Film Review: NATHALIE

Humiliated by her husband’s infidelities, a woman hires a prostitute to seduce/torment him. What begins with exploitation quickly becomes symbiotic as the two women become more interested in each other than in him. Intense, erotic psychodrama. Ardant’s icy cold, Beart’s burning hot, & Depardieu’s baffled by both of them. More on NATHALIE.

Film Review: NASHVILLE

Altman’s Personal Best--with an excellent screenplay by Joan Tewkesbury--is set midway between Nixon’s resignation & the Bicentennial 4th. Like Prospero, Altman marshals disparate forces into a tornado coiling ever tighter towards an inescapably violent conclusion. The huge cast is enormously rich, showing increasing depth with each successive viewing. Nevertheless, FF2 specifically applauds Ronee Blakely as…

THE NANNY DIARIES

THE NANNY DIARIES

Fantasy and reality collide when Annie, a working class girl fresh out of college (Scarlett Johansson), starts working as a nanny for the upscale Mrs. X (Laura Linney). Many critics are comparing The Nanny Diaries to The Devil Wears Prada which featured another spirited young woman making her way in New York’s upper ranks. The Hot…

THE NAMESAKE

THE NAMESAKE

The Namesake is the rare case in which both book and film are equally strong and their differences actually complement each other. The voice of the novelist and the eye of the filmmaker are in perfect sync, and the casting is perfect. Whereas Lahiri’s novel focuses on American-born Gogol, Nair embeds Gogol’s story within a…

MY TERRORIST

Yulie’s an Israeli woman severely wounded by terrorists in 1978. Fahad’s the man responsible for her injuries plus a companion’s death. In this impassioned first-person documentary, Gerstel attempts of see both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict even as Palestinians begin their second intifada & Bin Laden destroys the WTC towers. More on MY TERRORIST.

MY LIFE WITHOUT ME

“Woman’s weepie” for the ages – Coixet even includes a clip from MILDRED PIERCE in homage. The story’s straight & simple --Polley’s a young mother dying of cancer -- but the performances are remarkably deep (including wonderful cameos). It should be depressing, but to the contrary, somehow it glows with transcendent optimism. More on MY…

MY GRANDFATHER'S HOUSE

Travel with a Jewish-American woman back to “the Old Country.” 70-minute film has three parts. First, Eileen develops detailed information about her grandfather’s family. Then she walks the streets of Lithuania he once called home. Finally, she brings all the surviving cousins together for a reunion. Wise, life-affirming, heart-warming documentary.***** For more, see the “Columns”…