Tag Archives: Leonardo DiCaprio

The Best Shakespeare Films

400 years have passed since William Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616. I recently finished Stephen Greenblatt’s amazing 2004 book “Will in the World”, which vividly brings the Bard to life in a way that feels down to earth. By using the historical facts and records of Shakespeare’s life that we have, and tying them … Continue reading The Best Shakespeare Films

Titanic: A Wreck Comes Alive

NOTHING ON EARTH COULD COME BETWEEN THEM.  Twentieth Century Fox wasn’t sure about letting James Cameron make an epic movie about the 1912 sinking of Titanic – especially since the director wanted it to be a romance. In other words, there would be no box-office-friendly terminators or aliens on this voyage. Fox eventually agreed to … Continue reading Titanic: A Wreck Comes Alive

The Revenant: Back from the Dead

BLOOD LOST. LIFE FOUND.  The movie business is full of strange rumors, exaggerations and lies. As a journalist it is sometimes difficult to navigate around them, especially when they seem highly likely to be true. However, one of the things said about The Revenant after the release of a trailer showing a bear attacking the … Continue reading The Revenant: Back from the Dead

Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

If you’ve never read anything by Erik Larson, it is high time. I recently finished his latest, “Dead Wake”, and was as thrilled by it as the other books by him that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The first, “The Devil in the White City” (film rights sold to Leonardo DiCaprio in 2010) followed … Continue reading Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street

After the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) finds the perfect little boiler room to start over and turn into a rapidly successful brokerage firm, with a steady supply of money, champagne and cocaine. In Martin Scorsese and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter’s hands, the real-life story of convicted Wall … Continue reading The Wolf of Wall Street

The Great Gatsby

CAN’T REPEAT THE PAST? … OF COURSE YOU CAN! In 1922, Nick (Tobey Maguire) takes a job as a bond salesman in New York City and rents a house next to a sprawling Long Island mansion owned by the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who nurtures an obsession with a woman. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of … Continue reading The Great Gatsby

Django Unchained

LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF VENGEANCE.   In 1858, a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) buys a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), and makes a deal with him: if Django helps him identify three wanted brothers, he’s a free man. With Quentin Tarantino, you know what you’re getting – this unashamedly blood-soaked, overlong spaghetti Western … Continue reading Django Unchained

Inception: Dream Warriors

YOUR MIND IS THE SCENE OF THE CRIME. One of the most exciting things we can experience in our lives takes place when we sleep. Scenarios play out in our dreams that are genuinely unpredictable and emotional. Regardless of whether they happen in a large-scale setting or in more intimate situations, dreams remind us of … Continue reading Inception: Dream Warriors

Revolutionary Road

Director Sam Mendes returned to American Beauty (1999) territory with this compelling adaptation of Richard Yates’s landmark novel that addressed a crisis in marriage at a time when it was not quite socially acceptable to talk about what might go on behind the façade of idyllic 1950s suburbia. Mendes brought his wife Kate Winslet along for the … Continue reading Revolutionary Road

Celebrity

A NEW COMEDY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET FAMOUS… OR STAY FAMOUS. After separating, travel journalist Lee Simon (Kenneth Branagh) and his wife (Judy Davis) enter the singles scene, but Lee in particular learns the pitfalls of trying to find happiness. Director Woody Allen satirizes all the absurd aspects of fame, but offers … Continue reading Celebrity

Shutter Island

SOME PLACES NEVER LET YOU GO. In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) arrive at Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients from the island’s mental hospital. Director Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s tightly written page-turner is somewhat bloated and overwrought, but he nevertheless … Continue reading Shutter Island

Gangs of New York: The Rise of a Modern City

AMERICA WAS BORN IN THE STREETS. It was The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw who put it best: “Objecting to its faults is like complaining about misaligned spangles on the costume of a strongman who’s juggling a dozen buses”. That’s what director Martin Scorsese does in this film and his spectacle is immensely entertaining, not least … Continue reading Gangs of New York: The Rise of a Modern City