Year: 2022

‘Macbeth’ chronicles the perils of unchecked ambition

‘Macbeth’ chronicles the perils of unchecked ambition

As they scheme to advance themselves, Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor (Denzel Washington, left), and his headstrong, ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth (Frances McDormand, right), devise a heinous plan to ascend to the throne of Scotland in director Joel Coen’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s epic saga, “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Photo courtesy of A24. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (2021). Cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, Kathryn Hunter, Bertie Carvel, Harry Melling, Moses Ingram, Ethan Hutchison, Miles Anderson, Alex Hassell, Matt Helm. Director: Joel Coen. Screenplay: Joel Coen. Play: William Shakespeare, The Tragedie of Macbeth. Web site. Trailer. Getting ahead in life is certainly admirable, but what happens when that drive gets seriously out of hand? Can we stifle the mayhem that’s sure to result? That’s especially problematic when the fate of a nation and its leadership are at stake. Such is the case in the latest film adaptation of a timeless classic, William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” As one of Shakespeare’s best-known works, it’s hard to believe that there’s anyone who’s not already familiar with the plot of this tragic saga. Having been presented countless times on stage and screen, with roughly 30 movie versions in one form ...
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‘Worst Person’ advises care in judgment

‘Worst Person’ advises care in judgment

“The Worst Person in the World” (“Verdens verste menneske”) (2021). Cast: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum, Maria Grazia Di Meo, Hans Olav Brenner, Vidar Sandem, Marianne Krogh. Director: Joachim Trier. Screenplay: Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt. Web site. Trailer. Passing judgment is something that, for what it’s worth, seems to come all too easily to most of us. That’s especially true when someone engages in acts that affect us negatively, and, in some cases, such blame may be genuinely deserved. But what happens if such effects result from acts that originate with honest, benign intentions? And what if we unwittingly contribute to those outcomes? How should we react then? Is judgment still warranted? Such are the questions raised in the new Norwegian rom-com/character study, “The Worst Person in the World” (“Verdens verste menneske”). Making up one’s mind about what one wants out of life isn’t always easy. That seems to be especially true for Julie (Renate Reinsve), a twenty-something Oslo resident who seems perpetually lost in a sea of indecision. Consider her career path, for example. Having attained good grades as an undergraduate, she’s thrilled to have qualified to enroll in medical school. But, not long after starting ...
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The Best – and Worst – of 2021

The Best – and Worst – of 2021

It’s that time of year again – time for my wrap-up of the best – and worst – movies of the year. Coming up with this year’s list was indeed challenging. Considering how lame 2021 was for new film releases, I initially had difficulty compiling a Top 10 list; there were plenty of middle ground candidates worthy of honorable mentions or modestly favorable ratings, but, in drafting my first Top 10 summation, I only managed to come up with eight pictures that I felt were suitable enough to be accorded such a designation. I later arrived rounded out the list, but it wasn’t until I screened a few last-minute entries. As for the Bottom 10 and my list of Dishonorable Mentions, I had no trouble coming up with a list of candidates. In fact, there were plenty more that may have qualified for such designation had my lists here been more expansive. And, unfortunately, it’s not something in which I take much satisfaction. As a life-long movie lover, it heartens me to be able to praise truly good cinema. In 2021, however, the pickings were rather slim. In fact, I had to ask myself, “Am I becoming a miserable old ...
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A Cautionary Tale on The Cinema Scribe

A Cautionary Tale on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, Tuesday, January 11, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear the show live, catch it later on demand on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser and Jiosaavn ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Don’t Look Up,” “Swan Song” and “Luzzu,” as well as a magazine article preview, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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‘Luzzu’ examines how to fish for solutions

‘Luzzu’ examines how to fish for solutions

“Luzzu” (2021). Cast: Jesmark Scicluna, Michela Farrugia, David Scicluna, Frida Cauchi, Timur Ali, Uday McLean, Stephen Buhagiar, Marcella Theuman, Yuric Allison, Reece Vella, Simon Falzon, Marta Vella, Anthony Ellul, Michael Sciortino. Director: Alex Camilleri. Screenplay: Alex Camilleri. Web site. Trailer. Challenging times call for creative solutions. But, when the circumstances are especially dicey, what are we to do? Where do we look for the inspiration to devise inventive answers to our problems? We may think that we don’t have any viable options open to us, but they’re there if we know where – and how – to look. Such are the challenges posed to the protagonist of the thought-provoking Maltese drama, “Luzzu.” As time marches on, things invariably change. That’s particularly true when tradition clashes with progress. Which force will win out? For Maltese fisherman Jesmark (Jesmark Scicluna), that’s a question that has taken on tremendous significance in his life. Jesmark spends his days pursuing the maritime fruits of the Mediterranean in his luzzu, a traditional, brightly painted wooden fishing boat that has been in his family for generations. Fishing with these boats has been a time-honored tradition in the waters off Malta, but it’s always been a hard way ...
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