By Pamela Zoslov Actress Margot Robbie can be forgiven for not having heard of Tonya Harding, the champion figure skater implicated in a violent attack on Olympic rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. Robbie was born in 1990, and in Queensland, Australia at that. Still, Ms. Robbie is a fine Tonya Harding in the black comedy […]Read more "I, Tonya: Harding Redeemed"
By Pamela Zoslov Darkest Hour chronicles the period following Winston Churchill’s unlikely accession to UK Prime Minister in 1940 and his famous “We shall fight” radio address, a mere 48 hours later, stating that England would never compromise with or surrender to Hitler. The film was scripted by Anthony McCarten (who also wrote The Theory […]Read more "Hey, Bulldog: Darkest Hour"
By Pamela Zoslov We bid farewell now to 2017, that most terrible, awful, Trump-cursed year. As always, the movie theater proved a good escape from the frenzied chaos, and the year brought us some excellent films, and not too many terrible ones. My list of favorites includes two titles starting with “I,” the first-person pronoun, […]Read more "Annual Obligatory Year-End List of 2017 Movies That Didn’t Suck"
Wonder Wheel ♦ Written and directed by Woody Allen By Pamela Zoslov The number of films written and directed by Woody Allen is impressive — 48 since 1969, an average of one every year. That prolificity, writes Peter Biskind in the New York Times Book Review, often works against him. “The time when Allen’s […]Read more "Wheel of Misfortune"
Lucky, Directed by John Carroll Lynch By Pamela Zoslov When I saw the trailer for “Lucky,” the film featuring one of the last performances of Harry Dean Stanton, who died September 15 at age 91, I was struck by how frail he appeared, a skinny wraith lighting cigarette upon cigarette. (“I only eat so I […]Read more "An Elegy for Harry Dean Stanton"
Brad’s Status, written and directed by Mike White By Pamela Zoslov We hate it when our friends become successful – Morrissey What is it about dads that makes people cry? Regret about words unsaid to a dad now dead, issues unresolved, or just the general poignancy of the role of fathers, who are expected to […]Read more "Great Expectations: Brad’s Status"
The Only Living Boy in New York Directed by Marc Webb, screenplay by Allan Loeb By Pamela Zoslov Simon and Garfunkel are having a pretty good year, with two movies named after their decades-old songs, “Baby Driver” and “The Only Living Boy in New York,” a tune that was a thinly veiled message from Paul […]Read more "A Boy, His Dad, and Dad’s Mistress"
By Pamela Zoslov Joshua Weinstein didn’t have an easy time making his movie Menashe. The filmmaker drew his cast of nonprofessional actors from members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Many had never even seen a movie before. Some signed on and then dropped out, fearing the disapproval of their synagogues and […]Read more "Menashe: A Yiddisher Kop"
By Pamela Zoslov Gillian Robespierre’s new comedy, Landline, has many traits in common with her debut feature, Obvious Child, which got a lot of attention due to its abortion story line. Both films focus on the romantic/sexual misadventures of a young woman played by comedienne Jenny Slate, and are sprinkled with copious amounts of scatological […]Read more "Landline: Kickin’ It Old School"
By Pamela Zoslov The difference between Art and Life is that Art is more bearable. — Charles Bukowski “A World Without Shadows” is the title of a stage play and short film about Maud Lewis, a celebrated Canadian folk artist who lived most of her life in a tiny, primitive house in Nova Scotia, covering […]Read more "Maudie: A World of Her Own"