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Old-fashioned, sexist tale with lamentable plot
I just saw this film today and wanted to write a comment to warn others not to waste two hours of their precious lives on it.
I give it 5 points because the acting was excellent; the soundtrack also. But I found the relationship between Kingsley and Cruz incredible, and the whole plot incredibly out-of-date. It could have been written 40 years ago. I'm amazed that the script was able to find financing, much less its notable cast.
Lots of little minor details bothered me: the Spanish given name is Consuelo, NOT Consuela. Anyone who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at age 11 would not have Cruz' charming Spanish accent. It is also incredible that a white Cuban family "with money to travel" would have immigrated to the U.S. in the late 80s; to the best of my knowledge, all such Cubans immigrated 25 years earlier.
(And why was Cruz cast in this film? What made her want to take on the role? She did a good job, but she's at least 10 years too old for the part and, as others have noted, the script gives her nothing interesting to say.)
Finally, having studied English at the doctoral level, I found the academic trappings incredible as well. What is the Kingsley character being paid to teach? Modern criticism? If so, why would he be doing research on a (mythical) colony of hedonistic early settlers eventually done in by Miles Standish? I wish that people who write about what they don't know would do a little research themselves first.
Phantom Lady (1944)
Quirky, yes, but fun!!!
This is a "B Series" Film Noir, and my vote reflects its membership in that genre. I saw this film last night at a left-bank cinema in Paris, where it opened a two-week film noir run. The film has some flaws, yes, but far too many delicious elements to ignore.
As the previous reviewer remarked, the drumming scene is incredible! (B-movies could tread where A-movies were forbidden to enter!) And the plot is intriguing. Regarding Franchot Tone, however, I beg to disagree: to me, he's suitably mysterious; just the right shade of creepy. One must bear in mind that there's a sort of German expressionism happening here (the director, Robert Siodmark, was a German who came to Hollywood during the war), and so an air of exaggeration fits into the whole of this film. At least it does for me.
However, it's the gorgeous Ella Raines who, in only her third credited performance, held this viewer entranced throughout the film. A "Girl Friday" type with a strong resemblance to Gene Tierney, it's a wonder that she didn't become a household name. But she's so good here that I've just ordered another film of hers ('Impact') off the Internet, and I can't wait to see it as well.
Following Sean (2005)
Compelling and Delightful!
I saw _Following Sean_ this week in Paris with a friend who lived in San Francisco during the 60s, and we both loved the film. The documentarian's work is prodigious -- we were constantly amazed by the continuous progression of time: just when we thought we'd seen the latest of Sean and his family, another, more recent, slice of their lives emerged on screen. The documentarian wove the story of his own family into the film, and while at first I found the digressions slightly annoying (Sean and his family are so compelling that one wants to see more of them), at the end I decided his decision was correct, and that the study of three generations of his own family deepened the impact of the film.
I highly recommend this documentary to anyone interested in sociology, social psychology (especially concerning the effects of 60's freedom-loving childraising on their children), McCarthyism, the effects of aging, and in general the history of the United States over the last 50 years. Anyone who lived in Berkeley or San Francisco in the 60s or 70s will be fascinated! I was shocked to realize that _Following Sean_ has, apparently, not been screened yet in the Untied States. A distributor must be found!
He ni zai yi qi (2002)
A sublime film by a master filmmaker
A beautiful film, subtle and profound. But not for everyone, evidently, to judge by a previous reviewer's comments. However, that person's comparison to "Stella Dallas" to misleading; like all truly fine movies, the greatness of "Together" cannot be reduced to a mere plot outline.
Extremely well-written, the script is realized by an ensemble of captivating actors; the nuances of daily life in modern Beijing surprise and fascinate. The central character is a 13-year-old violin prodigy, and if you love music -- and the qualities essential to fine musicianship -- this jewel of a film will delight. I was taken to it by a friend who had seen it twice already in the previous 10 days, but she was determined that I not miss this film. I'm in her debt.
Broadcast News (1987)
This film is *far* from lame! Evidently it didn't "click" for another reviewer, but I loved it in 1987 and I enjoyed it still when I caught it on cable tonight (December 2002). It's a movie that's about the delicate balance between intelligence, power, and sexual attraction, and that manages to gently skewer the news industry at the same time. The characters well-rounded, the writing is spot on, and as for the acting ... well, we have the superb actors Holly Hunter and William Hurt at the top of their game, and Albert Brooks was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a TV reporter who wants to be an anchor. I firmly disagree with "soranno" of Las Vegas; these stars' talent was not at all wasted! (Joan Cusack, Robert Prosky and Jack Nicholson are also fun to watch.)
As a woman what I found especially appealing (and so did many of my woman friends) about BROADCAST NEWS is that Holly Hunter's character is in a (hierarchical) position of power over both men, and therefore the familiar dynamic of the boss mentoring a new hire undergoes a sex change.
The best newsroom dynamics since His Girl Friday!
Married to the Mob (1988)
One of the funniest films I've ever seen!
I had to write this review because the only user comments on file don't begin to do this film justice. For one thing, Michelle Pfeiffer is TERRIFIC in this role -- she demonstrates a marvelous comedic style we don't often get to see. (Maybe the other reviewer prefers her serious work, but I dispute the comment that Pfeiffer has "matured" beyond this role. It's a comedy, for goodness' sake!)
And yes, Alec Baldwin is quite good, but it's Matthew Modine who steals the picture! (He also has much more screen time.) Mercedes Ruehl and Dean Stockwell (as Tony 'The Tiger' Russo) are absolutely delicious. The plot is delightful, and sometimes manages to touch on some more somber issues, as all great comedies do.
In short, I've seen this hilarious film two or three times over the years, and thinking about it now makes me eager to watch it all over again!