Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool (2017)

PAUL McGUIGAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  United Kingdom, 2017.  Eon Productions, Synchronistic Pictures.  Screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh, based on the memoir by Peter Turner.  Cinematography by Urszula Pontikos.  Produced by Barbara Broccoli, Colin Vaines.  Music by J. Ralph.  Production Design by Eve Stewart.  Costume Design by Annie Crawford.  Film Editing by Nick Emerson.  Toronto International Film Festival 2017.   While appearing on stage in…

Rate this:

Foxcatcher

BBBB (out of 5) The true story of wrestling champions Mark and David Schultz is brought to the screen by Bennett Miller, reuniting with Capote writer Dan Futterman (here sharing credit with E. Max Frye) for another grisly fact-based crime film told with unnerving simplicity.  The brothers were both Olympic gold medalists at the 1984…

Rate this:

Atonement (2007)

JOE WRIGHT Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/France, 2007.  Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films.  Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel Ian McEwan.  Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey.  Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster.  Music by Dario Marianelli.  Production Design by Sarah Greenwood.  Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran.  Film Editing by Paul Tothill.  Academy Awards 2007.  Golden Globe Awards 2007.  Toronto International Film Festival 2007.  A…

Rate this:

Mother’s Boys

BB.5 (out of 5) Ridiculous, gynophobic thriller about a family being terrorized by a jealous ex-wife and mother (Jamie Lee Curtis). Good dad Peter Gallagher is trying to get on with his life following his turbulent divorce, almost succeeding in a relationship with new flame Joanne Whalley. Unfortunately, Curtis wants her family back after having abandoned…

Rate this:

Anonymous

B.5 (out of 5) Goodness knows there’s no one I trust more for revelations of history’s errors than the director of The Patriot and Independence Day.  In this empty-headed drama, we find out that the many plays attributed to the pen of William Shakespeare (played as a drunken lout by Rafe Spall) were actually the…

Rate this:

Cradle Will Rock

BBBB (out of 5) Excellent ensemble comedy about the real life Red Scare events surrounding the birth and quick disappearance of the Federal Theatre Program in the 1930s, a program designed to bring the great plays of the theatrical stage to Depression-era audiences at affordable prices. The latest production staged by the group and written…

Rate this:

Isadora

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Vanessa Redgrave gives one of her most electrifying performances in this fascinating biography of modern dancer Isadora Duncan. Never having had any rigorous, traditional training, Duncan wowed the world with her physically free and exotic (sometimes erotic) methods of movement, ushering in a whole new era of the artform and capturing international…

Rate this:

Morgan! A Suitable Case For Treatment

BBBB (out of 5) Vanessa Redgrave made her starring debut in this hilariously cracked British comedy. David Warner plays an oddball chap who is obsessed with communism and dressing up like a gorilla. His ex-wife (Redgrave) is happy to be away from him and anxious to marry her new love, an art dealer (Robert Stephens), but…

Rate this:

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)…

Rate this:

A Rumor Of Angels

BB.5 (out of 5) A young boy (Trevor Morgan) spends his summer at Cape Cod reliving the memory of the car accident that took his mother’s life. Emotionally reclusive from his absent father (Ray Liotta) and concerned stepmother (Catherine McCormack), he comes alive when he befriends a local eccentric (Vanessa Redgrave) and learns from her…

Rate this:

Girl, Interrupted

BBB.5 (out of 5) Some audience members might resist this all-girl version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, but it is often a delicate and touching portrayal of adolescent unhappiness.  Winona Ryder gives her finest performance to date as real-life Susanna Kaysen, whose experiences in a private mental institution during the late sixties were the…

Rate this:

Deep Impact

BB.5 (out of 5) The insults to human intelligence that hurl themselves your way one after the other in this loser action film are way deadlier than the meteor that threatens to destroy the planet. A cast of varied ages and pedigrees (Vanessa Redgrave, Elijah Wood, to name but two) never makes a cohesive whole…

Rate this: