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Year: 2023

‘To Leslie’ applauds recovery and redemption

‘To Leslie’ applauds recovery and redemption

“To Leslie” (2022). Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Allison Janney, Stephen Root, Owen Teague, Marc Maron, Andre Royo, James Landry Hébert, Catfish Jean, Matt Laurian, Mac Brandt, Tom Virtue, Lauren Letherer, Kourtney Amanda, Arabella Grant, Sewell Whitney, Drew Youngblood. Director: Michael Morris. Screenplay: Ryan Binaco. Web site. Trailer. Getting back on one’s feet after a hard fall can be unbearably difficult. In addition to the strength and stamina required to stand back up, there are those poised to keep the downtrodden on the ground, their boots firmly and mercilessly planted on those making the valiant effort to lift themselves up. But recovery and redemption are possible with the right mix of affirmed beliefs and concerted followup actions, an outcome explored in the gripping new fact-based drama, “To Leslie.” There was a time when everybody thought Leslie Rowlands (Andrea Riseborough) was on top of the world. When she hauled in a windfall from a Texas lottery win, she became a local celebrity and was seen as having enough money to make her and her young son, James (Drew Youngblood), happy and contented for a long time, if not for the rest of their lives. If only things had turned out that way. Years ...
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The Worst of 2022

The Worst of 2022

It’s that time of year again, the release of my lists of best and worst films of the year. In my previous blog entry, I looked at 2022’s finest. But now it’s time to turn the tables. Thankfully, 2022 was a better year for movies than either of 2020 or 2021 (pandemic considerations notwithstanding). I was pleased to have screened a wealth of fine pictures in theaters, at festivals and online. However, despite that, 2022 still had more than its share of overrated, overhyped releases that, in my opinion, were erroneously labeled “masterpieces.” And that’s part of what this blog entry examines (though some others were just plain bad in their own right). I know some readers will disagree with me on some of these choices, but please don’t throw anything at your computer or smart phone screens; it’s just my opinion, not the end of the world. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not see every movie released in 2022 (who realistically could?), but I have seen nearly all of the major contenders (although there are a few I’ve yet to see given that they have not gone into widespread release as yet). In addition, as per ...
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The Best of 2022

The Best of 2022

It’s that time of year again, the release of my lists of best and worst films of the year. Thankfully, 2022 was a better year for movies than either of 2020 or 2021 (pandemic considerations notwithstanding). I was pleased to have screened a wealth of fine pictures in theaters, at festivals and online. However, despite that, 2022 still had more than its share of overrated, overhyped releases that, in my opinion, were erroneously labeled “masterpieces” (some of which made their way onto my “worst” list). With that said, though, I’d like to start out on a more positive note, featuring my “best” list in this blog, the first of two devoted to addressing my assessments of the year’s cinematic offerings. But don’t worry – that “worst” list will be along soon enough. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not see every movie released in 2022 (who realistically could?), but I have seen nearly all of the major contenders (although there are a few I’ve yet to see given that they have not gone into widespread release as yet). In addition, as per custom, this blog and the one to soon follow do not address documentary offerings; films in ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “The Whale,” “Living” and “Broker” 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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Overcoming Limitations on The Cinema Scribe

Overcoming Limitations on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, beginning Tuesday January 24, available by clicking here. You can also catch it later on demand on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser and Jiosaavn ...
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‘Broker’ asks, ‘What makes a family?’

‘Broker’ asks, ‘What makes a family?’

“Broker” (“Beurokeo”) (2022). Cast: Song Kang-ho, Dong-won Gang, Doona Bae, Ji-eun Lee, Lee Joo-young, Seung-soo Im, Ryu Kyong-soo, Ji-yong Park. Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Web site. Trailer. When we think of the concept of “family,” we most often consider it as something made up of those with whom we’re developed our closest bonds. This has traditionally been built on a basis of biology, but, over time, we’ve seen that change. And, in some cases, it’s become something that may arise as a result of unexpected circumstances, sometimes exceedingly unfathomable ones. So it is in the delightfully new quirky Korean comedy-drama, “Broker” (“Beurokeo”). Baby Woo-sung (Ji-yong Park) is about to embark on a grand adventure, even if he is unaware of it and doesn’t understand or appreciate the impact it will have on him and his future. Late one rainy night, the boy’s mother, So-young (Ji-eun Lee), approaches a church that’s been equipped with a “baby box,” a secure depository where the parents of infants who are unable or unwilling to care for their young can safely leave their children in the hands of those who will nurture and protect them until they’re ready to be put up for ...
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