Tag Archives: Dramas

Capsule Movie Review – My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010)


Gerard Depardieu reminds how good he can be in My Afternoons with Margueritte, a comedy-drama set in small town France. Germain (Depardieu) is a goodhearted but simpleminded man who gets by doing odd jobs and selling produce out of his kitchen garden. Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus) is a nonagenarian bibliophile. They meet by chance in the park when they sit at the same bench to watch the pigeons. Soon they’re meeting every day; they talk and she reads to him from Camus. His mother is a harridan who’s been verbally abusing him his whole life and her only family is an uncaring nephew, and their odd couple friendship becomes something each has longed for. Continue reading

Capsule Movie Review – Life, Above All (2010)


South African drama Life, Above All is a very worthy film, but it’s hard to see why it should be one of the favored few foreign language titles to receive theatrical distribution on the American arthouse circuit this year. Its heroine is a 12-year-old girl living in a poor village outside Johannesburg whose childhood is cut short when her mother is stricken with AIDS. Misfortune rains down on young Chanda like a series of hammer blows explicating a host of pressing contemporary social issues: Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – The Verdict (1982)


Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) is a lawyer who has hit rock bottom. He has lost his last four cases and become an alcoholic in the process. His associate Mickey (Jack Warden) hands him what appears to be an open and shut case dealing with a woman who was put into a permanent comatose state after being given the wrong type of anesthesia during the delivery of her child. Both parties are willing to settle out of court and Frank is initially happy to accept the settlement as he is hard up for funds, but after seeing the sad condition of the patient in the hospital he changes his mind and decides to take it to court. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Terri (2011)


Terri (Jacob Wysocki) is an overweight high-schooler who wears pajamas to school because they’re comfortable. He lives in a small house with his uncle James (Creed Bratton), who suffers from dementia or possibly Alzheimer’s, and both of their lives are rather quiet and melancholy. Terri slowly descends into boredom, which can be seen in the slower pace in which he walks and the way in which everything seems like a chore to him. Continue reading

Movie Review – The Ides of March (2011)


A fashionable cynicism substitutes for nuance in George Clooney’s political drama The Ides of March. In addition to co-starring as the candidate du jour, a governor running for the Democrat nomination for president, Clooney directed and co-wrote the script (with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, from Willimon’s play Farragut North). Ryan Gosling has the lead role as a seasoned political operative whose idealism is crushed during the Ohio primary campaign. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Four Baseball Movies for Baseball Fans


Some baseball movies transcend their genre to reach beyond their natural fanbase. Some baseball movies are just plain bad movies. This post is given to four that occupy the middle ground of good baseball movies made for baseball fans.

Rhubarb (1951)

Ray Milland plays the press agent for a major league baseball team whose new owner is the recently deceased prior owner’s pet cat in this charming family comedy. Continue reading

Movie Review – Moneyball (2011)


It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.

The term “moneyball” refers to sabermetrics, major league baseball’s use of statistical analysis to select players. It comes from the 2003 non-fiction book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, on which the film Moneyball is loosely based. Both book and film track the 2002 season of the Oakland A’s, when the team relied on sabermetrics to compensate for its lack of money; to put the situation into perspective, the A’s had about $90 million less to spend than American League payroll leader the New York Yankees. Where the book was primarily interested in numbers, the film is a character study of A’s General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). Continue reading

Film Buff Movie of the Month: Far From Heaven (2002) and All That Heaven Allows (1955)


Short posts on my film club’s “movie of the month” series.

Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven is an arthouse remake of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows. How “arthouse”? It’s remake/re-imagining, stylistic homage, and critical commentary in one. Both films are glorious expressions of stylized and stylish visuals. Continue reading

Movie Review – Drive (2011)



It’s a set up straight out of the classic film noir playbook. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Review of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)


The Magnificent Ambersons is Orson Welles’ second masterpiece, following his surprising commercial flop Citizen Kane (1941). This film is far less flamboyant, contains a more stark visual style, and borrows strongly from Eisensteinian dramatic compositions and editing techniques, which is a very good thing. Continue reading