Tag Archives: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Patrick Melrose

The miniseries adaptation of Edward St. Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels becomes a perfect vehicle for Benedict Cumberbatch as we follow his wealthy, drug-addicted character through several decades, including his childhood in the 1960s when he was sexually molested by his father (Hugo Weaving), which set him off on his long journey of misery. Sounds unrelentingly tough, … Continue reading Patrick Melrose

Annihilation

FEAR WHAT’S INSIDE.  When a biology professor’s (Natalie Portman) husband (Oscar Isaac) returns home very ill after a mission inside a mysterious shimmering electromagnetic field, she joins a team of three other scientists into the area… After Ex Machina (2015), Alex Garland reunited with Isaac for another ambitious sci-fi thriller, but this time women take … Continue reading Annihilation

Dolores Claiborne: Island of Misery

SOMETIMES, AN ACCIDENT CAN BE AN UNHAPPY WOMAN’S BEST FRIEND.  During a critical scene between Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) and her abusive husband Joe (David Strathairn), she tells him that he’s likely to end up in Shawshank Prison. Fans of Stephen King will recognize this as a typical sign that the story takes place in … Continue reading Dolores Claiborne: Island of Misery

The Hateful Eight

NO ONE COMES UP HERE WITHOUT A DAMN GOOD REASON. After the Civil War, two bounty hunters (Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell) and a prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) arrive at a stagecoach lodge during a blizzard in Wyoming where they are trapped with four strangers. The first movie to be shot in Ultra Panavision 70 … Continue reading The Hateful Eight

Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

PRAY FOR MICHAEL SULLIVAN.  There’s a deleted scene in this film where John Rooney (Paul Newman), a local Illinois mob boss, meets with the legendary Al Capone and his closest associate, Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci). Capone is played by Anthony LaPaglia, a very capable actor. In the end, though, director Sam Mendes decided to leave … Continue reading Road to Perdition: In Capone’s Shadow

Greenberg

HE’S GOT A LOT ON HIS MIND.  Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller), who’s just been released from a mental hospital, goes to live in his brother’s house while he’s abroad; after a while, he tries to strike up a relationship with the family’s personal assistant (Greta Gerwig). Director Noah Baumbach appreciates the possibilities inherent in the … Continue reading Greenberg

Synecdoche, New York

New York theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) tries to understand his life and relationships while fretting over dying without having accomplished something lasting. Charlie Kaufman’s directing debut was hailed as a masterpiece by some, but it is a frustrating experience. Wildly ambitious, with elements that are more or less brilliant, Kaufman as a filmmaker … Continue reading Synecdoche, New York

Margot at the Wedding

ONE FAMILY. INFINITE DEGREES OF SEPARATION. Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her son (Zane Pais) go to Long Island where her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is about to marry Malcolm (Jack Black), whom Margot finds unworthy. The Squid and the Whale director returns with another dysfunctional family drama. There’s a story somewhere in here about family … Continue reading Margot at the Wedding

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

AT RIDGEMONT HIGH ONLY THE RULES GET BUSTED! A group of teenagers at Ridgemont High in southern California are curious about sex; one of them, Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), has a few peculiar experiences… Cameron Crowe, who was a journalist at the time, wrote this humorous look at teenagers’ attitude to sex, and together … Continue reading Fast Times at Ridgemont High

eXistenZ

PLAY IT. LIVE IT. KILL FOR IT.  Some time in the future, game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is testing her latest game together with a focus group, but everything changes when they’re attacked by an assassin. Most directors making a movie about video games would probably end up doing something along the lines … Continue reading eXistenZ