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‘The Fabelmans’ examines an artist’s roots

When we look upon the works of gifted artists – regardless of the medium involved – we’re often tempted to wonder where the abilities that gave rise to them came from. To be sure, much of the credit obviously belongs to these creative types themselves, but still there are other influences that help to nudge their talents to the surface, inspirations that bring out their innate skills and enable them to flourish.

‘The Berrigans’ venerates walking one’s talk

Sticking to one’s principles is undeniably a noble pursuit. Walking one’s talk is indeed to be commended for its honesty and integrity. But living up to that aspiration can be quite the challenge, especially when one adheres to an outlook that draws the ire of others, particularly those in positions of power. However, if an impactful statement is to be made, following this course is essential, despite the dangers and difficulties,

2022-09-11T19:42:33+00:00August 3rd, 2022|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘The Artist’s Wife’ reflects on striking a balance

“The Artist’s Wife” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lena Olin, Bruce Dern, Juliet Rylance, Avan Jogia, Stefanie Powers, Tonya Pinkins, Catherine Curtin, Caryn West, Ravi Cabot-Conyers. Director: Tom Dolby. Screenplay: Tom Dolby, Nicole Brending and Abdi Nazemian. Web site. Trailer. Giving our all to a beloved partner is certainly an admirable ambition, one that many of us strive for in hopes of it creating a state of mutual love and support. It’s widely believed such a connection can benefit each spouse, yielding both a flourishing relationship and a foundation for significant personal growth and development. But at what point does such devotion to another become unhealthy, leading to a lopsided bond? That’s a question explored in the new romantic drama, [...]

2021-01-04T10:02:21+00:00December 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘The Cuban’ reminds us about making the most of life

“The Cuban” (2019). Cast: Louis Gossett Jr., Ana Golja, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly, Giacomo Gianniotti, Shiva Negar, Jonathan Keitz, Layla Alizada, Jeffrey R. Smith, Gerry Mendicino, Emily Piggford, Kane Mahon, Tabby Johnson. Director: Sergio Navarretta. Screenplay: Alessandro Piccione. Web site. Trailer. Many of us tend to believe that we have all the time in the world, especially when we’re young. But, as we age and the days grow shorter, we quickly realize otherwise and seek to make the most of what’s left. However, if we’re unable to bring about such results for ourselves, we may not be able to achieve what we set out to do, adding to the frustration we’re already experiencing – unless, of course, we have help [...]

2020-09-05T16:34:11+00:00August 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Corpus Christi’ asks, ‘Who speaks for God?’

“Corpus Christi” (“Boże Cialo”) (2019). Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek, Barbara Kurzaj, Leszek Lichota, Zdislaw Wardejn, Lukasz Simlat. Director: Jan Komasa. Screenplay: Mateusz Pacewicz. Web site. Trailer. Some of us are naturally inclined to feel the power of spirit, to experience its movement through us. As a consequence, we may well want to convey the essence of that divinity to others, especially those in need of comfort or guidance. But is it a practice for which we need the permission of authority figures? Or should we be free to express ourselves, regardless of whether we fulfill the “qualifications” supposedly required for carrying out this mission? Those are among the questions raised in the new fact-based Polish morality [...]

2020-03-03T10:37:02+00:00February 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Two Popes’ explores the evolution of one’s destiny

“The Two Popes” (2019). Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujin, Luis Gnecco, Cristina Banegas, Achille Brugnini, Sidney Cole, Willie Jonah, Germán de Silva, Lisandro Fiks, Renato Scarpa, Federico Torre, Daniel Di Cocco, Josello Bella. Archive Footage: Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis. Director: Fernando Meirelles. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Play: Anthony McCarten, The Pope. Web site. Trailer. Getting to where we’re meant to be in life sometimes takes us down some unusual and unexpected paths. We may stand back and wonder why we’re going in a certain direction when we’re convinced we’re supposed to go another way. But, no matter how seemingly far afield we may wander, we often find we’re on exactly the right course, and the journey is one of [...]

2020-02-10T17:48:56+00:00January 28th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping up the Chicago Film Festival

One of the great joys of reviewing movies is the opportunity to attend film festivals. They offer moviegoers a chance to see multiple offerings in myriad genres from countries all over the globe, featuring everything from little-known independent productions to Hollywood blockbusters. And so it is with my hometown event, the Chicago International Film Festival, which just recently completed its 55th edition. The Chicago festival just keeps getting better and better every year. I’ve attended many of the festivals over the past 40 years (I started attending when I was 2…), and I’ve seen vast improvements in programming and staging in that time, efforts that have truly made this a world class event. Over 12 days, I screened 15 films, [...]

2019-12-17T18:21:13+00:00October 30th, 2019|Movie Reviews|

‘Puzzle’ seeks to assemble the pieces of our lives  

“Puzzle” (2018). Cast: Kelly Macdonald, David Denman, Irrfan Khan, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weiler, Liv Hewson, Audrie Neenan. Director: Marc Turtletaub. Screenplay: Polly Mann and Oren Moverman. Story Source: Natalia Smirnoff, “Rompecabezas” (“Puzzle”), 2009 Argentinian film. Web site. Trailer. Many of us look at our lives and see them as complete – only to discover not long thereafter that they’re not. Pieces may seem missing or out of place, realizations that we might view as frustrating, mystifying or even troubling. We could be tempted to ignore those shortcomings, hoping they’ll go away or resolve themselves on their own, but those “solutions” seldom work out as hoped for. It’s times like that when we must make a concerted effort to determine what’s [...]

2019-11-13T07:55:35+00:00September 20th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ celebrates getting the most out of life

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” (2019). Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Yelawolf, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley, Wayne DeHart, Bruce Henderson. Directors: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Screenplay: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Web site. Trailer. How many of us are living truly fulfilled lives? Do we approach our existence with all-out gusto and a willingness to pursue our dreams? Or are we restricted by rules, regulations, fears and regrets – many of our own making – that keep us from fulfilling our potential? Sometimes it takes breaking out of rigid, ingrained patterns of thought and behavior that prevent us from getting the most out of our time in [...]

2019-10-07T09:19:01+00:00August 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|
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