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Welcome

This is my place for talking about movies, old and new.  Here I will post short reviews and more general stuff about the cinema.

Your comments are most welcome.  I’d like to keep this as a place for civilized and courteous discourse – so if anything that I or someone else writes upsets you, please count to ten (or higher, if your irritation requires it) before deciding to post something impolite.

Thank you, and I wish you luck.

Madame Bovary (2014)

Directed by Sophie Barthes

3 stars

Country doctor Charles Bovary (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) weds Emma (Mia Wasikowska), rescuing her from the stultifying existence that a convent education and life as a farmer’s daughter have decreed for her.

For the unambitious and barely competent Charles, this marriage is an end-point in itself, the limit of his aspirations. However, Emma wishes for much more, and neither Charles nor his modest income will stand in the way of her desire to climb the social ladder. Read more

Gemma Bovery (2014)

Directed by Anne Fontaine

5 stars

From the book by Gustave Flaubert, but more directly from the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, comes this re-telling of Madame Bovary.

In a quiet village in modern-day Normandy lives baker Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini), a former literary editor whose passion for 19th century literature was evidently too exciting for him. His peace of mind is disrupted by the arrival of an English couple, the dour Charles Bovery (Jason Flemyng) and his vivacious wife Gemma (Gemma Arterton). Read more

The Equalizer (2014)

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

3 stars

Bob (Denzel Washington) leads a quiet, disciplined, solitary life. He rises before his alarm clock tells him to; eats little but healthily; is a mentor to his colleagues at the vast hardware store where he works; and befriends waifs like Russian prostitute Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz). If troubles arise, he tries to deal with them in calm, conciliatory way.

And when that fails, he kills – efficiently and very brutally. Read more

Cut Bank (2014)

Directed by Matt Shakman

2 stars

“Welcome to Cut Bank MT. The coldest spot in the nation” announces the sign at the entrance to the town where Dwayne (Liam Hemsworth) and girlfriend Cassandra (Teresa Palmer) reside, dreaming of a life somewhere where there is life.

Dwayne cares for his severely disabled dad by night, and works in a body shop owned by Cassandra’s highly buttoned-up father Big Stan (Billy Bob Thornton). Cassandra aims to take first place in the upcoming Miss Cut Bank contest and, while filming her rehearsing her performance, Dwayne’s camera records the shooting by an unknown assailant of grouchy mailman Georgie Wits (Bruce Dern). The tape could be the key to a $100,000 reward for Dwayne, and escape from Cut Bank. Read more

The Riot Club (2014)

Directed by Lone Scherfig

2 stars

As new students settle in to life at Oxford, a small group of privileged, very well-heeled young men have ambitions to be part of something even more exclusive than the ancient university: the Riot Club. Read more

Tusk (2014)

Directed by Kevin Smith

3 stars

LA-based podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) and sidekick Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) make a living from videos that celebrate the Darwin Awards candidate in all of us. When a clip of a Canadian wannabe-samurai accidentally amputating his left leg goes viral, Wallace sets off on his first visit to the Great White North, to bag a follow-up interview. Read more

The New Girlfriend (2014)
Une nouvelle amie

Directed by: François Ozon

2 stars

Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) and Laura grow up as inseparable best friends – a relationship that, at least for Claire, may be more than just platonic. They support each through everything, including marriage, but Laura falls ill and, shortly after giving birth, she dies.

Claire and husband Gilles (Raphäel Personnaz) want to support Laura’s widower David (Romain Duris) and baby Lucie, but when she drops in unexpectedly Claire discovers David dressed as a woman, with more than a passing resemblance to the late Laura. Read more

The Reach (2014)

Directed by Jean-Baptiste Léonetti

2 stars

“He’s paying a thousand dollars a day” says the sheriff (Ronny Cox) of the small Mojave Desert town to Ben (Jeremy Irvine), a sad, serious tracker who’s just said goodbye to his off-to-college girlfriend. Read more