‘The Father’ seeks to confront what’s thought impossible

“The Father” (“Bashtata”) (2019). Cast: Ivan Barnev, Ivan Savov, Margita Gosheva (voice), Tanya Shahova, Hristofor Nedkov, Boyan Doychinov, Nikolay Todorov. Directors: Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. Screenplay: Kristina Grozeva, Decho Taralezhkov and Petar Valchanov. Web site. Trailer. It can be easy to get stuck. And it can be even easier to allow ourselves to stay stuck. Indeed, in such situations, we can readily convince ourselves that we’re trapped by conditions that can’t be changed, irretrievably ensnared by what cannot be altered. But is that really true? It may be possible to shift our circumstances, but it can take some effort to do so, as a mourning father and son find out in the new Bulgarian dark comedy-drama, “The Father” (“Bashtata”). [...]

2020-03-26T07:15:04+00:00 March 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Babyteeth’ explores the choices of an uncertain future

“Babyteeth” (2019). Cast: Eliza Scanlen, Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Andrea Demetriades, Eugene Gilfedder. Director: Shannon Murphy. Screenplay: Rita Kalnejais. Play: Rita Kalnejais, Babyteeth. Web site. Trailer. If you were up against your own mortality, how would you spend your time? That question might be a little easier to answer for someone who’s somewhat on in years and who has the benefit of a wealth of life experience to draw upon. But, for someone lacking such insight, that decision might be a little more difficult to make; you know you want to get something in under your belt with the time that remains, but the choices may not be readily apparent, given that you’ve never been through [...]

‘To Dust’ wrestles with expectations, obsession

“To Dust” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Géza Röhrig, Matthew Broderick, Leo Heller, Ziv Zaifman, Janet Sarno, Bern Cohen, Ben Hammer, Joseph Siprut, Marceline Hugot, Isabelle Phillips, Natalie Carter, Leanne Michelle Watson. Director: Shawn Snyder. Screenplay: Jason Begue and Shawn Snyder. Web site. Trailer. We all have expectations about how life is supposed to unfold. In fact, we may feel so confident about them that we even take them for granted. But what happens when they don’t materialize as anticipated? That can easily make us uncomfortable, perhaps even unnerved, especially when there are high emotional stakes involved. And, when that process moves forward seemingly unchecked, we may even grow obsessive about these unmet expectations. So it is for a grieving widower [...]

2020-03-08T01:32:52+00:00 March 3rd, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Truth’ urges us to remove the drama from the stage of life

“The Truth” (“le Verità”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier, Manon Clavel, Roger Van Hool, Alain Libolt, Christian Crahay, Ludavigne Sagnier, Sébastien Chassange, Laurent Capelluto, Jackie Berroyer. Director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Web site. Trailer. Drama may have a place in life, but some of us have trouble determining the stage on which it’s most appropriate. Theaters and movie screens are certainly acceptable venues, but, when drama makes its presence felt on the stage of life, it may well have overstepped its bounds. That’s particularly true when it intrudes upon personal relationships, a place where its appearance may be unwanted, if not unhealthy. Such is the case in the long-tense dealings between [...]

2020-02-26T12:36:36+00:00 February 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Knives and Skin’ charts the slow journey out of dysfunction

“Knives and Skin” (2019). Cast: Marika Engelhardt, Raven Whitley, Tim Hopper, Audrey Francis, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Grace Smith, Ty Olwin, James Vincent Meredith, Kate Arrington, Robert T. Cunningham, Kayla Carter, Alex Moss, Jalen Gilbert, Tony Fitzpatrick, Genevieve Venjohnson, Aurora Real De Asua, Ireon Roach, Haley Bolithon. Director: Jennifer Reeder. Screenplay: Jennifer Reeder. Web site. Trailer. When we feel like we’re stuck in a rut, escape seems almost unfathomable. And, the greater the dysfunction associated with that condition, the more onerous the circumstances become. But such conditions need not be an irrevocable sentence, especially if we can find it within us to search for a way forward. These are the challenges of a group of adult and teen residents in a [...]

2020-03-19T09:30:14+00:00 February 22nd, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Jojo Rabbit’ charts the challenges of growing up

“Jojo Rabbit” (2019). Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Taiki Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates. Director: Taiki Waititi. Screenplay: Taiki Waititi. Book: Christine Leunens, Caging Skies. Web site. Trailer. Growing up can be difficult enough as we seek to understand the complexities of the world around us. But, if we add to that a quest to grasp an emerging sense of self and the place we occupy in our existence, the task can become overwhelming. Where do we turn for guidance? Who can we trust? And what advice should we seriously consider? Those questions might seem obvious and fundamental, but that doesn’t make them any less daunting, especially for those who lack [...]

2019-12-27T22:06:38+00:00 November 13th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) (2019). Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Jung Ziso, Hyun-jun Jong, Jeong-eun Lee, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park. Director: Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay: Jin Won Hon and Bong Joon-ho. Web site. Trailer. When the have-nots stare down the ample resources of the haves, there’s almost always sure to be a degree of envy involved. “How is it that they’ve come to acquire what we haven’t?” they might legitimately ask. “Why can’t we have some of that?” Those questions have merit, too. But how far are the have-nots willing to go to get what they seek? That’s a crucial issue posed in the new social satire, “Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”). Times are tough for [...]

2019-12-22T23:51:13+00:00 November 8th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ celebrates getting the most out of life

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” (2019). Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Yelawolf, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley, Wayne DeHart, Bruce Henderson. Directors: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Screenplay: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Web site. Trailer. How many of us are living truly fulfilled lives? Do we approach our existence with all-out gusto and a willingness to pursue our dreams? Or are we restricted by rules, regulations, fears and regrets – many of our own making – that keep us from fulfilling our potential? Sometimes it takes breaking out of rigid, ingrained patterns of thought and behavior that prevent us from getting the most out of our time in [...]

2019-10-07T09:19:01+00:00 August 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Bernadette’ examines the compulsion to create

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (2019). Cast: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Kristin Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, Troian Bellisario, Zoe Chao, Megan Mullally, Steve Zahn, David Paymer, James Urbaniak, Kate Burton. Director: Richard Linklater. Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent and Vince Palmo. Book: Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Web site. Trailer. Some of us just have to create. The compulsion is so strong that we can’t ignore it, as if it’s an itch that must be scratched. And, if that need goes unfulfilled, it can drive us crazy – literally. So it is for an exceptionally talented woman on the brink in the offbeat new comedy-drama, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) leads a rather unusual life. [...]

2019-09-25T08:55:05+00:00 August 26th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|