GRACE OF MY HEART

From my column for The Woman's Papers: It’s summertime. Sometimes the best plan is to avoid the heat and sing your heart out at home! GRACE OF MY HEART is director/screenwriter Allison Anders’ musical tribute to the ‘60s. Illeana Douglas stars as “Denise Waverly,” an aspiring singer and gifted composer of pop melodies. Jennifer Leigh…

THE GOVERNESS

The Governess Directed & written by Sandra Goldbacher Principal Actors: Minnie Driver with Tom Wilkinson & Harriet Walter Overview: The Governess takes Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre and turns it inside-out and upside-down.  Minnie Driver stars as "Rosina de Silva," a girl from a prosperous middle-class Jewish family living in London circa 1830.  Rosina is…

Film Review: FUR

Director Shainberg re-teams with his SECRETARY collaborator screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson on a very lose adaptation of Patricia Bosworth’s biography of photographer Diane Arbus. Fascinating attempt to depict artistic inspiration succeeds best as a meditation on the birth of ‘60s sensibility, but Jan thinks Kidman isn’t quite “dark” enough to carry the lead. More on…

FRIDA

Click here to read my two reviews of Frida from 2002 (one for DVD WOLF & one for the LA arts site PICKLEBIRD):  FridaReviews2002  Director Taymor (famous for Broadway’s multiple-Tony award winner The Lion King) has a fabulous eye. Her life partner, composer Elliot Goldenthal, has a fabulous ear. Together, they've created an aesthetic masterpiece celebrating…

Film Review: FREE ZONE

Three women (American, Israeli & Palestinian) cross paths for intense one day. Each one is simultaneously herself (with her character’s backstory & complex relationships) as well as a national archetype. Listen to the soundtrack: that’s Chava Alberstein singing her infamous version of CHAD GADYA, so pay attention to the words. More on FREE ZONE.

Film Review: FIRE

New bride (Das) enters household already containing husband’s aged mother, elder brother & wife (Kharbanda+Azmi), & longtime servant (Chowdhry). Both arranged marriages are fragile, & the sisters-in-law turn to each other for ever-deepening, eventually-sexual companionship. Closely-observed exploration of "ordinary" middle-class Indian women confronting tension between traditional expectations & contemporary options. More on FIRE.