Tag: Drama

PIG (Michael Sarnoski) Score 65%

PIG (Michael Sarnoski)

The movie is Rob and Amir’s quest to find our porcine scene-stealer, but it is also a comment on the ruthlessness of the restaurant business and, without being antithetical, the sensuality of food. Sarnoski shoots  the cooking and degustation scenes like he was directing “Babette’s Feast” – the poring of red wine into a red wine glass has a visual and aural sensation that is well, delicious.

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DODSWORTH (1936)

However, as sometimes happens in a Wyler movie, the film ultimately belongs to the ladies. Mary Astor, playing a character a little older than she was at the time, gives a beautiful understated performance, possibly the best of her long career. Meanwhile, Ruth Chatterton is phenomenal. In 1936 she was forty four her popularity on the decline. Her character is almost too close to the bone for comfort. In fact, I’m not sure if any movie or any actress has captured the dread of aging with such power and precision.

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Jane Campions “The Power of the Dog” captures and expands on the themes present in Thomas Savage’s original novel Score 95%

Jane Campions “The Power of the Dog” captures and expands on the themes present in Thomas Savage’s original novel

Rose’s decline after he arrival at chez Burbank is quite the plunge. Dunst, however, is so good, so heartbreakingly real, that she makes it all believable. An actress who has been superb in so many movies, gliding back and forth with ease between lead and support, this is the role that finally gets Dunst her due and, hopefully her first Oscar nomination.

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CODA is an improvement on the French original. Score 60%

CODA is an improvement on the French original.

It is Ruby’s attachment to he dad (deaf actor Troy Kotsur, very good) that is the heart of the movie. They have a great chemistry that involves the viewer from the beginning. Marlee Matlin gives the movie her blessing by playing the mom but her role is small and one presumes that it was her marquee value in getting the film made that was essential here.

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“King Richard” fits Will Smith like a glove but it’s Aunjanue Ellis as wife Brandy who walks away with the acting honors. Score 70%

“King Richard” fits Will Smith like a glove but it’s Aunjanue Ellis as wife Brandy who walks away with the acting honors.

The role is a bit of a cliche, but Ellis invests it with such power, love, and grace that you never doubt her character.  And she has a few wonderful heart-to-heart moments with Smith. Slowly but surely, she walks away with the acting honors. But kudos must also be given to Jon Bernthal who plays the sisters second (Tony Goldwyn plays their first) professional coach, Florida-based Rick Macci.

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