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“Hidden figures” is a keeper (here’s why)

"A jewel of a film"
Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae
Directed by Theodore Melfi

Several viewings of the trailer for “Hidden Figures” before my usual cinema-going routine failed to convince me that it was a film worth seeing. On the strength of those two minutes, I quickly pegged it as yet another moral, inspirational tale about disadvantaged people overcoming great odds. Talk about disadvantage. The three main characters in question are women--not easy today and even less ... more >

Fruitvale Station

Remembering Oscar Grant
Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz
Directed by Ryan Coogler

A film that created news on the festival circuit this year is Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station," due out this Friday. It is based on true events that occurred in the eponymous metro station in Oakland, Calif., namely, a violent tussle that led to an innocent man dying at the hands of the police. The events were captured via mobile phone camera by an eyewitness, footage of which is shown at the ... more >

The help

Change begins with a whisper
Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer
Directed by Tate Taylor

Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's The Help filled me with a wonder similar to that I felt watching—and relishing—Mad Men. There, the three-martini lunch, the 1960 men and women boozing and smoking themselves to death had me aghast. Same here. This was Jackson, Mississipi, fifty years ago? It’s beyond racism, unless racism means considering people so far below you that no one would ... more >