Category Archives: Biography

Tom of Finland (2017)

Rating: 3.5/5

From once-secret art during post-war repression
To open appreciation of Tom’s artistic expression.
Well-acted, but too safe/clean.
Favourite/clever scene:
Pool party cops (subverting our assumed impression).

American Made (2017)

Seal taking on every gig. Oh, his hubris: ‘How can I lose?’

Not much under the hood here, as we follow each deal & schmooze …

(Hiding out; night in a cell;

In cahoots with gov and cartel)

… But it’s entertaining, thanks to the reliably charismatic Cruise.

Churchill (2017)

PM Churchill doesn’t want the past’s mistakes repeated …

And the allied leaders’ discussions get quite heated.

Strategies are debated

(Trying to avoid the ill-fated).

Poignant scenes: when the black dog makes him feel defeated.

A Quiet Passion (2016)

A remarkable, still portrayal from Nixon (such depth in her eyes).

Superb screenplay (so many laughs: an unexpected surprise) …

Drawing room scene (Aunt E’s visit)

Is particularly exquisite.

A masterful film from Davies (and so complex, re: familial ties).

The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

Chastain is commanding, in her fearless depiction

Of Antonina, in this extraordinary story (non-fiction):

Amidst a multitudinous atrocity,

An enormous act of generosity.

Superb visual elements: from beauty and light to dereliction.

Denial (2016)

Poison bigot Irving makes outlandish libel claim

Against Lipstadt, serving to fuel his dubious fame.

Compelling true drama (court).

Hare’s screenplay: mostly taut.

Weisz: strong. Wilkinson: shines when Rampton takes aim.

Loving (2016)

Due to local marriage laws (with racism ingrained),

The Lovings are cruelly arrested and detained.

Two great leads play subtle and stoic,

Rather than brow-beating heroic …

In Nichols’ film that’s (at times, to a fault) restrained.

A United Kingdom (2016)

Here’s the historic story of an initially hidden

Love that when eventually outed is forbidden.

Some terrific rousing speeches,

And a central couple that teaches

Determination (their treatment: discrimination-ridden).

Jackie (2016)

After the shocking assassination of President Jack,

Jackie won’t settle for just Silent Widow in Black.

Portman’s extraordinary (and the film’s core).

There’s a beautifully haunting score,

And masterful time shifts (the heartbreak of looking back).