linney is exceptional as an art professor at Columbia University who receives an application from a student (Topher Grace) who bears the same name and a more than slight physical resemblance to…

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Please Give

BBBB (out of 5) Nicole Holocener returns with yet another compelling examination of complicated women. Rebecca Hall is excellent as a health care worker who takes care of her mean, cantankerous grandmother while her callous sister (Amanda Peet) just waits for her to die. Their grandmother’s apartment is owned by their neighbours, two vintage furniture dealers…

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