On Chesil Beach

Most of this story is told in flashbacks.  Their romance is very sweet if not passionate, and Florence’s past is disturbing.   The lack of communication and inexperience are a sign of the times but lead to tragic consequences.   Saoirse Ronan is perfect in the role of Florence, a girl who may have just wanted to […]

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Puzzle

Who knew that competitive puzzling was a thing?  I have always liked Kelly Macdonald (Agnes).  She is wonderful as a woman trying to reinvent herself after her children are grown (though still in the nest).  David Denman (Louie) is charming as her confused and loving husband.  Irrfan Khan (Robert) is convincing as her puzzle partner […]

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Beast

TIFF 2017 was rife with films about bad mothers.  Beast is one of the better (worst) ones.  Moll (Jessie Buckley) is an unstable young girl living at home with her uncaring mother, (Geraldine James).  Pascal (Johnny Flynn) is her new bad boy boyfriend.  The question is how bad is the bad boy and how good […]

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Chuck

This biopic is less idealistic than Rocky, which is also based on the life of Chuck Wepner.   Chuck (Liev Schreiber) is living on the edge between being a fighter and an enforcer.  I thought the relationships with both of his wives (Elizabeth Moss and Naomi Watson) were engaging.  Unfortunately, after his fighting successes, his involvement […]

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Leave No Trace

This movie gives a glimpse into marginalized veterans suffering from PTSD.  It appears that Will (Ben Foster) maintains control by living completely off the grid with his daughter, Tom (Thomasin McKenzie).  The intricacies of day to day life in the woods require all his concentration.   When they are “rescued” and brought to civilization, it appears […]

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Disobedience

Rachel McAdams (Esti), Rachel Weisz (Ronit) and Alessandro Nivola (Dovid) were inseparable childhood friends.  Ronit has returned to their close knit Orthodox Jewish community for the funeral of her father, the rabbi.  She seems to want to be treated as the rabbi’s daughter, but on her terms.  She is distressed by the lengths her father […]

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Kodachrome

This is not one of my favorite plots – using genius as an excuse for bad behavior, but I did enjoy this movie because of the cast and it’s chemistry.  The realism comes from Ed Harris (Ben) not having an epiphany and completely changing.   Elizabeth Olsen (Zoe) is charming and Jason Sudeikis (Matt) is convincing […]

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Ingrid Goes West

The internet can be a refuge for people who aspire to a different life.  Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) is a mentally unstable young woman who “befriends” internet “celebrities”.  Following their blogs gives her insight into their lives.  She uses the information to meet Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen).  Taylor can monetize her blog, so she focuses more […]

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Beirut

Jon Hamm is excellent as broken diplomat, Mason Skiles.  Rosemund Pike does a fine turn as Sandy Crowder, a second-tier government official.   Dean Norris, Larry Pine and Shea Whigham round out the cast.  The administration has its own agenda that is not necessarily in the best interest of the Lebanese. The film is a taut […]

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Chappaquiddick

Chappaquiddick is a disturbing biopic.   Jason Clarke’s callous, self-centered portrayal of Ted Kennedy is alarming.  Seeing his relationship with his father (Bruce Dern), explained a lot.   Ed Helms (Joe Gargan) and Jim Gaffigan (Paul Markham) do a fine job in their dramatic roles.  The devotion of the Boiler Room Girls is effectively portrayed by Olivia […]

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