Year: 2019

‘Dark Waters’ pushes us to test – and surpass – our limits

‘Dark Waters’ pushes us to test – and surpass – our limits

“Dark Waters” (2019). Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Bill Pullman, Mare Winningham, Victor Garber, Louisa Krause, William Jackson Harper, Richard Hagerman, Denise Dal Vera, Scarlett Hicks, Bella Falcone, Jim Azelvandre, Kevin Crowley, Jeffrey Grover, Kelly Mengelkoch, Annie Fitzpatrick, John Newberg. Director: Todd Haynes. Screenplay: Matthew Michael Carnahan and Mario Correa. Story: Nathaniel Rich, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare,” The New York Times Magazine, 2016. Web site. Trailer. At some point in our lives, many of us come face to face with situations where we need to make difficult choices and engage in challenging tasks, simply because they’re the right thing to do. Such efforts may test us severely, pushing us to the brink of – and possibly beyond – what we think we’re capable of. Those can be hard times, for sure, but, when we consider what’s at stake – and what we can gain by willingly choosing to act – we’re likely to see that we must do what we do if we’re to live with ourselves. So it is for a beleaguered protagonist in the new fact-based legal thriller, “Dark Waters.” Attorney Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) enjoys a comfortable and successful life ...
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‘Marriage Story’ showcases what makes a relationship succeed – or fail

‘Marriage Story’ showcases what makes a relationship succeed – or fail

“Marriage Story” (2019). Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever, Wallace Shawn, Azhy Robertson, Martha Kelly, Mark O’Brien, Robert Smigel, Brook Bloom. Director: Noah Baumbach. Screenplay: Noah Baumbach. Web site. Trailer. It’s sad when a relationship comes to an end, even when it’s the best thing for the partners involved. But matters can become that much worse when the parting becomes inflamed with heated rhetoric and venomous emotions, not only for those directly involved, but also for those touched by the fallout. Such is painful saga outlined in the gripping new family drama, “Marriage Story.” From all outward appearances, Charlie and Nicole Barber (Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson) have what seems to be a happy and fulfilling marriage. But, as quickly becomes apparent, looks can be deceiving. After years of simmering tensions between the two of them, the New York theater company director and his actress wife have agreed to divorce, a process they hope to implement with civility, cooperation and the best of intentions. They hope to make the transition as smoothly and seamlessly as possible for all concerned, especially their young son, Henry (Azhy Robertson). However, those hopes are quickly dashed. Despite ...
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‘Honey Boy’ explores the mixed signals behind tough love

‘Honey Boy’ explores the mixed signals behind tough love

“Honey Boy” (2019). Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe, Byron Bowers, Laura San Giacomo, FKA Twigs, Natasha Lyonne, Clifton Collins Jr., Mario Ponce, Martin Starr. Director: Alma Har’el. Screenplay: Shia LaBeouf. Web site. Trailer. Growing up under strict parents can be difficult. Their dictates can be a lot to handle, especially when it seems like there’s no getting away from them. And it can be that much more challenging when they dole out seemingly unusual, wholly irrational demands, particularly when combined with questionable behavior and physical abuse. However, as troubling as such conditions may be, sometimes there is a method to that madness, even if it goes unexplained. Such seemingly “tough love” is often misinterpreted as something else entirely, its underlying intent obscured by surface considerations that overshadow what’s behind them. That’s the challenge to be unraveled by a disturbed young adult in the intense new drama, “Honey Boy.” Set in 2005, “Honey Boy” presents the semi-autobiographical tale of writer-actor Shia LaBeouf’s stormy relationship with his father while growing up as a child star in Hollywood. The story, told through flashbacks to a decade earlier, examines the struggle of now-adult acting prodigy Otis Lort (Lucas Hedges) as he goes through ...
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‘Beautiful Day’ extols the virtues of forgiveness

‘Beautiful Day’ extols the virtues of forgiveness

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (2019). Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson, Maryann Plunkett, Enrico Colantoni, Wendy Makkena, Tammy Blanchard, Noah Harpster, Christine Lahti, Carmen Cusack, Kelley Davies, Maddie Corman, Daniel Krell, Jessica Hecht. Director: Marielle Heller. Screenplay: Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Story: Tom Junod, “Can You Say… Hero?”, Esquire magazine, 1998. Web site. Trailer. Forgiveness is one of the most renewing and fulfilling acts we can undertake. However, it can also be one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors we can pursue, especially when a loved one, such as a family member, is involved. Nevertheless, the rewards that come from such a compassionate venture can be immeasurable. Such is the case with a new fact-based film that explores this subject from the standpoint of fathers and sons, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Hard-nosed investigative journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) may be good at his job, but he’s not the kind of person who others readily warm up to. That’s especially true for the subjects of his Esquire magazine articles, who often feel worked over in the wake of his probing investigations. However, the gritty Gothamite has become so jaded by his ...
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Now on iHeart Radio!

Now on iHeart Radio!

The Good Media Network is pleased to announce that its podcasts are now featured on iHeart Radio! Fans of Frankiesense & More can find it by clicking here. And those interested in TGMN’s sister broadcast, Mission Unstoppable, can find it by clicking here. Archived editions of past shows are available on both links, including the Movies with Meaning segments featuring yours truly. So, if you’re looking for a current show or you missed a past episode, or if you just want to go back and listen to your favorites again, check out the iHeart sites and enjoy! ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Honey Boy,” “The Report” and “By the Grace of God,” as well as a podcast update, 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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