First Man (2018)

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA/Japan, 2018.  Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Perfect World Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, Dentsu, Fuji Television Network.  Screenplay by Josh Singer, based on the book by James R. Hansen.  Cinematography by Linus Sandgren.  Produced by Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner.  Music by Justin Hurwitz.  Production Design by…

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The Greatest Showman (2017)

MICHAEL GRACEY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5.  USA, 2017.  Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox.  Story by Screenplay by Jenny Bicks, Bill Condon.  Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.  Produced by Peter Chernin, Laurence Mark, Jenno Topping.  Music by John Debney, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Joseph Trapanese.  Production Design by Nathan Crowley.  Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick.  Film Editing by Tom Cross, Robert Duffy, Joe Hutshing, Michael McCusker,…

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La La Land

BB.5 (out of 5) Sunny days in L.A. no matter what the season, and at the centre of the storm of young hopefuls trying to make their mark in the fame game are an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) working as a barista and a jazz enthusiast (Ryan Gosling) playing crummy night clubs while dreaming of…

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Joy

BBB (out of 5) Joy is at a point in her life where everyone is wearing her out: her mother (Virginia Madsen) watches soap operas all day and lives in a dream world, her ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez) is living in the basement, her father (Robert De Niro) has been dumped by his girlfriend and needs…

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Whiplash

BBBB.5 (out of 5) The action gets underway within the first minutes of this excellent drama, with aspiring musician Miles Teller beating away at his drums while attending the prestigious (and fictional) Shaffer Conservatory of Music.  The school’s studio band leader J.K. Simmons hears him practicing, barks his brand of no-nonsense instructions at him and then walks…

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Poison (1991)

  TODD HAYNES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA, 1991.  Bronze Eye Productions, Killer Films, Poison L.P..  Screenplay by Todd Haynes, based on the novels by Jean Genet.  Cinematography by Maryse Alberti.  Produced by Christine Vachon.  Music by James Bennett.  Production Design by Sarah Stollman.  Costume Design by Jessica Haston.  Film Editing by Todd Haynes, James Lyons.   Three stories are intercut, their main links…

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