Tag Archives: Patricia Clarkson

The Party

A COMEDY OF TRAGIC PROPORTIONS.  After being announced as shadow minister for health, Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is having a group of friends and allies over to celebrate, but some of them have startling news. A well-received comedy from Sally Potter that satirizes politics by arranging a dinner that turns into a farce even before … Continue reading The Party


IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE. Wealthy businessman William Stacks (Jamie Foxx) is running for mayor of New York City; in order to come across as more likable he invites a 10-year-old foster child (Quvenzhané Wallis) in Harlem to live with him. An updated version of the Broadway musical, with new arrangements of the old songs … Continue reading Annie

Far from Heaven

WHAT IMPRISONS DESIRES OF THE HEART?   Rainer Werner Fassbinder wasn’t the only one in awe of Douglas Sirk. In this drama, Todd Haynes has recreated everything from Sirk’s films to perfection. One in particular in fact, All That Heaven Allows (1955) – the red, yellow and orange autumn colors in the cinematography, the neat … Continue reading Far from Heaven


A QUIET LITTLE TOWN NOT FAR FROM HERE.   The residents of Dogville, Colorado, agree to offer runaway Grace (Nicole Kidman) sanctuary, with discomforting consequences. Lars von Trier’s first part of a planned trilogy about the U.S. was shot entirely on a soundstage with white stripes standing in for the buildings of Dogville (and the … Continue reading Dogville

Easy A

LET’S NOT AND SAY WE DID. High schooler Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) lies about losing her virginity and finds that spreading rumors has interesting consequences in school… We’ve all seen high school movies inspired by Shakespeare, and here’s one that applies the drama of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” to this environment in a breezy, … Continue reading Easy A

The Pledge

DETECTIVE JERRY BLACK HAS MADE A PROMISE HE CAN’T BREAK, TO CATCH A KILLER HE CAN’T FIND.  When Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson), a cop in Nevada who’s about to retire, ends up being the one who tells a family that their eight-year-old girl has been murdered, he swears on “the salvation of his soul” to … Continue reading The Pledge

Whatever Works

Misanthropic New Yorker Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) reluctantly agrees to let a runaway Mississippi girl (Evan Rachel Wood) stay in his apartment and a complicated relationship evolves. After arguing his way through six seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it was easy to get enthusiastic about David taking his TV alter ego to Woody Allen’s world. He’s amusing … Continue reading Whatever Works

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

LIFE IS THE ULTIMATE WORK OF ART. Vicky and Christina (Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson), two friends with very different views on life and love, go to Barcelona for the summer; they meet a charismatic painter (Javier Bardem) who affects them both. It’s amazing to see the 72-year-old, versatile filmmaker deliver such a heartfelt, young, vibrant film; … Continue reading Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Lars and the Real Girl

THE SEARCH FOR TRUE LOVE BEGINS OUTSIDE THE BOX. When eccentric loner Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) introduces his brother and sister-in-law (Paul Schneider, Emily Mortimer) to his new girlfriend, and she turns out to be a sex doll, the local doctor (Patricia Clarkson) tells the Lindstroms that they should go along with Lars’s fantasy. Director … Continue reading Lars and the Real Girl

Good Night, and Good Luck: Taking Down a Bully

They took on the government with nothing but the truth.   A person like George Clooney must have been raised on stories about the old fights for what is good and decent. He’s the son of Nick Clooney, a liberal television journalist, who I’m sure told his son early on about what kind of threat … Continue reading Good Night, and Good Luck: Taking Down a Bully