‘A Quiet Passion’ surveys the evolution of an artist’s worldview

“A Quiet Passion” (2017). Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Keith Carradine, Jennifer Ehle, Catherine Bailey, Duncan Duff, Emma Bell, Rose Williams, Benjamin Wainwright, Joanna Bacon, Annette Badland, Jodhi May, Eric Loren, Simone Milsdochter, Trevor Cooper, Stefan Menaul, Sara Louise Vertongen, Noémie Schellens. Director: Terence Davies. Screenplay: Terence Davies. Web site. Trailer. Geniuses are often misunderstood during their lifetimes. Their eccentricities and alternative viewpoints frequently draw criticisms – sometimes even ostracism – from contemporaries who fail (or refuse) to understand and appreciate them for what they are. In later times, their contributions to humanity often seem patently (and obviously) brilliant. But, in getting to that point, we must first examine how they arrived at their insights, assessing the influences that helped to make [...]

2018-03-15T14:40:22+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Loveless’ exposes the perils of self-absorption

“Loveless” (“Nelyubov”) (2017). Cast: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov, Marina Vasileva, Andris Keyshs, Aleksey Fateev, Nataliya Potapova, Artyom Zhigulin, Aleksandr Sergeev. Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev. Screenplay: Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev. Web site. Trailer. How we treat those close to us often speaks volumes about how we care about others in the wider world, even if the parallels aren’t patently obvious. The compassion, caring and courtesy – or lack thereof – that we show them is quite telling, even if we can’t or don’t want to see it for ourselves. Whether such concerted attentiveness or deliberate slights occur on an individual or collective scale, their presence and expression are nevertheless undeniable, as seen in the troubling new Russian drama, “Loveless” [...]

2018-04-20T07:30:59+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Insult’ searches for resolution in a world on the edge

“The Insult” (“L’insulte”) (2017). Cast: Adel Karam, Kamel El Basha, Camille Salameh, Diamond Bou Abboud, Rita Hayek, Talal Jurdi, Christine Choueiri, Julia Kassar, Carlos Chahine, Georges Daoud, Elie Njeim, Rifaat Torbey. Director: Ziad Doueiri. Screenplay: Ziad Doueiri and Joëlle Touma. Web site. Trailer. Oftentimes, when people quarrel, they’re not really debating about what they claim they’re arguing about. In many instances, there are issues beneath the surface that are the actual source of the conflict, most of which are far removed from the problem at hand. These proxy disputes provide a buffer against the real issue coming out, either because we don’t recognize the true root of the disagreement or because we’re not ready to deal with it. However, if [...]

2018-03-12T23:55:08+00:00 March 1st, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘A Fantastic Woman’ sets powerful examples of courage, compassion

“A Fantastic Woman” (“Una mujer fantástica”) (2017). Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Saavedra, Amparo Noguera, Trinidad Gonzáez, Néstor Cantillana, Sergio Hernández. Director: Sebastián Lelio. Screenplay: Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza. Web site. Trailer. Saying goodbye is never easy. The pain and sorrow can be a lot to bear, even under the “best” of circumstances. But, when the situation becomes burdened by considerations that have no business intruding upon such a difficult process, the result can be unendurable. Such are the conditions addressed in the compelling new Chilean drama, “A Fantastic Woman” (“Una mujer fantástica”). Businessman Orlando Onetto (Francisco Reyes) leads what appears to be a fairly comfortable life in Santiago. The 57-year-old runs a successful [...]

2018-03-09T10:37:03+00:00 February 25th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Molly’s Game’ wrestles with what drives our motivations

“Molly’s Game” (2017). Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie, Brian d’Arcy James, Bill Camp, Graham Greene, Claire Rankin, Samantha Isler, Piper Howell. Director: Aaron Sorkin. Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin. Book: Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood's Elite to Wall Street's Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker. Web site. Trailer. The motivations that drive our actions are usually clear, but sometimes they may stubbornly elude us, so much so that, after a while, we might not wonder (or even care) what they are. This often happens when we get caught up in circumstances in which we lose sight of how we got there and don’t know how [...]

2018-02-25T23:15:30+00:00 January 30th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Post’ examines what it takes to do the right thing

“The Post” (2017). Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, Michael Stuhlbarg, Justin Swain, Curzon Dobell. Director: Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. Web site. Trailer. When faced with hard choices, we may not know which way to turn. That’s especially true when all of our options appear problematic. Deciding which of the seemingly troublesome outcomes will prove least onerous can try our patience and test our resolve. At the same time, though, such scenarios can sharpen our scrutiny skills, especially when it comes to drawing upon our intuition and integrity to arrive at an amenable solution. So it was for a [...]

2018-02-23T19:26:22+00:00 January 29th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Darkest Hour’ inspires us to rise to our own greatness

“Darkest Hour” (2017). Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane, Samuel West, Lily James, Ronald Pickup. Director: Joe Wright. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Web site. Trailer. Sometimes it takes having our backs against the wall to realize the greatness of which we’re truly capable. Getting there may seem like a dire process, and we may be ready to break down or give it all up if hope appears lost. Such dark night of the soul moments test us to the limit but also show us exactly what we’re made of, a scenario pointedly depicted in the new, fact-based historical drama, “Darkest Hour.” At the outset of World War II, the British government sought to minimize its involvement and [...]

2018-01-30T11:51:31+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Christmas’ release tells a Dickens of a tale

“The Man Who Invented Christmas” (2017). Cast: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Callow, Miriam Margolyes, Morfydd Clark, Justin Edwards, Miles Jupp, Donald Sumpter, Ely Sloan, Anna Murphy, Ian McNeice, Bill Paterson, Ger Ryan. Director: Bharat Nalluri. Screenplay: Susan Coyne. Book: Les Standiford, The Man Who Invented Christmas. Web site. Trailer. It’s been said that helping others is the best way to help ourselves. We get back what we put out, and, if that turns out to be goodwill and generosity of spirit, then that’s what will return our way. So it was for a world-class author seeking to get his life and career back on track after a creative slump, as demonstrated in the heartwarming new holiday offering, [...]

2017-12-22T08:22:16+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Last Flag Flying’ honors the power and beauty of friendship

“Last Flag Flying” (2017). Cast: Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Carell, J. Quinton Johnson, Deanna Reed-Foster, Yul Vazquez, Graham Wolfe, Cicely Tyson. Director: Richard Linklater. Screenplay: Richard Linklater and Darryl Ponicsan. Book: Darryl Ponicsan, Last Flag Flying. Web site. Trailer. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when a parent is forced to do so for a departed child who’s taken unexpectedly and in the prime of life. Under circumstances like these, we can use all of the support we can muster, and those who often prove most helpful are those who have already been through life-and-death experiences with us. Such is the case of a distraught father burying his deceased son in the highly moving new drama, “Last Flag Flying.” [...]

2017-12-12T11:17:06+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Drama, Movie Reviews|