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‘A Hidden Life’ pushes us to listen to our heart

“A Hidden Life” (2019). Cast: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Karin Neuhäuser, Matthias Schoenaerts, Franz Rogowski, Bruno Ganz, Tobias Moretti, Ulrich Mathes, Karl Markovics, Michael Nyqvist, Johannes Krisch, Johan Leysen, Alexander Fehling, Ida Mutschlechner, Maria Weger, Aennie Lade. Director: Terrence Malick. Screenplay: Terrence Malick. Web site. Trailer. Following our conscience often poses us with some of the most potent dilemmas we will encounter during our lifetimes. Such situations force us to confront doing what we believe to be the right thing in the face of circumstances that would seek to compel us to respond otherwise. The effect may be confounding, perhaps even paralyzing, but it generally pushes us to follow our hearts and minds, to address our innermost beliefs [...]

2020-01-17T11:27:45+00:00 January 17th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

The Best – and Worst – of 2019

With another year coming to a close, it’s time for my annual review of the best – and worst – in cinema of the past 12 months. And what a generally disappointing year it was. Truly great films were few and far between, with only a handful earning the status of being genuinely outstanding. Some offerings were commendable, and many were adequate, but quite a few were sorely lacking. In fact, in compiling my list, I had far less trouble coming up with my Bottom 10 than I did with those at the top, something that speaks volumes about the quality of 2019’s offerings. This is something that’s reflected in this year’s field of Oscar nominees as well, a subject [...]

2020-01-16T11:17:32+00:00 January 16th, 2020|Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Bombshell’ tests our resolve for the truth

“Bombshell” (2019). Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Mark Moses, Ben Lawson, Josh Lawson, Alanna Ubach, Kevin Dorff, Anne Ramsay, Jennifer Morrison, Liv Hewson, Rob Delaney, Amy Landecker, Nazanin Boniadi, Richard Kind, Holland Taylor. Archives: Donald Trump. Director: Jay Roach. Screenplay: Charles Randolph. Web site. Trailer. When patently unfair circumstances arise, many of us have a natural tendency to want to make them known, exposing the perpetrators for their misdeeds. But, when extenuating conditions – particularly those that could significantly impact us personally – intrude upon our willingness to step forward, we may find ourselves putting on the brakes when we don’t want to. Resolving such quandaries can [...]

2020-01-06T08:46:05+00:00 January 5th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘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 [...]

2019-12-31T23:18:18+00:00 December 31st, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘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 [...]

2019-12-27T22:06:00+00:00 December 27th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘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 [...]

2019-12-22T23:50:28+00:00 December 22nd, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|