Home/Tag:desperation

‘Emily the Criminal’ examines hard choices for hard times

Life is full of hard choices and, fittingly enough, they nearly always materialize during periods of hard times. Still, despite the uncannily synchronous nature and timing of such matters, that doesn’t make them any less challenging to address. And, as much as many of us would rather not deal with such issues, they must be handled, lest we be saddled with even bigger problems

2022-09-20T23:41:41+00:00August 25th, 2022|Character Study, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Gravedigger’s Wife’ grapples with a heartbreaking choice

What lengths would you go to for the one you love? When adverse situations arise, we can be left with difficult choices, the kind that frequently leave us between a rock and a hard place. No matter how much we care for a loved one, circumstances may thrust us into a position where Herculean efforts – with no guarantee of success – are often foisted upon us.

2022-06-22T09:58:55+00:00May 12th, 2022|Conscious Creation, Drama, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘God of the Piano’ tackles the perils of desperation

“God of the Piano” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Naama Preis, Andi Lev, Ron Bitterman, Ze’ev Shimshoni, Alon Openhaim, Shimon Mimran, Leora Rivlin, Itay Zipor. Director: Itay Tal. Screenplay: Itay Tal. Web site. Trailer. Preserving a family legacy is certainly a noble goal. It provides a sense of continuity that links the generations and gives a family its character, reputation and even notoriety. But how far is one willing to go to keep up the tradition? At what point does a goal turn into an obsession? And what are the costs of going too far? Those are among the issues raised and addressed in the captivating new Israeli psychological thriller, “God of the Piano.” Anat Tal (Naama Preis) comes from [...]

2020-12-13T04:22:28+00:00October 27th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Song Without a Name’ pleas for justice, reform

“Song Without a Name” (“Cancíon sin nombre”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Pamela Mendoza, Tommy Pàrraga, Lucio Rojas, Maykol Hernández, Ruth Armas, Lídia Quispe, Jhazmin Mamani, Lourdes Villareal, Carlos Victoria, Luis Menezes, Boris Severola, Gabriela Velásquez, Yiliana Chong, Janet Gutarra, Melvin Quijada, Ronald Saravia, Jenny Torres. Director: Melina León. Screenplay: Melina León and Michael J. White. Web site. Trailer. Life in a land riddled with injustice, intolerance and inequality – conditions that many of us can relate to these days – is ripe for change. But the birth pangs of bringing about such reform are often as difficult to endure as the problems that sparked their institution. And, to complicate matters further, these ordeals are often felt both across society and [...]

2020-09-25T13:11:35+00:00September 2nd, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Miss Juneteenth’ cautions us on the dangers of stalemates

“Miss Juneteenth” (2020). Cast: Nicole Beharie, Alexis Chikaeze, Kendrick Sampson, Lori Hayes, Marcus M. Mauldin, Akron Watson, Liz Mikel, Phyllis Cicero, Lisha Hackney, Mathew Greer, Jaime Matthis, Margaret Sanchez. Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Screenplay: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Web site. Trailer. Being stuck in our circumstances can be a horrible fate. Such stalemates keep us mired in unsatisfying conditions, preventing us from moving forward. But what’s even worse is not realizing that we are stuck, an exercise in ongoing frustration examined in the new generational drama, “Miss Juneteenth.” In 2004, Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) was proudly crowned Miss Juneteenth, the top honor in a beauty pageant staged in honor of the 1865 freeing of the remaining Black slaves in Texas, two [...]

2020-08-01T14:50:01+00:00June 25th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Balloon’ charts the flight to personal freedom

“Balloon” (“Ballon”) (2018 production, 2020 release). Cast: Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, David Kross, Alicia von Rittberg, Thomas Kretschmann, Jonas Holdenrieder, Tilman Döbler, Ronald Kukulies, Emily Kische, Antje Traue, Till Patz, Ben Teichmann, Elisabeth Wasserscheid, Peter Prager, Nadja Engel. Director: Michael Bully Herbig. Screenplay: Kit Hopkins, Thilo Röscheisen and Michael Bully Herbig. Web site. Trailer. It’s difficult to stifle our natural tendency to be ourselves, free of the restrictions that limit our personal growth and development. However, efforts to realize the potential behind that can be thwarted when hindrances are intentionally placed before us, keeping us from moving forward. That can become particularly frustrating and burdensome when we allow it to happen, further slowing our progress and perhaps eventually leading to discouragement. [...]

2020-05-05T11:22:54+00:00March 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) (2019). Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Jung Ziso, Hyun-jun Jong, Jeong-eun Lee, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park. Director: Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay: Jin Won Hon and Bong Joon-ho. Web site. Trailer. When the have-nots stare down the ample resources of the haves, there’s almost always sure to be a degree of envy involved. “How is it that they’ve come to acquire what we haven’t?” they might legitimately ask. “Why can’t we have some of that?” Those questions have merit, too. But how far are the have-nots willing to go to get what they seek? That’s a crucial issue posed in the new social satire, “Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”). Times are tough for [...]

2019-12-22T23:51:13+00:00November 8th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping Up the Chicago Film Festival

With the 54th annual Chicago International Film Festival now complete, here’s my take on what I screened and what I thought about the releases in question. “An Acceptable Loss” (USA) This edge-of-your-seat political thriller unfolds gradually and with steadily increasing intensity, leading up to a climax that will leave viewers breathless, an approach not unlike that used by director Roman Polanski in such films as “Chinatown” (1974) and “The Ghost Writer” (2010). The picture follows former National Security Advisor Libby Lamm (Tika Sumpter) after she leaves government to become a university lecturer, a position for which she receives a less-than-hospitable welcome. It’s a circumstance that naturally begs the question, “Why?” Viewers come to discover the reasons as her story plays [...]

2018-11-20T10:11:53+00:00October 23rd, 2018|Movie Reviews|

‘Book Club’ celebrates second chances at love

“Book Club” (2018). Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Alicia Silverstone, Katie Aselton, Wallace Shawn, Ed Begley Jr., Mircea Monroe, Joey Stromberg, Sabrina Friedman-Seitz. Director: Bill Holderman. Screenplay: Bill Holderman and Erin Simms. Web site. Trailer. As the years pass by, it can be easy to let our lives (and ourselves) slide. Those of us who have attained a certain age may unwittingly fall into the trap of believing that the best years are behind us, that the joys of our youth and young adulthood are no longer available or take too much effort to recapture. This is especially true when it comes to our love lives. But [...]

2018-06-26T15:38:00+00:00June 10th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews, Romance|
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