The Monuments Men

About that forgotten part of WWII history
George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett
Directed by George Clooney

This is the way the world ends, or starts to end, in George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men”: with a bang. In the film’s opening scenes, Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s “Ghent Altarpiece” is loudly dismantled, panel by panel, and prepared—too late, though—for a secret hiding place. The clock is ticking for its fellow masterpieces. World War II is raging and Hitler, an unpromising art student before he ... more >

ARGO seen through the prism of history

A film long on thrills but short on history

"Argo" is a great thriller, well-acted (special kudos to John Goodman and Alan Arkin), with spectacular cinematography in an Istanbul passing off as Tehran and a nail-bitingly suspenseful last half-hour (see Craig Younkin's REVIEW). Incredibly, the far-fetched story really happened. The year is 1979 with Iran’s Islamic Revolution in full swing. In November, when the terminally ill Shah who has ... more >

The Artist

A gem of a film you won't want to miss
Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Béjo and John Goodman
Directed by Michel Hazanivicius

American audiences who would pass on Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist because a) it’s a silent movie and b) it’s in black and white, will be missing one of the best films in decades. Just like some of its unforgettable elders in the silent-film era, The Artist is funny, touching without being sentimental, with story line and feelings perfectly conveyed without words. If you ever wondered how ... more >


“In the electric mist”

Detective Robicheaux is on the prowl
John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard and Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by Bertrand Tavernier

There are several versions of Bertrand Tavernier’s “In the Electric Mist” floating about, appropriately enough given the title. Don’t know which one I’ve just seen but it is safe to assume that they are all as confusing. I would advise avoiding trying to tie together the several story lines, sitting back and enjoying the New Orleans setting, the great performances by John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard ... more >