Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Children of a Lesser God

1 hr 58 min
4 stars

I'm having trouble with this movie. I thought it would be more about teaching deaf kids to speak, with maybe a subplot of romance. Uh, no. It's a love story with a subplot about teaching deaf kids to speak. This movie is very well acted (which is why it gets 4 stars), it's just not my cup of tea. As to the movie proper, the kids in the deaf school who spoke didn't sound, to me, like deaf kids. If you like romance with a bit of sex (germane to the story) this is probably a good movie. William Hurt is, well, mighty easy on the eyes. If you don't like romance, even with comedy tossed in, pass on this one.

Sunday, September 17, 2017



1 hr 41 min
Arabic / Excellent English subtitles
5 stars

Theeb (Wolf) is a Jordanian coming of age film set in the outback of the Ottoman Empire in 1916. This is not a gentle movie, as our young hero follows his elder brother into the desert to guide another Arab and an Englishman. The trip goes seriously awry, and the Bedouin culture of hospitality plays into the story as Theeb comes of age brutally and fast. The scenery alone is worth the time to watch, filmed entirely in Wadi Rum, southern Jordan. Clint Eastwood would feel right at home there, I think. Wikipedia says it is called a Bedouin Western. There are no women in the movie, and the only professional actor is Jack Fox, as the British officer.  The actors are all, except Fox, Bedouin. The language authentic. Possibly too intense for young children.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Late Quartet


1 hr 45 min
Drama, Classical Music
5 Stars

The Fugue, a string quartet of 3 men and 1 woman, has been together for 25 years. They play well together; two are married to each other with a college-aged daughter. Christopher Walken is wonderful as the cellist who, for health reasons wants to leave the quartet. Philip Seymour Hoffman is tired of playing second violin and wants to play first violin, his wife thinks he should leave well enough alone. Drama ensues as they all face their own midlife crises, and have to decide if the sum of the parts is greater than their individual selves. Are they professional musicians in a quartet, or soloists? Note, this is not related to the movie Quartet, in any way, other than both play marvelous classical music. A beautiful movie, well worth your time.

Monday, January 9, 2017


1 hr 39 min
Romantic Comedy for the Silver Haired 

5 Stars

What a fun movie! The acting was superb, the direction spot-on. Like many British movies, I had to turn the volume up to hear (what is it with their sound systems?), but it was oh-so-worth it! The story takes place in a home for retired musicians, and I understand many of the actors are retired musicians, which just adds another depth of delightedness. Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine) is wonderful as are the rest of the cast. There is a love story in the background (yes, Victoria, old farts and fartesses still love), as the home is trying to set up a concert for the locals to earn enough money to keep the home going, and not have to charge residents. And the sound track is to die for. This is a movie to own and to watch more than once.

Salt of the Earth


1 hr 50 min
English & subtitles
5 Stars

A documentary about Sebastiao Salgado, a Brazilian photographer. It gives us his live, and his work. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will leave you filled with hope by the end. You have seen his work, but probably didn't realize it was his. He has done work for the UN and Doctors Without Borders. He reminds me of a modern day Edward S. Curtis. He has 'saved' many of the indigenous peoples of South America with his cameras. There were areas where it was a little long, but hang in there. It's a beautiful documentary and well worth the time investment.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Position


90 minutes
5 Stars

What are you willing to forfeit to follow your dream? This documentary follows young dancers training for the Youth America Grand Prix competitions which very well will make or break their careers in ballet. Young people from around the world train and compete, and only a few in each category will progress. At stake are medals, scholarships, and possibly jobs. Would you give up your childhood to follow your dream? These kids did, and don't seem to miss it. I know nothing about dance, but I do love to watch it, and I found this documentary to be informative, and well done. Suitable for all ages.