It’s quite something when an event happens that captures the world’s attention. Unfortunately, it usually involves some form of natural or manmade disaster or the death of a prominent figure. But then there are times when occurrences take place that collectively captivate us, bringing out the compassion and humanity in us all and frequently producing miraculous results.
We all have dreams, and we’d like to see them realized. However, many of us believe they’re unreachable objectives, pie-in-the-sky goals that can be envisioned but never experienced. But must that be the case? Is there no chance of them ever being materialized?
All too often, we’re faced with difficult situations that pose us with perplexing choices. Evaluating the options can be dizzying, leaving us feeling as though we can’t decide. Because of this, we may often default to what appears to be the most expedient choice, a move that frequently gives us an easy out – “I didn’t have any choice in the matter” – in case things don’t unfold as planned. In the alternative, we may remain indecisive, leaving us with no viable solution to the issue at hand. But those fallbacks are innately insufficient,
Discovering ourselves is often a challenging process, especially when we feel lost and have no idea where or how to look for answers. However, if we remain open to options – including those that appear to be coming to us from unlikely sources – we may just find the guidance we seek.
Is it possible that something can be harnessed for good, on the one hand, and for just the opposite, on the other? If we put our mind to it, we can problem think of many examples. Fire, for instance, can be used for cooking and heating when employed judiciously. At the same time, though, it could also be used as a tool for arsonists. Similarly, there are countless instances where knives can serve useful purposes and many others where they can wreak havoc. Some would contend that nuclear energy can be both beneficial and destructive, depending on how it’s used. And on and on it goes for numerous other devices, substances and technologies.
“Yes, God, Yes” (2020). Cast: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Donna Lynne Champlin, Susan Blackwell, Alisha Boe, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Parker Wierling, Allison Shrum, Teesha Renee, Tre’len Johnston, Matt Lewis. Director: Karen Maine. Screenplay: Karen Maine. Web site. Trailer. The mystique underlying highly personal subjects like sexuality and spirituality is undeniable, something that’s tailor made to our individual needs and sensibilities. So how is it that some of us feel we can dictate the terms of these matters to others, as if our views were the last word and not to be questioned? How is it that such canned perspectives can realistically fit everyone? And why must those who disagree with these outlooks be ridiculed, bullied or punished for their [...]
“Sorry We Missed You” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone, Katie Proctor, Ross Brewster, Charlie Richmond, Julian Ions, Sheila Dunkerley, Maxie Peters, Christopher John Slater, Heather Wood, Alberto Dumba, Natalia Stonebanks, Jordan Collard. Director: Ken Loach. Screenplay: Paul Laverty. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever been so dissatisfied with your circumstances that you were willing to take drastic steps to change them? And, if so, have you ever subsequently found yourself no more fulfilled afterward, despite high hopes going in? What next? Do you formulate yet another new plan, or do you reconcile yourself to the futility of trying and give up on starting over? That’s a tough call, especially for the discouraged, but it’s [...]
“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 [...]
With another year coming to a close, it’s time for my annual review of the best – and worst – in cinema of the past 12 months. And what a generally disappointing year it was. Truly great films were few and far between, with only a handful earning the status of being genuinely outstanding. Some offerings were commendable, and many were adequate, but quite a few were sorely lacking. In fact, in compiling my list, I had far less trouble coming up with my Bottom 10 than I did with those at the top, something that speaks volumes about the quality of 2019’s offerings. This is something that’s reflected in this year’s field of Oscar nominees as well, a subject [...]
“By the Grace of God” (“Grâce à Dieu”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud, Eric Caravaca, François Marthouret, Bernard Verley, Martine Erhel, Hélène Vincent, François Chattot, Frédéric Pierrot, Aurélia Petit, Julie Duclos, Jeanne Rosa, Amélie Daure, Nicolas Bridet, Pierre Lottin, Stéphane Brel, Martine Schambacher, Max Libert, Nicolas Bauwen, Laurence Roy, Jacques Lagarde, Davan Collin, Jules Gauzelin, Noah Richard. Director: François Ozon. Screenplay: François Ozon. Web site. Trailer. Working up the necessary courage to conquer fears that we believe cannot be vanquished can be one of the most difficult and terrifying challenges we can undertake. The effect can be paralyzing, leaving us stuck in a hellish limbo that feels like it has no end. But, with [...]