Tag Archives: Drama

Sawdust and Tinsel: Life of a Ringmaster

DESPERATELY THEY FOUGHT THE DESIRES, THE PASSIONS THAT DRAGGED THEM DOWN DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO THE NAKED NIGHT.  Sawdust and Tinsel became the film that made the world discover Ingmar Bergman. This was his first great movie and its status is undisputed more than 60 years after its premiere. But the first people who saw … Continue reading Sawdust and Tinsel: Life of a Ringmaster

St. Elmo’s Fire

YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON YOUR FRIENDS. DON’T EVER LET THE FIRE GO OUT.  Joel Schumacher’s breakthrough as director is a now-classic Brat Pack movie (along with the same year’s The Breakfast Club) about a group of friends who are all trying to get used to life as adults after graduating from Georgetown. In their … Continue reading St. Elmo’s Fire

Cries and Whispers: On the Threshold of Death

I spent a weekend on the island of Gotland, including the northern island that is part of Gotland. Fårö is famous all over the world to cineastes as the home of Ingmar Bergman. That’s where he spent his last 40 years and that’s where he’s buried in a beautiful cemetery overlooking the ocean. He would … Continue reading Cries and Whispers: On the Threshold of Death


NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A MAN WITH NOTHING TO LOSE. Top chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) disappeared from his restaurant in Paris; when he shows up in London three years later, he’s sober and out to get a third Michelin star. There are plenty of mouth-watering dishes on display here and the movie does illustrate our contemporary … Continue reading Burnt

Cool Hand Luke: A Tough Egg to Crack

HE WAS A COOL CUSTOMER… UNTIL THE LAW MADE IT HOT FOR HIM! Donn Pearce, who turns 90 in September, has lived an adventurous life – and knows what it’s like to be incarcerated. During World War II, he served a few days in the stockade after going AWOL. After the war, he did some … Continue reading Cool Hand Luke: A Tough Egg to Crack

A Star Is Born: How Esther Found Vicky Lester

IS THE PRICE OF STARDOM A BROKEN HEART? We tend to think of this film as the most symbolic version of the Hollywood dream, powerful enough to have been remade several times. But before A Star Is Born, there was What Price Hollywood? (1932), a George Cukor drama about an aspiring actress who meets an … Continue reading A Star Is Born: How Esther Found Vicky Lester

The Wind Rises

In 1920s Japan, young Jiro Horikoshi dreams of building planes and heads to an engineering school in Tokyo; his work will also take him to Nazi Germany… What was originally called Hayao Miyazaki’s last film before retiring is not for children, but an animated biography of the man who built the fighter planes that Japan … Continue reading The Wind Rises

Elsa & Fred

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. 80-year-old Fred Barcroft (Christopher Plummer) is moved against his will into an apartment in New Orleans; his neighbor is a slightly younger woman (Shirley MacLaine) with a completely different outlook on life… A remake of a 2005 Spanish-Argentine movie where opposites attract, but that doesn’t mean everything goes smoothly. The two … Continue reading Elsa & Fred

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Holly’s Game

THE FAIREST LADY OF ALL – AUDREY HEPBURN IN ONE OF HER MOST DELICIOUS DELIGHTS! Nowadays, we’re used to debating movies that are accused of whitewashing, the practice where caucasian actors are hired to play people of color. Back in 1961, when Mickey Rooney was hired to play the Japanese neighbor in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, … Continue reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Holly’s Game

21 Grams

HOW MUCH DOES LIFE WEIGH? Director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first American film begins with complete chaos; pieces of the puzzle are thrown at us and slowly we put it together, realizing what the three main characters (a man in need of a new heart, a former convict who’s found religion, and a woman with a … Continue reading 21 Grams