‘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 [...]

2020-04-17T06:53:20+00:00 March 8th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2020-04-09T14:13:44+00:00 February 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, 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|

‘Ordinary Love’ proves there’s nothing ordinary about it

“Ordinary Love” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, David Wilmot, Amit Shah, Melanie Clark Pullen, Esh Alladi. Directors: Lisa Barrows D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn. Screenplay: Owen McCafferty. Web site. Trailer. “Love” is a word we often bandy about rather casually without really giving much thought to what’s behind it. That can be unfortunate, since such a practice frequently sells it short, giving us a diminished perspective on what it actually can do. Fortunately, there are tales out there that shed a bright light on the subject, showing us what it can achieve when employed skillfully and deliberately. So it is with the new touching romantic drama, “Ordinary Love.” Middle-aged couple Tom (Liam Neeson) and Joan (Lesley Manville) [...]

2020-03-12T23:24:56+00:00 February 20th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Corpus Christi’ asks, ‘Who speaks for God?’

“Corpus Christi” (“Boże Cialo”) (2019). Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek, Barbara Kurzaj, Leszek Lichota, Zdislaw Wardejn, Lukasz Simlat. Director: Jan Komasa. Screenplay: Mateusz Pacewicz. Web site. Trailer. Some of us are naturally inclined to feel the power of spirit, to experience its movement through us. As a consequence, we may well want to convey the essence of that divinity to others, especially those in need of comfort or guidance. But is it a practice for which we need the permission of authority figures? Or should we be free to express ourselves, regardless of whether we fulfill the “qualifications” supposedly required for carrying out this mission? Those are among the questions raised in the new fact-based Polish morality [...]

2020-03-03T10:37:02+00:00 February 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Clemency’ pushes us to look at our personal morality

“Clemency” (2019). Cast: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff, Richard Gunn, Michael O’Neill, Vernee Watson, Dennis Haskins, LaMonica Garrett, Danielle Brooks, Michelle C. Bonilla, Alex Castillo, Alma Martinez. Director: Chinonye Chukwu. Screenplay: Chinonye Chukwu. Web site. Trailer. Life and death matters generally give us pause to reflect upon our outlook on life, especially from a moral standpoint. But what happens when we’re conflicted? Can we sort out our feelings to come up with beliefs that lead to the right decisions about such issues? Such is the dilemma faced by a high-ranking prison official in the intense new drama, “Clemency.” Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard) has spent many years as the warden of a maximum security prison, and, from the [...]

2020-02-26T12:37:19+00:00 February 3rd, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Les Misérables’ asks us to examine our intentions

“Les Misérables” (2019). Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga, Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Steve Tientcheu, Almamy Kanoute, Nizar Ben Fatma, Raymond Lopez, Jeanne Balibar, Fodjé Sissoko. Director: Ladj Ly. Screenplay: Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini and Alexis Manenti. Book: Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. Web site. Trailer. Many of us often look upon the world and wonder why it exists in the state that it does. Some elements seem so patently unfair and incapable of being made better. What’s more, the task of rectifying them is so daunting that it appears to be an impossible undertaking, one clearly beyond our abilities. However, if we make the effort to scrutinize the underlying cause of these conditions, it might not be so difficult [...]

2020-02-25T06:52:16+00:00 February 2nd, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Just Mercy’ chronicles the quest for justice

“Just Mercy” (2019). Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Rafe Spall, Tim Blake Nelson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rob Morgan, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Karan Kendrick, Michael Harding, Lindsay Ayliffe, Dominic Bogart, C.J. LeBlanc, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Rhoda Griffis. Director: Destin Daniel Cretton. Screenplay: Destin Daniel Cretton and Andrew Lanham. Book: Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy. Web site. Trailer. One would like to hope that justice is served every time a legal matter arises, but, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), most of us are wise enough to realize that’s not the case. That’s especially troubling in proceedings where capital punishment is concerned, given the ramifications involved. We can only hope that matters turn out as they should and that the truth is not sacrificed [...]

2020-02-22T05:47:32+00:00 January 29th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|