Tag Archives: Romance

Breathless: A Blueprint for the New Wave

The kind of movie you see in film school and then you make a decision – either I love it or I merely respect it for its achievements. I definitely belong in the latter category and the years haven’t changed my mind. It’s funny, because Jean-Luc Godard remains somewhat of a mystery for me. Undoubtedly … Continue reading Breathless: A Blueprint for the New Wave

Amélie: An Ageless Fantasy

ONE PERSON CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. One of the best loved releases of 2001 didn’t entirely escape criticism. French critic Serge Kaganski wrote in the magazine Les Inrockuptibles how director Jean-Pierre Jeunet painted an unrealistic portrait of a France that didn’t exist, without ethnic minorities. Jeunet answered by pointing out that one of the … Continue reading Amélie: An Ageless Fantasy

In the Mood for Love: Romance Over Noodles

FEEL THE HEAT, KEEP THE FEELING BURNING, LET THE SENSATION EXPLODE.  The middle film in an informal trilogy where Wong Kar-wai’s Days of Being Wild (1990) was first and 2046 (2004) last. All three films are romantic and Maggie Cheung plays the same character in all of them, but In the Mood for Love can … Continue reading In the Mood for Love: Romance Over Noodles

Tulip Fever

Amsterdam, 1634; an artist (Dane DeHaan) is hired to paint a portrait of Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) and his young wife (Alicia Vikander), but falls madly in love with her. The co-writer of Shakespeare in Love (1998) takes on the Dutch Golden Age and its notorious tulip mania without having anything interesting to say about … Continue reading Tulip Fever

Sandy Wexler

In 1994, fledgling Hollywood agent Sandy Wexler (Adam Sandler) finally finds a talent worth promoting, singer Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson)… but his lack of skills is a constant roadblock. A comedy loosely based on Sandler’s own colorful agent, Sandy Wernick, that plays out over several years. That’s one explanation for the massively bloated running time, … Continue reading Sandy Wexler

L’Avventura: After Anna

A NEW ADVENTURE IN FILMMAKING… The Cannes film festival is famous for its tumultuous screenings, but I wonder if there has ever been a change of heart as quickly as what happened to L’Avventura in 1960. At the premiere screening, the audience became so hostile that director Michelangelo Antonioni and star Monica Vitti reportedly fled … Continue reading L’Avventura: After Anna

Two Lovers

SOMETIMES WE LEAVE EVERYTHING TO FIND OURSELVES. After another botched suicide attempt, Leonard Kraditor (Joaquin Phoenix) meets two women – one (Vinessa Shaw) his parents are setting him up with, and another (Gwyneth Paltrow) who’s very attractive but troubled… A romantic drama that feels very classical, probably because it was inspired (like several other movies) … Continue reading Two Lovers

Legends of the Fall

THE MEN OF THE LUDLOW FAMILY. A WOMAN’S GRACE BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER. THEN HER PASSION TORE THEM APART.  At the start of World War I, retired colonel William Ludlow’s (Anthony Hopkins) three sons all go against his wishes and join the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight the Germans in Europe… A handsomely produced epic that … Continue reading Legends of the Fall

Beauty and the Beast

BE OUR GUEST.  When her father (Kevin Kline) is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) inside a huge, wintry castle, Belle (Emma Watson) offers herself in exchange for his freedom. Another live-action remake of an animated Disney classic. This one can’t escape a certain sense of pointlessness considering how close it stays to the … Continue reading Beauty and the Beast

La La Land: An Enchanting Year in the Sun

HERE’S TO THE FOOLS WHO DREAM. Remember that opening scene from Manhattan (1979)? It’s a montage of different New York City images beautifully captured in black and white by cinematographer Gordon Willis, set to George Gershwin’s ”Rhapsody in Blue” as it builds in intensity to an impressive display of fireworks. It is an unforgettable tribute … Continue reading La La Land: An Enchanting Year in the Sun

West Side Story: Dancing and Dying in America

THE SCREEN ACHIEVES ONE OF THE GREAT ENTERTAINMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF MOTION PICTURES. Stage director Jerome Robbins was a key reason why ”West Side Story” became a groundbreaking Broadway hit in 1957. When the time came to make a movie, the studio had it both ways. Apart from the music and the show’s artistic expression, … Continue reading West Side Story: Dancing and Dying in America