Tag Archives: Peter Sarsgaard

Jackie: After Dealey Plaza

I WANT THEM TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO JACK.  Chilean director Pablo Larraín was about to make his first American film, but had doubts. He had been offered a biopic about Jackie Kennedy, but didn’t know anything about the Kennedys and the assassination other than what he (and we) had read in newspapers … Continue reading Jackie: After Dealey Plaza


X MARKS THE LEGEND. After depicting Allen Ginsberg in Howl (2010), documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman took on another real-life person in fictionalized form, porn star Linda Lovelace, and tell the story of how she broke away from her conservative parents, found a career after making the most famous porn flick in history, … Continue reading Lovelace

Black Mass

KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSE. In the late 1970s, the FBI makes a deal with up-and-coming Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp); in exchange for information on his rivals, the authorities turn a blind eye to Bulger’s activities. One of the most outrageous cases of corruption, where law enforcement ended up protecting the most dangerous … Continue reading Black Mass

The Killing

This Americanization of the 2007-2012 Danish thriller series of the same name moved the story to Seattle. The first season was similar to the original, as we followed two homicide detectives (Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman) on the hunt for the killer of a teenaged girl, and a charismatic politician (Billy Campbell) running for mayor; obviously, … Continue reading The Killing

Blue Jasmine

  After losing everything and suffering a mental breakdown when her wealthy husband (Alec Baldwin) is sent to jail on fraud charges, Jasmine Francis (Cate Blanchett) goes to stay with her sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco. When Woody Allen takes on the financial crisis, he naturally sets the story in a world he knows … Continue reading Blue Jasmine

Dead Man Walking: Soul Food

  Actor Tim Robbins’s first film as a director was Bob Roberts (1992), a political satire that remains relevant to this day. The movie revealed a filmmaker who was passionate and outspoken about his beliefs, and when Dead Man Walking emerged as his second directorial effort there was reason to believe that he would use … Continue reading Dead Man Walking: Soul Food

Green Lantern

IN OUR DARKEST HOUR, THERE WILL BE LIGHT. Test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is “chosen” by a ring brought to Earth by an alien to become a Green Lantern, an intergalactic “cop” with superpowers. This 3D adventure took a long time to get off the ground, cost a lot of money and was generally … Continue reading Green Lantern

An Education

INNOCENCE OF THE YOUNG.   London, 1961; 16-year-old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) meets an older man (Peter Sarsgaard) who takes her places and treats her to beautiful things, but she realizes that he has secrets. Danish director Lone Scherfig’s first international film has a title that pretty much sums the story up. Based on Lynn … Continue reading An Education

Knight and Day

June Havens (Cameron Diaz) ends up on a flight with Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), a charmer who turns out to be a secret agent; when Roy is suddenly attacked by the plane’s crew and several passengers, June realizes that she’s about to embark on quite the adventure. Cruise pondered several other action movies before deciding … Continue reading Knight and Day

In the Electric Mist

Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) is juggling two murder cases, one involving a young girl and the other a chained black man who was shot in a swamp 40 years ago. We’ve met Robicheaux on screen before in Heaven’s Prisoners (1996), but in Jones’s guise he becomes a more compelling figure. Director Bertrand … Continue reading In the Electric Mist

Elegy: A Dying Animal

There’s a scene in this film where Ben Kingsley’s character quotes Tolstoy, who once said the biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age. Kingsley’s professor can’t fathom how at his age he still carries on as if he’s twenty. His body has changed and he has presumably had his fair share of experiences… … Continue reading Elegy: A Dying Animal


WHAT IF SOMEONE YOU LOVE… JUST DISAPPEARED? An Egyptian-American man (Omar Metwally) returns after attending a conference in South Africa and is immediately apprehended by the CIA as a terror suspect; his wife (Reese Witherspoon) is not informed. The Tsotsi (2005) director makes a movie about the morally reprehensible CIA strategy of extraordinary rendition, but it’s never as effective as one would … Continue reading Rendition

Shattered Glass

READ BETWEEN THE LIES. Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) is a brilliant, young writer at The New Republic; his latest piece raises eyebrows, but critical eyes begin to look closer at his work… First-time director Billy Ray’s look at the real-life story of how a journalist wunderkind was exposed as a fraud in 1998 is pretty … Continue reading Shattered Glass