Film: “The Post”

A number of questions ran through my mind as I watched Steven Spielberg’s exceptionally well-made (no surprise there), celebration of the first amendment. But all of those questions can be reduced to this one: Why? The “Post” of the title is the Washington Post, and the heroic moment the film celebrates is its publication of…

Read More

Film: “The Insult”

“The Insult”, a Lebanese film, is one of the foreign Oscar nominees, directed and co-written (with Joelle Touma) by Ziad Doueiri. It explores the current political situation in Lebanon, focusing on a personal conflict between two men, a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian living in a refugee camp. It starts as personal drama, but it…

Read More

Film: “An Eye For Beauty”

This strange, deceptively placid film, from 2014, is hard to describe. A French-Canadian work from renowned writer-director Denys Arcand, its title is incorrectly translated as “An Eye For Beauty”. I think the original title, “Le Regle de la Beauty”, is closer to its theme. It opens with Luc (played by Eric Bruneau), a handsome, middle-aged…

Read More

Film: “Phantom Thread”

Aside from a very favorable early critical reception, not much is well-known about “Phantom Thread” – which I saw on the last day of 2017 – except that it will be Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film, or so the actor has declared. Actually, it is an achievement in its own right. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson has…

Read More

Film: “Happy End”

Some critics have called “Happy End”, the latest film from Michael Haneke, a “retread”, or something like that. I think, rather, that it shows a major artist losing his passion for filmmaking, as was also evident in his last film, the overrated “L’Amour”,¬†which also starred Jean- Louis Trintignant. The first third of the film, at…

Read More

Film: “Thelma”

This supernatural shocker from Norway delivers Carrie-like chills, but its half-serious dabbling in the religion-versus-science conflict is ultimately unsatisfying. Best to appreciate a skillfully made, emotionally gripping movie for its entertainment value alone. Director and co-writer (with Eskil Vogt) Joachim Trier goes on my short-list for terror. The pre-credit teaser shows Thelma, age 6, walking…

Read More