The plot creeks around her, nevertheless Sobieski does a fine job as a lonely teenage misfit slowly blossoming under the fatherly influence of her first boss (Brooks) & Lahti has assembled a great supporting cast of well-known veterans. We know, the loose strands all tie too neatly at the end… More on MY FIRST MISTER.
Chicagoans Fortula Portokalos & Ian Miller fall in love, but hey, this is America: some of us are apples & some are oranges, but in the end, we’re all fruit. Ethnic clichés are piled on thick, but always with affection. For screenwriter/star Nia Vardalos, this IS her American Dream. More on MY BIG FAT GREEK…
Recently recovered from a serious illness, middle-aged Clarissa Dalloway (Streep) opens her door to a beautiful summer morning that reminds her of earlier times. This loving adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel celebrates the poignant joys of everyday life in the shadow of WWI. What a lark! What a plunge! More on MRS. DALLOWAY.
Martha (Gedeck) likes everything “just so.” She’s the best gourmet chef in Hamburg, but a pain-in-the-butt outside her kitchen. Then real life intervenes & Martha must learn to cope. Mouth-watering! Go hungry & plan a pasta chaser… & then buy the equally luscious Keith Jarrett-punctuated, jazz-filled soundtrack. More on MOSTLY MARTHA.
Rich was immediately hooked by this intense portrait of Aileen Wuornos (one of America’s first well-known female serial killers). Jan took longer but was fully committed by the inevitably heart-rending final betrayal. Theron transforms herself, becoming both physically & emotionally unrecognizable in an astonishingly raw performance. Not for the squeamish. More on MONSTER.
Relatives pour into Delhi from the four corners of the earth to play their assigned parts in a huge family wedding. Conversation is a fast-paced mix of Hindi & English. Cell phones jangle constantly. Key characters each search for a balance between social/religious tradition and the buzz of modernity. More on MONSOON WEDDING.
Expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin, a prosperous East Indian family lands in rural Mississippi, where their daughter creates a scandal by falling in love with a local black entrepreneur. Spicy multi-cultural stew (with wonderful soundtrack) anchored by Denzel Washington – a total hunk in bed & out! More on MISSISSIPPI MASALA.
Serio-comic exploration of the high school “jungle” by screenwriter Tina Fey (who wrote herself in as the math teacher/moral conscience). Lohan stars as the new girl trying to figure out where she belongs in the stratified cafeteria. Definitely engrossing. Fun for all & presumably a must-see for parents & teens. More on MEAN GIRLS.
Holly and Marina grow up in side-by-side houses in a comfortable English suburb. Neither girl has a sister, so they adopt each other, calling themselves “Harina.” Years pass. The changing times are well-captured, but there’s too much plot. Goldbacher should have focused on making the central relationship more believable. More on ME WITHOUT YOU.
“Although I am totally committed to supporting women filmmakers in their fight against the “celluloid ceiling,” my emotions were painfully mixed the day Sofia Coppola became the first American woman in Oscar history to receive a “Best Director” nomination. I thought Lost in Translation was way over-rated. I suspected that members of the Academy of…