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…
Mesmerizing drama’s strong plot line is told almost entirely through sensuous music & exquisite visual imagery. Most of the action takes place in Paris, right before & immediately after the Nazi Occupation. Ricci, in the lead role, is a young Russian-Jewish woman searching for her father. Highly erotic. Adults only. More on THE MAN WHO…
New York City schools compete in a ballroom dancing contest. Starts well, with nice racial/economic/sociologic overviews of each principal competitor, but there are too many “cast members” for the time allotted & soon kids/parents/teachers/neighborhoods blur together into an ultimately unsatisfying “aren’t kids cute” story of poorly-individuated winners & losers. More on MAD HOT BALLROOM.
Lovingly produced doc uses rare photograph, archival materials, & first-person recollections to capture ordinary daily life in the Jewish community of Luboml, Poland in the years between WWI & WWII. Also includes recent scenes filmed in Luboml by Steinman with the “lucky ones” who have returned for post-Cold War visits. More on LUBOML: MY HEART…
Slice-of-life dramedy about three sisters forced to care for each other while Mom recuperates from a botched liposuction procedure. Two of the daughters are self-absorbed adults. The third is adopted — a young Black girl who’s birth Mom was a crack addict. Interesting set-up but, alas, it’s only intermittently successful. More on LOVELY & AMAZING.