Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Favourite

(2018)

This is a great, and against all my expectations, fairly accurate story of the rivalry between Abigail (later Baroness) Masham (played by Emma Stone) and Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) for the affections of and influence over Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). It’s one of the better costume period comedy/dramas. The writing is swell, the acting is terrific. I recommend ... Read more »

The Widow

(2019)

Kate Beckinsale seems to be known mostly for the six films in the Underworld franchise, which we haven’t seen. Since it’s apparently about vampires, we probably won’t see them. Her appearance here makes it easy to believe she can do an action film. She has a physical presence that’s hard to imitate. You either have it or you don’t. This ... Read more »

Ordeal By Innocence

(2018)

It is said that a good rule of thumb in an Agatha Christie mystery is to pick the least likely person to be the murderer. You will usually be right. But not always.

The Argyll family are fabulously wealthy, so when the mother is fatally bludgeoned the husband and all five of the children have a possible money motive. (All of the children were adopted.) But it quickly develops that ... Read more »

A Star Is Born

(1937, 1954, 1976, 2018)

As soon as I heard that this third remake of a movie was in the works, I just knew that I would have to go back down Memory Lane and see the others again. So we went on an ASIB binge.

1937. Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell and director William Wellman came up with a hell of a story, about an alcoholic, formerly great movie star on his way down, and his relationship with ... Read more »

The Wife

(2018)

SPOILER WARNING. I will be revealing the Big Secret.

As I write this it is about 23 hours until those little gold statues are handed out, in what seems likely to be the most fucked-up Oscars ever. The smart money says that Lady Gaga, Olivia Colman, Melissa McCarthy, and Yalitza Aparicio needn’t show up, as this is finally the year for Glenn Close to win, after six previous ... Read more »

A Private War

(2018)

Marie Colvin was an American reporter who had been working for The Sunday Times in London for five or six years as a foreign correspondent covering various wars around the globe when she lost an eye to an RPG in Sri Lanka. That’s where our story begins, and we already know that she was to die from an IED during the siege of Homs in Syria, in 2001.

I could ... Read more »

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

(2018)

The only reason I can see for some of the simply devastating reviews of this picture is what I’m calling the Mary Poppins effect. How dare they fuck with an icon like Mary/Tchaikovsky!

“Lovely to look at, easy to forget.”

“Empty but eye-popping.”

“Soulless.”

“Dreck.”

Some deranged butthead named Alonso Durande, in a review titled “This Sugarplum is ... Read more »

2019 Live Action Short Subject Academy Award Nominees

(2019)

What a dismal afternoon at the movies. There is not a humorous one in the bunch. Only one of them offers any hope at all; the rest are so dark you want to suck a gas pipe when you come out of the show. I went back over the list of nominees and winners for the last decade or so, most of which we have seen, and every year there has been a majority of films that make you feel good in one way ... Read more »

2019 Animated Short Subject Academy Award Nominees

(2019)

It’s an oddly lackluster set of animated shorts this year. There’s nothing wrong with any of the films, unlike last year when the perfectly awful Dear Basketball beat out four genuinely good ones. (It should have been subtitled I, Kobe Bryant, Am Just So Damn Wonderful!!!) It’s just that none of them really ... Read more »

First Man

(2018)

Well, just like I feared, they went and fucked it up. The story of Apollo 11 is one of the greatest stories of exploration in human history, and it’s kind of surprising that it’s taken so long to tell it. I guess it has to do with the fact that Apollo 13 was a near disaster, easy to dramatize, whereas this mission came off without a ... Read more »