American Pastoral is based on Philip Roth's 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning novel which follows the life and Seymour Levov and his observations on his fellow man and the inevitable fake veneer many of us build to masquerade their real personalities.
Seymour Irving Levov has always lived a quiet life, he takes over his family business and marries a woman he loves very much. They have a large house and live a very comfortable life. They have a beautiful daughter called Meredith and up until her teenage years, Merry is much like any other kids but there's a turning point.
Various social influences - in particular the war - make a huge impact on Merry's life and she soon becomes an extremist, after growing more and more weary of her voice not being heard, Merry plants a bomb in a local post office and she becomes a wanted person.
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'Lincoln' will show the last four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life as he campaigned for freedom before he was tragically assassinated in 1865. It will reveal in detail the extent of his conflict with various members of the cabinet over his decision to abolish the slave trade towards the end of the American Civil War. His very close success in the House of Representatives over the proposition of the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery is portrayed as one of the most crucial steps in his work against the trade. The last months of his life also saw him fail to negotiate an end to the War and saw the Union's ultimate victory.
This drama-fuelled biopic is the important story of one of the most influential and inspiring presidents of the United States that have ever been in office. It has been based on some of the biography 'Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln' by Doris Kearns Goodwin with an adapted screenplay by Oscar nominee Tony Kushner ('Munich') and the directing genius of the legendary Steven Spielberg ('Jaws', 'E.T.', 'Jurassic Park', 'Schindler's List', 'War of the Worlds') who wanted to show Lincoln 'at work' and not just 'posing for the history books'. Spielberg has described the former president as 'arguably the greatest working President in American history'. The movie is set for release in the UK on January 25th 2013.
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones , Michael Stuhlbarg, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Sally Field, James Spader, Julie White, John Hawkes, David Strathairn, Bruce McGill, Hal Holbrook and Adam Driver.
For over 12 years Prospera and her daughter Miranda have been exiled by Prospera's brother to a baron island where they live a life of solitude accompanied only by spirits and one non-spiritual occupant; Caliban, the son of a witch who died just before the arrival of the two human souls.
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Fracture has no excuse to be so lazy, given the actors at its disposal and a setup that should have made this an easy slam-dunk. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, an aeronautics engineer who's found out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with police detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Confronting her at home, Crawford shoots her in the head and calmly waits for the cops to arrive. When they do, it's with none other than Nunally at the lead, who's shocked and enraged at finding Jennifer in a pool of blood and Crawford standing there as though nothing had happened. After a quickly-interrupted beating from Nunally, Crawford later confesses and even waives his right to a lawyer. When it's all dropped in the lap of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling), the case couldn't seem more airtight, which is good since Beachum can't wait to slip the bonds of lowly civil employment for a well-paying private sector job.
Continue reading: Fracture Review
Whether she knew it or not, Bettie Page was breaking a lot of taboos when she started posing in bondage films and photos (maybe she knew but just decided to not care?). Current trends in modeling, including Dita Von Teese and Suicide Girls, often cite Page as an inspiration for their work. In Von Teese there is a certain comparison, but Suicide Girls, whether they like it or not, are not celebrating taboo. If anything, they are destroying taboo and making everything normal, even the strange and macabre. The trick with Page was that she didn't really see it as a bad thing; she never had it in her mind to exploit the idea of "the bad girl." Whether this was on director Mary Harron's mind when she opted to take on the life story of Bettie Page is up for debate.
Raised in Tennessee to a strict, religious family and a father with a fondness for bathing suit areas, Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol) is set to become a teacher at college when she marries an army man and promptly leaves him when he hits her. After being sexually assaulted by a group of men, she makes her way to New York City to become an actress. The moment of fate comes when an off-duty police officer and amateur photog decides to take her picture. Soon enough, she's being sought out by famous photographers like Bunny Yeager (Sarah Paulson) and specialty photography siblings Irving and Paula Klaw (Chris Bauer and Lili Taylor, respectively). Her friends, mostly male, are astonished by her nonchalant attitude towards nudity and bondage. She just sees it as "silly pictures," but the Senate, led by Senator Estes Kefauver (David Strathairn, absolutely wasted), thinks it's warping the youth of America. Mostly, Bettie just wants to make a nice, God-fearing life for herself with a man who doesn't judge her.
