Baby Boom

BBB (out of 5) Diane Keaton is a riot in this charming comedy about a businesswoman who suddenly finds herself in the position of motherhood. After a distant relative dies, a child services employee shows up during a busy work day with infant in tow and tells Keaton that, as she is the child’s only family,…

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I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing

BB (out of 5) Sheila McCarthy has difficulty making a career out of being an office temp thanks to a lack of any really tangible office skills. This all changes when she is hired to work for a beautiful Toronto art gallery owner with whom she becomes subtly smitten. Her ingratiation into her new boss’s life…

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Gaby: A True Story

BBB.5 (out of 5) Soapy but still touching story of a physically challenged young woman who does everything she can to live a perfectly confident life. Rachel Chagall is excellent in a true story as Gabriela Brimmer, a woman afflicted by cerebral palsy but taught by her nurse (Norma Aleandro) to read and to write, leading…

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The Glass Menagerie

BBB (out of 5) After years of playing the leads in a number of Tennessee Williams adaptations for the screen, who better to direct a film version of one of the southern scribe’s less turgid pieces than Paul Newman? He directs real-life wife Joanne Woodward as the domineering mother who lords over her shy, physically…

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Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll

BBBB (out of 5) Terrific concert film that gives viewers a personal glimpse of the man behind so much great music, Chuck Berry.  At first featuring interviews with his friends and colleagues (including Bruce Springsteen and Jerry Lee Lewis), plus fantastic footage of Berry himself on the stage and off, Taylor Hackford’s superb documentary veers strictly…

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The Princess Bride

BBBB (out of 5) This magical film is a rare charmer, one that actually lives inside of a storybook.   A young boy (Fred Savage) is home from school with a bad cold, not the least bit pleased when his grandfather (Peter Falk) shows up and announces that he’s going to read him a story….

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Barfly

BBB (out of 5) Faye Dunaway made a brilliant post-Mommie Dearest comeback with this searing look at two alcoholics (the other being Mickey Rourke) who have nothing but each other and a bottle. The script by Charles Bukowski is based on his own experiences, and in his role we watch Rourke spend time in bars with…

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Maurice

BBB (out of 5) Far from exemplary but solid adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumously published novel, about the titular young man (James Wilby) who awakens to his homosexuality while studying at Cambridge. His realization comes to him through the affections of fellow classmate Clive Durham (a debuting Hugh Grant), who later finds himself unable to go…

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Yeelen (Brightness)

BBB.5 (out of 5) This stunning film’s title, which means brightness, refers to the hot African sun that lords over the wide open expanses of desert. It’s a tale of a young man who goes in search of his uncle to help protect him and his mother from his father’s wrath. His father is following…

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Under The Sun of Satan (Sous Le Soleil De Satan)

BBB (out of 5) Deeply probing meditation on the nature of personal morality that is definitely not for all tastes, but offers some rewards to the devoted viewer all the same.  Gerard Depardieu plays a spiritually anguished priest who believes that God no longer prevails over the people of the world and Satan has won…

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Babette’s Feast (Babettes Gaestebud)

BBBBB (out of 5) The achingly beautiful simplicity of this film, adapted from the story by Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen), is merely where its charm begins. Two elderly, unmarried sisters, the daughters of the late revered minister of their Danish fishing village, take in Babette, a French woman (Stéphane Audran) who barely escapes the…

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Red Sorghum (Hong gao liang)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The beginning of director Zhang Yimou’s brilliant career, and his first collaboration with the stunning Li Gong. She plays a young girl from the country who is the purchased wife of a leper who owns a sorghum winery. When he dies, she and her lover take over the place and run…

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