Currently Browsing: Jan Lisa Huttner

IN A BETTER WORLD

“Anton,” the central character in Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning film In a Better World, is a physician who divides his time between the comforts of Denmark and the rigors of an African refugee camp. Although surrounded by poverty and hardship, Anton knows who he is in Africa. He does his job and most days he wins: […]

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RED RIDING HOOD

A heroine created in the Victorian Era has indelibly imprinted herself on our cultural imagination. Her basic problem is the same problem every young person must face: who can she trust? Here in the early 21st Century, “Valerie” (aka “Red Riding Hood”) has a feisty core of self-reliance, so she learns to trust her own […]

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CONVICTION

After a difficult childhood spent in and out of foster care, “Betty Anne Waters” (Hilary Swank) marries young and starts building a little nest. But when her volatile older brother “Kenny” (Sam Rockwell) is arrested, Betty Anne’s world slowly turns inside out. Much to her own surprise, Betty Anne learns she’s not the kind of […]

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FISH TANK: Andrea Arnold Pulls Treasure from the Muck

“Mia” (Katie Jarvis) lives in an East London housing project with her mother “Joanne” (Kierston Wareing) and her younger sister “Tyler” (Rebecca Griffiths). Joanne is an arrested adolescent more comfortable in her frilly pink bedroom than her own kitchen, so Mia and Tyler are both growing up wild. Then a handsome man named “Connor” (Michael […]

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JENNIFER’S BODY

Rock band decides to sacrifice a virgin in hopes of getting the devil invested in their career prospects. But they pick the wrong girl, and gruesome, gory, utterly hilarious consequences ensue. You can almost hear director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) laughing on the soundtrack—baiting their audience with kissing babes and gallons of […]

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JULIE & JULIA

Blogger Julie Powell had a lot of hard days and long weeks in 2001. In her book, Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, she tells us she worked in a cubicle in an office overlooking Ground Zero, and the 9/11 tragedy was an omnipresent fact of her life. But instead of wallowing, she […]

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ELEGY

New adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Dying Animal succeeds in capturing the author’s humanity.  Excellent cast is headlined by Ben Kingsley as “David Kepesh” (a serial seducer who becomes obsessed with a beautiful young woman) and Penelope Cruz as “Consuela” (someone longing for safe harbor after disappointments of her own).  Dennis Hopper is cast […]

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BRICK LANE

A haunting evocation of immigrant life, tenderly delineating the slow steps by which a Bangladeshi woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee) makes a home for her daughters in London so different in every way from the one she herself knew as a girl. The Hot Pink Pen applauds the filmmakers’ intentions, but one huge casting decision undermines their […]

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