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Jersey Boys

Bravo, Clint Eastwood!
John Lloyd Young and Erich Bergen
Directed by Clint Eastwood

Bravo, Clint Eastwood! With “Jersey Boys,” the director moves away from his sometimes schlocky and often manipulative movies such as “Invictus,” “Gran Torino,” or “Hereafter,” and gives us a biopic as moving as it is entertaining. Like the Broadway musical, it’s a story of greed, success, fall and redemption, none of it unpleasant as the protagonists are young, gifted, and for the most part ... more >

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The Rover

"Mad Max meets 'Of mice and men'
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson
Directed by David Michôd

In scandal-prone filmdom, not the least is the lackluster career of a great actor, Guy Pearce, though his choice of unclassifiable turns (“Memento,” “Two Brothers,” etc.) may be a factor. Case in point, the strange and strangely moving “The Rover,” where in a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland, his character, Eric, maybe a former soldier of fortune, farmer or adventurer, and surely a lonely ... more >

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BIRD PEOPLE

Film was shown at the last Cannes Festival
Anaïs Demoustier and Josh Charles
Directed by Pascale Ferran

How alienated does our work/family/play/social-media environment make us? What if we took the time to measure this alienation, what if we looked, really looked at what’s around us, what if we grew wings and flew high above it all, taking stock, seeing our lives from a distance with an uncritical but lucid eye? Such is the premise of Pascale Ferran’s lovely and thoughtful “Bird People,” shown in ... more >

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The German Doctor

"Wakolda" [Samuel Goldwyn Mayer]
Natalia Oreiro, Àlex Brendemühl and Diego Peretti
Directed by Lucia Puenzo

Of all the sick Nazis whose names have gone down in history as an unforgettable reminder of that period’s infamy, surely one of the very worst is the Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele. One can only imagine this mad “scientist” given thousands of live subjects he could submit at will to his experiments, pulling out eyes, cutting out hearts and other organs without anesthesia, conjoining twins, using ... more >

Resnais’s swan song

Aimer, boire et chanter (2014)
Sabine Azéma, Hippolyte Girardot and Caroline Sihol
Directed by Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais, master of irony and, in his last decades, of whimsical comedy, would have appreciated the fact that his latest oeuvre, “Aimer, Boire, Chanter,” opened in Paris on March 26, not even a month after he himself took his final bow at age 91, on March 1st (see our OBITUARY) The romp, set in the English countryside and based on an Alan Ayckbourn play, “Life of Riley” never introduces us ... more >

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Omar

Nominated for a Best Foreign Film award
Waleed Zuaiter, Adam Bakri and Leem Lubani
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad’s (pictured below) “Omar” is nominated for an Academy Award, as was the Palestinian director’s film “Paradise Now,” also about life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The film again brings sharply into focus the indignities large and small suffered by Palestinians on a daily basis. With the intensity of youth, baker Omar and his friends learn to bear the unbearable but also find ... more >

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We’ve lost our LITTLE PRINCESS

Shirley Temple's dead at 85

Even a cursory glance at the numerous articles following the death, at age 85, of Shirley Temple Black reveals a fact we may not have known: America’s sweetheart was an actual sweetheart. Witness the following: despite her fame, which made it impossible for her to have a normal child’s life, she never felt entitled. Unlike today’s child stars or children of stars—the ones with the very memorable ... more >