‘Tom of Finland’ illustrates the power of being oneself

“Tom of Finland” (2017). Cast: Pekka Strang, Seumas F. Sargent, Lauri Tikanen, Taisto Oksanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Niklas Hogner, Jakob Oftebro, Hayman Maria Buttinger, Manfred Böll, Fabian Puregger. Director: Dome Karukoski. Screenplay: Aleksi Bardy. Story/dialogue: Aleksi Bardy, Dome Karukoski, Mark Alton Brown, Noam Andrews, Kauko Röyhkä, Mia Yiönen and Susana Luoto. Web site. Trailer. Regrettably, it’s often all too easy to subvert the emergence of our true selves. Whether we doubt our ability to bring it into being, fear the ramifications involved in its expression or allow ourselves to be intimidated into submission, we may find it easier to roll over and let things slide than to act upon our genuine impulses. But where is the satisfaction in that? Can we [...]

2018-08-07T07:28:32+00:00 August 7th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

Personal reinvention probed in ‘He Won’t Get Far on Foot’

“Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” (2018). Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, Rooney Mara, Carrie Brownstein, Tony Greenhand, Beth Ditto, Mark Webber, Ronnie Adrian, Kim Gordon, Udo Kier. Director: Gus Van Sant. Screenplay: Gus Van Sant. Story: John Callahan, Gus Van Sant, Jack Gibson and William Andrew Eatman. Book: John Callahan, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Web site. Trailer. We’ve all heard about the metaphorical notion of making lemonade when life unexpectedly hands us those tart little yellow orbs. The process is seldom easy, either, particularly when we’re deluged with vast quantities of lemons or when their juices are especially sour. But it’s indeed possible to turn things around, provided we apply ourselves [...]

2018-08-06T06:40:25+00:00 August 6th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Eighth Grade’ plumbs the problem solving process

“Eighth Grade” (2018). Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zolghadri, Fred Hechinger, Imani Lewis, Luke Prael, Catherine Oliviere, Nora Mullins, Missy Yager, Greg Crowe, Natalie Carter. Director: Bo Burnham. Screenplay: Bo Burnham. Web site. Trailer. Try to think of a time in your life when you felt like you were perpetually confused. For some of us, that might come at almost any age. But, for those lacking the benefit of life experience, it most likely occurred at a time when we were still finding our way in the world – not when we were so young that we didn’t consciously think about such things but at a slightly later stage in our development when we earnestly [...]

2018-08-04T15:40:59+00:00 August 4th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Leave No Trace’ asks us to understand the nature of our creations

“Leave No Trace” (2018). Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Dale Dickey, Jeff Kober, Dana Millican, Derek Drescher, Isaiah Stone, David M. Pittman, Mike Prosser, Spencer S. Henley, Art Hickman, Susan Chernak McElroy. Director: Debra Granik. Screenplay: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. Book: Peter Rock, My Abandonment. Web site. Trailer. Given the state of the world today, many of us have probably contemplated the notion of getting away from the stress of daily life, living off the grid to achieve a simpler existence. Eschewing a routine fraught with economic, social and even interpersonal tensions in favor of a more idyllic existence no doubt holds much appeal to those who feel overwhelmed by the spiraling demands of living in an increasingly [...]

2018-07-10T22:40:22+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Boundaries’ explores the need for establishing healthy limits

“Boundaries” (2018). Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Christopher Lloyd, Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolly Wells, Chelah Horsdal, Ryan Robbins, Jill Teed, Sean Tyson, Halldor Bjarnason, Emily Holmes. Director: Shana Feste. Screenplay: Shana Feste. Web site. Trailer. When is enough enough? For some of us, the answer is obvious, and it marks the point where we put our foot down. But, for others, the line may not at all be clear; in fact, it could be essentially invisible, which can lead to all kinds of problems. Learning how to identify these demarcation points and subsequently implementing the requisite barriers can thus become a crucial life skill as a middle-aged mom struggling with the issue [...]

2018-08-11T01:44:03+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Hearts Beat Loud’ joyfully celebrates creativity, choice

“Hearts Beat Loud” (2018). Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Quincy Dunn-Baker. Director: Brett Haley. Screenplay: Brett Haley and Marc Basch. Web site. Trailer. Following our passion is something most of us dream about. But how many of us are able to see it through? Unfortunately, life often seems to get in the way. And sometimes we get in our own way, too. Clearing away the clutter, making a plan and working up the gumption to move forward all factor into the process, but how adept are we at these tasks? These are some of the challenges that a pair of would-be professional musicians face in the heartfelt new comedy-drama, “Hearts Beat Loud.” [...]

2018-07-10T06:29:30+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘First Reformed’ assesses our choices and their results

“First Reformed” (2018). Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles, Victoria Hill, Philip Ettinger, Michael Gaston, Bill Hoag, Frank Rodriguez. Director: Paul Schrader. Screenplay: Paul Schrader. Web site. Trailer. The weight of the world is quite a load for anyone to carry, even those who believe they’re best equipped to do so. Holding up under such circumstances can easily be more than one can bear, but some take up the challenge anyway. Why? That’s a key question for a beleaguered protagonist in the gripping new drama, “First Reformed.” Pastor Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is, somewhat ironically, a troubled soul. As a former military academy chaplain who has suffered a number of personal tragedies and a crisis of conscience, he’s been [...]

2018-06-21T19:23:52+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Disobedience’ dares to challenge taboos

“Disobedience” (2018). Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola, Anton Lesser, Bernice Stegers, Allan Corduner, Nicholas Woodeson, Liza Sadovy. Director: Sebastián Lelio. Screenplay: Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Book: Naomi Alderman, Disobedience. Web site. Trailer. Getting what we want from life, especially in an area as critical as romance, may push us to our limits. We may find ourselves saddled with constraints that push back against us, thwarting our efforts and keeping us from fulfilling our objectives. But these conditions are often wholly arbitrary, capable of being overcome with the right degrees of determination and self-reliance, themes explored in the new romantic drama, “Disobedience.” When a much-beloved but aging and frail rav (Anton Lesser) passes on, the faithful of his [...]

2018-06-14T10:20:25+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘God’s Own Country’ encourages us to find ourselves

“God’s Own Country” (2017). Cast: Josh O’ Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones, Melanie Kilburn, Harry Lister Smith, John McCrea. Director: Francis Lee. Screenplay: Francis Lee. Web site. Trailer. Finding the courage to assert ourselves and lead the life we want can be challenging, especially under unrelenting and oppressive circumstances. We can retreat from the world, drowning ourselves in various diversions, but, while that might take away the momentary discomfort, it doesn’t really solve the issue at hand. And the longer we put it off to the side, the longer the pain lingers and the more likely we’re to grow jaded and embittered. In the end, confronting the matter will provide the only real chance at a solution, but [...]

2018-06-10T22:07:59+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Tully’ nudges us to look at life’s choices

“Tully” (2018). Cast: Charlize Theron, Ron Livingston, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Elaine Tan, Asher Miles Fallica, Lia Frankland, Gameela Wright, Joshua Pak. Director: Jason Reitman. Screenplay: Diablo Cody. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever felt so overburdened by your circumstances that you didn’t know which way to turn first? The workload is so great that you can barely keep up, yet everything has to get done, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Such conditions can be demoralizing, so much so that you stop taking proper care of yourself and even come to resent your own life. If you can appreciate that, you’ll be able to relate to the everyday routine of an overwhelmed mother of three watching her [...]

2018-06-07T22:54:37+00:00 May 21st, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|