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,…

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Bridge Of Spies (2015)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Germany, 2015.  DreamWorks, Fox 2000 Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, TSG Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions, Studio Babelsberg.  Screenplay by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg.  Music by Thomas Newman.  Production Design by Adam Stockhausen.  Costume Design by Kasia Walicka-Maimone.  Film Editing by…

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Bless The Child (2000)

CHUCK RUSSELL Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5.  USA/Germany, 2000.  Paramount Pictures, Icon Entertainment International, Munich Film Partners & Company, BTC Productions.  Screenplay by Thomas Rickman, Clifford Green, Ellen Green, based on the novel by Cathy Cash Spellman.  Cinematography by Peter Menzies Jr..  Produced by Mace Neufeld.  Music by Christopher Young.  Production Design by Carol Spier.  Costume Design by Denise Cronenberg.  Film Editing by Alan Heim. Kim Basinger gives a…

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Inception (2010)

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA/United Kingdom, 2010.  Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Syncopy.  Screenplay by Christopher Nolan.  Cinematography by Wally Pfister.  Produced by Christopher Nolan, Kanjiro Sakura, Yoshikuni Taki, Emma Thomas.  Music by Hans Zimmer.  Production Design by Guy Hendrix Dyas.  Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland.  Film Editing by Lee Smith.  Academy Awards 2010.  Golden Globe Awards 2010.   Leonardo DiCaprio works in the highly odd…

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The Crucible

BBBB (out of 5) Terrific adaptation of Arthur Miller’s groundbreaking anti-Red Scare play has lost some of its momentum now that the double meaning of the story isn’t quite as potent, but still works thanks to director Nicholas Hytner’s not concentrating on the film’s more political content and just delivering good, solid drama. Daniel Day-Lewis is…

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Amateur

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A confused amnesiac (Martin Donovan) befriends a nymphomanic ex-nun (Isabelle Huppert) who now writes pornography (though not well enough for her editor). A friend of Huppert’s (Elina Löwensohn), herself a porn star, insists that Donovan is actually her sadistic husband who forced her into her life of flesh peddling before he was…

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The Notorious Bettie Page

BBB.5 (out of 5) One of the most curious careers to survive the collective memory of popular culture is that of Bettie Page, a Tennessee girl who shows up in New York in the late forties with dreams of making it as an actress. With her pretty face and fine figure, modelling is a great…

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Ransom

BB (out of 5) Mel Gibson‘s son is kidnapped and taken for ransom, his captors demanding millions of dollars or they will kill the child and expose the shady practices behind the airline he owns. Rene Russo  cries a lot as his wife while Gibson refuses to pay, instead becoming an action movie star because…

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High Crimes

BB.5 (out of 5) Disappointing courtroom thriller has an excellent Ashley Judd capitalizing on her success two years earlier in Double Jeopardy.  She plays a successful attorney married to a really nice guy (Jim Caviezel) who has no particular occupation except to attempt to impregnate her in the mornings and then work in the tool shed…

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Thirteen Days

BB (out of 5) It seems the effort the producers put into making the film accurate to its events (roughly those involving the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962) were so intense that they forgot to actually make it interesting. Bruce Greenwood puts so much concentration into making an effective John F. Kennedy that he misses out…

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The Wedding Banquet (Xi Yan)

BBBB (out of 5) Ang Lee’s first international hit is this sweet update of La Cage Aux Folles.  New York-based landlord Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) decides to help struggling tenant Wei-Wei by marrying her so she can get her Green Card.  He figures that telling his parents about his impending nuptials will also get them to…

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Far From Heaven (2002)

TODD HAYNES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA/France, 2002.  Focus Features, Vulcan Productions, Killer Films, John Wells Productions, Section Eight, TF1 International.  Screenplay by Todd Haynes.  Cinematography by Edward Lachman.  Produced by Jody Allen, Christine Vachon.  Music by Elmer Bernstein.  Production Design by Mark Friedberg.  Costume Design by Sandy Powell.  Film Editing by James Lyons.  Academy Awards 2002.  Golden Globe Awards 2002.  Toronto International Film Festival 2002.   Todd…

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