Year: 2019

‘An Acceptable Loss’ grapples with responsibility, redemption

‘An Acceptable Loss’ grapples with responsibility, redemption

“An Acceptable Loss” (2019). Cast: Tika Sumpter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Tavassoli, Jeff Hephner, Deanna Dunagan, Alex Weisman, Ali Burch, Clarke Peters, Rex Linn, David Eigenberg, Carmen Roma, Tim Hopper. Director: Joe Chappelle. Screenplay: Joe Chappelle. Web site. Trailer. In an age when it’s become all too easy to abandon responsibility, especially among those in positions of authority, it’s refreshing to see those who are willing to own up to their mistakes and even seek to redeem themselves for their oversights and misdeeds. But even those who genuinely attempt to make up for these shortcomings may face a difficult time of it and through no fault of their own. So what is one to do under such circumstances? That’s one of the central questions raised in the intense new political thriller, “An Acceptable Loss.” Former National Security Advisor Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm (Tika Sumpter), once a powerful and influential counselor to the President, has become something of a reclusive enigma since her resignation four years ago. Even though she had attained an enviable status with the former chief executive (Rex Linn) and the current commander-in-chief, former VP Rachel Burke (Jamie Lee Curtis), Libby has a cloud hanging over her head. She ...
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‘On the Basis of Sex’ levels the playing field

‘On the Basis of Sex’ levels the playing field

‟On the Basis of Sexˮ (2018). Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey, Gary Werntz, Francis Xavier McCarthy, Ben Carlson, Angela Galuppo, Callum Shoniker, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Moira Wylie, Lily Mitchell, Violet Mitchell. Director: Mimi Leder. Screenplay: Daniel Stiepelman. Web site. Trailer. Patently unfair circumstances ultimately hurt everyone. Allowing the perpetuation of double standards harms those who are innately disadvantaged, but the damage seldom stops there; at some point, those who seemingly benefit from those arrangements can ironically be undone by them, their advantages wiped out by a fate that they likely view with incredulity as some kind of weird, unfathomable joke. Which is why everyone is better off with a level playing field, one in which we each get an equal shot at available opportunities with no arbitrarily imposed constraints holding us back. However, bringing such conditions into existence may prove challenging and time-consuming, especially for those on the outside looking in. And that’s where the role of the fervent advocate comes into play, one whose story is detailed in the inspiring new biopic, “On the Basis of Sex.” Anyone seeking to build a career – of virtually ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Mary Poppins Returns,” “On the Basis of Sex” and “Shoplifters” are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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The Cinema Scribe Is on the Move!

The Cinema Scribe Is on the Move!

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio at a new day and time, Tuesday January 15 at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear it live, catch it later on demand! ...
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‘Shoplifters’ redefines the nature of family

‘Shoplifters’ redefines the nature of family

‟Shopliftersˮ (‟Manbiki kazokuˮ) (2018). Cast: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Maya Matsuoka, Jyo Kairi, Miya Sasaki, Kirin Kiki. Director: Hirokazu Koreada. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Story: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Web site. Trailer. What makes a family? Some would say it’s strictly a matter of blood relations. Others would contend that it’s based on emotional bonds, the kind that form through birth, adoption or matrimony. But others still might claim that such considerations are irrelevant, that being a family stems from other less common and less tangible but nevertheless significant connections, ties that keep everyone together for everyone’s benefit. These are questions raised and explored in the unusual new Japanese comedy-drama, “Shoplifters” (‟Manbiki kazokuˮ). Making ends meet in modern-day Tokyo can be difficult, as the Shibata family would readily attest. Everyone has to contribute, but even those combined efforts barely keep the family off the streets. As the principal breadwinner, father Osamu (Lily Franky) provides as best he can by working as a day laborer on construction sites. Meanwhile, mother Nobuyo (Sakura Andô) tries to earn her keep by pressing clothes in a commercial laundry. Then there’s sister Aki (Maya Matsuoka), who contributes her share through the money she clears working at a “hostess ...
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‘Mary Poppins’ affirms the power of magic

‘Mary Poppins’ affirms the power of magic

“Mary Poppins Returns” (2018). Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Jeremy Swift, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Jim Norton, Noma Dumezweni, Tarik Frimpong, Suda Bhuchar, Steve Nicolson, Christian Dixon, Chris O’Dowd (voice), Edward Hibbert (voice). Director: Rob Marshall. Screenplay: David Magee. Story: David Magee, Rob Marshall and John DeLuca. Source Material: P.L. Travers. Web site. Trailer. Children frequently delight in the power of magic. They appreciate the wonder it engenders, and they often look on in wide-eyed awe at what it can produce. But, somewhere along the line, many of us lose that sense of amazement as we age, believing that such notions are little more than foolish, childish fantasies. What’s worse, due to the difficulties of prevailing circumstances in many of our lives, some of us may never discover the joys of this endearing aspect of life to begin with, denying us one of the tremendous pleasures of childhood. And, unfortunately, in either case, we often end up divorced from the skills and mindset that a genuine belief in magic affords us, separated from valuable tools that can help us ...
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