‘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 [...]

2018-02-25T23:15:58+00:00 February 25th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, 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|

‘Breathe’ inspires us to vanquish our limitations

“Breathe” (2017). Cast: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville, Diana Rigg, Penny Downie, David Wilmot, Stephen Mangan, Edward Speleers, Tom Hollander, Amit Shah, Jonathan Hyde, Emily Bevan, Harry Marcus, Dean-Charles Chapman, Sylvester Groth. Director: Andy Serkis. Screenplay: William Nicholson. Web site. Trailer. Imagine being confronted by a life of bed-ridden confinement, unable to move or even to inhale your own life-sustaining breath. Add to that the frustration and despondency brought on by an unfeeling health care system that insists upon regimented institutionalization as the only way to address your condition. And, to make matters worse, you’re young and just beginning what’s supposed to be a happy and fulfilling time with the love of your life. If you can picture that, [...]

2017-12-12T06:59:22+00:00 October 24th, 2017|Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Lucky’ ruminates on the meaning of life

“Lucky” (2017). Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Skerritt, James Darren, Beth Grant, Barry Shabaka Henley, Yvonne Huff, Hugo Armstrong, Bertila Damas, Ana Mercedes. Director: John Carroll Lynch. Screenplay: Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja. Web site. Trailer. The longer we live, the luckier we’re supposed to believe we are, right? But what if that long life is devoid of meaning? In those cases, it seems like we just keep going on and on but without purpose or a sense of what life’s all about. Under those conditions, we have to ask ourselves, is that enough? Does the act of merely biding our time suffice? And, if that’s what’s really happening to us, will we [...]

2017-11-29T11:15:08+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Columbus’ gives us space for reflection

“Columbus” (2017). Cast: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, Michele Forbes, Erin Allegretti. Director: Kogonada. Screenplay: Kogonada. Web site. Trailer. Getting away from it all – even under less-than-ideal conditions – can sometimes work wonders, particularly if there’s much weighing us down. But what we do with such opportunities when they present themselves is most important. That’s very much the case for a pair of searching protagonists in the new, thought-provoking drama, “Columbus.” While on a national lecture tour, a renowned, aging, Korean-born architect collapses, falling into a coma. With no one to attend to his needs, his longtime aide, Eleanor (Parker Posey), springs into action, summoning the ailing icon’s son, Jin (John Cho), to come care [...]

2017-10-24T12:40:39+00:00 September 24th, 2017|Archives, Drama, Movie Reviews|