Movie Reviews

`Beggars of Life': Louise Brooks on the lam---in drag---in Wellman's hobo classic

            Paramount’s top action director William Wellman was still basking in the recent triumph of “Wings” when his “Beggars of Life”---the studio’s most important dramatic production of 1928---hit theaters with then-shocking sexual frankness and gritty realism.  

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`All Is Lost': A gripping tour de force for craggy Robert Redford

            What do you do in---and with---your last hours, once despair turns to resignation?  Or, for that matter, in your last big film role?

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`Loving': A powerfully intense true story from Poland

            Maria and Tomek are a contemporary Polish power couple.  She has an important job in promotion and development with the city council, and she’s great at it.  Handsome hubby Tomek is a successful architect, looking for more municipal contracts.

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`The Truth About Emanuel': Maybe not so much worth telling...

By way of further forays in psychosexual pathology, there's "The Truth About Emanuel," a thriller by Italian-American director Francesca Gregorini. Its original title was evidently "Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes," but it might better have been called "Up All Night with the Living Dead Baby."

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`The Girl from the Wardrobe': Love among the neurologically impaired

"The Girl From the Wardrobe" -- a terrific new cutting-edge film that concerns love between the neurologically impaired -- is Polish writer-director Bodo Kox's seriocomic tale of three young misfits, each lonely and alienated in a different way.

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`The Sweet Smell of Success': Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and American film noir don't get any better than this

American film noir doesn't get any better -- or darker -- than "The Sweet Smell of Success." Neither do Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in the most wonderfully despicable roles of their careers.

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`The Patience Stone': Confessions abound in moving tale from Afghanistan

            In a war-torn Afghani village near Kabul, the worried young wife keeps a vigil over her wounded husband, who lies silently listening to her---maybe.  He doesn’t have much choice.  He’s in a comatose, vegetative state resulting from a bullet to the neck.

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`Museum Hours': Using old paintings to find new meanings

            1.  Where’s the bathroom?

            2.  How much is that painting worth?

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'Salinger': engrossing but overblown probe of the recluse

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`The Family': Witness Protection problems in France

The family that slays together stays together -- none more so than the Blakes.

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