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OSCARS – Olivia Colman feted as world’s best actress

Seeing “The Favourite” a few days ago, I was so stunned by Olivia Colman’s turn as Queen Anne that I had to go back the next day and see it all over again, checking whether I was right the first time in thinking that this was an extraordinary performance by an extraordinary actress. It was and more. She plays the overweight monarch (fattened by some thirty pounds for the part) stuffing herself ... more >

Farewell, Bruno Ganz

Talk about coincidence. Or premonition. A few days ago, getting ready for a trip to Lisbon, I remembered the great Alain Tanner film “In the White City” (“Dans la ville blanche” in the French original; 1983) and watched it on You Tube. Bruno Ganz was fabulous as always, as the AWOL ship mechanic, not easy as he spends the entire time going up and down steps in the Alfama or mailing letters and ... more >

Albert Finney, British actor and five-time Oscar nominee, dies at 82

Finney, one of the greatest, is gone but images from his tremendous cinema resume come flooding our memory. The role in Arthur in “Saturday night and Sunday morning” (1960) of course, his heavy working-class features immediately making cinema history, and from then on and on, in an extraordinary variety of parts. My favorite, of course, remains Sir in “The Dresser” (1983) alongside long-suffering ... more >

Stale and formulaic “Bohemian Rhapsody” fails to engage

Produced by Bryan Singer, Robert De Niro and Graham King
Rami Malek, Ben Hardy and Mike Myers
Directed by Bryan Singer

Other film critics have been remarkably kind to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic about Freddie Mercury, frontman for Queen, for whom the word legendary would have had to be invented if it didn’t exist already. Why the Bryan Singer film hardly deserves praise: 1. It’s a by-the-book biopic, hitting all the predictable spots, erasing any point of contention or lingering on possible painful or ... more >

No magic this time! “BlacKKKlansman” is a botched job

Spike Lee misses out on an opportunity
John David Washington, Adam Driver and Laura Harrier
Directed by Spike Lee

Much praise has been heaped on "BlacKkKlansman" the new Spike Lee feature based on a daring tale as told in the book by the same name by author Ron Stallworth. The action takes place in the seventies, in the heady times of Vietnam War protests, desegregation and black power movements. These last, as we now know, went nowhere. The lucky African-Americans fill prisons, the less lucky ones are ... more >

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“The Children Act,” unequal, at times awkward, clamors for well-deserved attention

Film is based on the eponymous 2014 novel by Ian McEwan
Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead
Directed by Richard Eyre

For better or for worse, Ian McEwan doesn't see much virtue in religious beliefs or faith. To him, they are a hindrance at best, an absurdity at worst. Founders and practitioners of various religions and cults come up with a logic completely devoid of reason, one that’s meant only to establish their power on the sheep that follow them. Not mincing words, he makes the point in “The Children Act,” ... more >

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#THEMTOO: the case of Hedy Lamarr, bombshell scientist, in the age of the #metoo movement

Where does a woman's intellectual competency begin, and her attractiveness end?

For a woman, surely, there can't be many life experiences as dreadful as rape. Even so- called "consensual" sex can be hard to bear when, for work-related or other reasons a woman has to give in to a man in whom she has no interest, in the best of cases, or by whom she is repulsed, in the worse. Think creepy, porcine Weinstein. But rape, sexual harassment, abuse, pay inequality, when pay there ... more >