The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

NICOLE HOLOFCENER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2018.  Likely Story.  Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, based on the novel by Ted Thompson.  Cinematography by Alar Kivilo.  Produced by Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman.  Music by Marcelo Zarvos.  Production Design by Dina Goldman.  Costume Design by Alex Bovaird.  Film Editing by Robert Frazen.  Toronto International Film Festival 2018. Ben Mendelsohn is enjoying life in early retirement,…

Rate this:

Beastly (2011)

DANIEL BARNZ Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 2011.  CBS Films, Storefront Films.  Screenplay by Daniel Barnz, based on the novel by Alex Flinn.  Cinematography by Mandy Walker.  Produced by Susan Cartsonis.  Music by Marcelo Zarvos.  Production Design by Rusty Smith.  Costume Design by Suttirat Anne Larlarb.  Film Editing by Thomas J. Nordberg. Modern-day reworking of Beauty and the Beast aimed at the teen set,…

Rate this:

Wonder (2017)

STEPHEN CHBOSKY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA/Hong Kong, 2017.  Lionsgate, Mandeville Films, Participant Media, Walden Media.  Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne, based on the novel by R.J. Palacio.  Cinematography by Don Burgess.  Produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman.  Music by Marcelo Zarvos.  Production Design by Kalina Ivanov.  Costume Design by Monique Prudhomme.  Film Editing by Mark Livolsi.  Academy Awards 2017.   A little…

Rate this:

Fences

BBBB (out of 5) A garbage collector in 1950s Pittsburgh comes home every day to a loving wife and a teenage son, dispensing tough love and harsh wisdom on both while constantly harping on the need to fix the fences around his property’s yard; the fences, it turns out, are both literal and metaphorical, the…

Rate this:

Our Kind Of Traitor

BBB.5 (out of 5) An English professor (Ewan McGregor) and his lawyer wife (Naomie Harris) are on vacation in Morocco trying to restore the lost passion in their marriage when a late night at a bar puts our hero in the way of a charismatic and shady Russian (Stellan Skarsgård).  They’re friends only briefly before Skarsgard…

Rate this:

The Humbling

BB (out of 5) An aging actor (Al Pacino) struggling to keep control over his work and his life loses the will to go on and throws himself off a stage midway through a Broadway performance of As You Like It. He checks himself into a clinic before being released and sent home to his…

Rate this:

The Face Of Love

BB (out of 5) A romantic drama with so many miscalculated contrivances, it will make the worst Nicholas Sparks adaptations seem like 12 Years A Slave.  The wonderful Annette Bening and the usually reliable (if rarely likeable) Ed Harris are undone by a god-awful script and hackneyed direction.  She plays a widow who lost her husband (Harris)…

Rate this:

The Door In The Floor

BBB (out of 5) Adapted from part of John Irving’s novel A Widow For One Year, this emotionally staid film stars Jeff Bridges as a children’s book author and painter who hires a writing student (Jon Foster) as an assistant for the summer during a painful time in his marriage. Bridges’ wife (Kim Basinger) has been…

Rate this:

Friends With Kids

BBB.5 (out of 5) Ten years after the success of her co-written screenplay for Kissing Jessica Stein, Jennifer Westfeldt takes over the director’s chair for this smart and charming relationship comedy. Six best friends are made up of two couples and two best friends: Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd open the film with the announcement that they…

Rate this:

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…

Rate this:

Kissing Jessica Stein

BBBB (out of 5) Art gallery manager Helen (Heather Juergensen) decides that she’s tired of the run-of-the-mill boyfriends she’s been seeing and puts out an ad to cross the last frontier of sexuality she has yet to experience: another woman. Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) sees the ad and decides that the person who wrote it (using…

Rate this:

Enough Said

BBBB (out of 5) There’s no stopping Julia Louis-Dreyfus, here giving a fluidly perfect performance after years of having such exceptional success on television, and there’s no preventing Nicole Holofcener from making witty and insightful films about contemporary women.  Louis-Dreyfus plays a divorced masseuse who is dealing with an impending empty nest given that her…

Rate this: