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Acting superb in Stan and Ollie   By Leonard Heldreth This month’s films include two biographical films and a new film by a controversial Greek director. STAN AND OLLIE Director John S. Baird’s film opens in 1937 when Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were at the peak of their fame, and he sets the stage […]

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Films explore troubled family relationships By Leonard Heldreth The films this month includes a conflict that affects a writer and his talented wife, and an exploration of gay conversion therapy. THE WIFE Swedish director Björn Runge’s film, The Wife, explores the dynamics of a long-time marriage in which the wife has the talent but the […]

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If ‘Old Man’ is Redford’s last film, he made a graceful exit By Leonard Heldreth The films this month follow the exploits of a gentlemanly bank robber from the past and explore some very contemporary conflicts in black and white relationships. The Old Man & the Gun David Lowery’s most recent film, The Old Man […]

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RACISM RECOUNTED

BlacKkKlansman recalls 40-year-old events and serves as a relevant message for confronting racism today   By Leonard Heldreth The films this month include two movies that are oriented toward minority groups and a biopic of an alcoholic, disabled cartoonist. BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee returns to the top of his form as director with BlacKkKlansman. Angry, messy, […]

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Movies aimed at smaller, but appreciative audiences

  By Leonard Heldreth The films this month were not designed to be blockbusters but were aimed at a limited but generally appreciative audience. DAMSEL In an opening scene that hints at Samuel Beckett’s plays, Damsel telegraphs its plans to take varying degrees of liberty with the Western genre. Two men sit on a bench […]

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By Leonard Heldreth Our films this month are all about ghosts, aliens and demons.   A Quiet Place Horror movies often use sounds to frighten an audience—a creaking door, howling wind, rustling noises—but John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is set in a world that tries to remain silent. The film starts with “Day 89” in […]

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MOVIE VARIETY

By Leonard Heldreth Films this month range from a mainstream gay love story to an animated tale set in Afghanistan. Love, Simon Love, Simon has received substantial critical and box-office attention for two reasons. First, it’s a successful teen romantic comedy in the style of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, or other films by John […]

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DRAMA TAKE CENTER STAGE

New films are based closely on actual events By Leonard Heldreth All the films this month are close adaptations of real events and people. All the Money in the World Ridley Scott’s newest thriller is based on John Pearson’s 1995 book, Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty. […]

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Two tales of love

Love stories underpin May’s picks By Leonard Heldreth Our films this month are two love stories, but neither fits the traditional Hollywood pattern. The Shape of Water The story of a beautiful woman pursued by an amorous beast has a long history in film, going back at least as far as silent films like The […]

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HOME CINEMA Sequels, films about powerful women, and some short discussions constitute the column this month. Blade Runner 2049 Blade Runner 2049 is a direct sequel to the original film, and anyone expecting to understand and enjoy it should first watch Blade Runner The Final Cut. The original film has become available in three versions […]

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Robbery, allegory, war round out picks

By Leonard Heldreth Two films about bank robberies, a surrealistic allegory, and an epic war film are the recommendations for this month. Logan Lucky Stephen Soderbergh has returned to feature films after a 4-year hiatus during which he directed the HBO film, Behind the Candelabra, and completed all the episodes of the TV series, The […]

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Some films delight, others fall short

By Leonard G. Heldreth The films this month include two thrillers, a meditation on youth, and a nostalgic look at a Western actor, Sam Elliott. Wind River Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter and director of Wind River, has had experience both in front of and behind the cameras. As an actor, he played in Sons of […]

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This month’s reviews cover a variety of films from Victorian suspense through revenge action, animation, World War II combat, and music documentaries. My Cousin Rachel Daphne Du Maurier’s 1951 novel, My Cousin Rachel, has been filmed twice before. The first was in1952, starring Olivia deHavilland and Richard Burton; Du Maurier disliked the film version, saying […]

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The supernatural takes the stage in October

All of the films this month have science fiction plots; three of the four are sequels, and the fourth depends for its plot devices on earlier science fiction films. Alien: Covenant The latest film in the “Alien” franchise most closely resembles the first two films in the series. It brings back Ridley Scott as the […]

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Suspense, horror films examine race in September picks

By Leonard Heldreth This month we examine the eccentricities of European businessmen, cringe in two suspenseful films about people trapped, and explore the Amazon basin in the early 20th century. Is Toni Erdmann the best 162-minute German comedy you are likely to see? Is it even a comedy, although it has several hilarious scenes? Certainly, […]

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