Continue reading: The Notorious Bettie Page Review
Ashley Judd plays newbie homicide detective Jessica Shepard, a former street beat cop whose quick rise in the department is due to her connections with the police commissioner John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson). When Shepard's parents were killed in a murder-suicide decades before, Mills (who was Shepard's father's former partner) became Shepard's surrogate father and mentor. She still struggles with the death of her family today and attends mandated counseling sessions with Dr. Melvin Frank (David Strathairn). Yet, despite the professional help, she drinks heavy doses of alcohol, sleeps with any man she finds at a bar, and fights with fellow detectives.
Continue reading: Twisted Review
I said "aims," of course. A Map of the World is deeply flawed yet still worth a look, especially if you're into grandiose, weepy, self-important dramas. And hey, who isn't?
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Believe it or not, Disney's watery version of the classic play and true story is not as bad as you'd think. While Eisenberg grates, at least she doesn't get to speak. Alison Elliott, so memorable in films like The Wings of the Dove, plays the titular worker of miracles Annie Sullivan as angry and almost mean, but in the end she is called upon to carry the picture, and she mostly does. David Strathairn's turn as Captain Keller (also angry and mean) is forgettable, but it's the small performance by Lucas Black (All the Pretty Horses) as Helen's brother that is actually the best part of the movie.
Continue reading: The Miracle Worker (2000) Review
If you're tired of the ugliness surrounding the summer sport, or just need to be entertained, than you should check out A League of Their Own, now out on DVD. Like most great sports movies, League is more than just a series of dazzling feats between the lines. It features laughs, drama, and excitement... in short all of the aspects that make the sports section of the newspaper so captivating.
Continue reading: A League Of Their Own Review
In exploring this relationship, and virtually all of the relationships in the film, Moncrieff and her actors don't shy away from awkward, uncomfortable truths. Strathairn does especially well with this material; although there are only a few scenes of him teaching in front of the whole class, he captures the reserved vibe of a talented, unflashy high school English teacher as instantly as a snapshot. The audience's perception of the Auster character is most open to change over the film's 90 minutes, and Strathairn is a rock of believability, refusing to bother with cheap signifiers when Auster's actions become morally ambiguous (it may help if you find, as I do, almost any cast member from Sneakers infinitely watchable by association). Newcomer Agnes Brucker is equally reluctant to indulge in theatrics; armed with Bruckner's unfussy expressiveness, Meg's every decision is understandable.
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Now that the Greenlight formula is well established, it comes as no surprise to find Speakeasy falling right in line with the films we've seen before. It's basically a family drama, it has elements of a period piece scattered throughout, it's got a disabled person or two, and its screenplay eventually wraps around to where things began. Simple, small, and manipulative, this is what Project Greenlight has become all about: It's the Lifetime Network of the indie cinema movement.
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I've always seen "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as one of Shakespeare's daffier comedies -- what with the fairies and all -- so this film version, adapted by director Michael Hoffman ("One Fine Day," "Restoration"), came as something of a surprise because it takes itself so seriously.
Hoffman seems to hold the Bard's less jestful observations on amour ("The course of true love never did run smooth") in higher regard than his saucy slapstick of miscommunication.
The laughs are definitely present, but they're subdued as two pairs of young sweethearts steal away into the forest (of 19th Century Tuscany in this adaptation) trying to escape the consequences of an arranged marriage, and rush headlong and unknowingly into the domain of impishly interfering immortals.
Continue reading: A Midsummer Night's Dream Review
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