By Pamela Zoslov The dinner party has long been a reliable setting for a comedy of manners or nightmarish descent into hell. Beatriz at Dinner falls somewhere in between, with Salma Hayek as the titular Beatriz, a massage therapist who is the accidental guest at an elite soirée hosted by her wealthy clients. The film […]Read more "Beatriz at Dinner: Party Politics"
By Pamela Zoslov I have never had a real movie fan’s interest in the Academy Awards, the 89th edition of which takes place Sunday, February 26. The awards often have little to do with quality, and the legendary “Academy” — consisting of a motley group of of entertainment luminaries, non-luminaries, has-beens and hangers-on, many of […]Read more "Uncle Oscar’s Annual Visit: Some Predictions"
By Pamela Zoslov “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time,” said the writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) an eloquent commentator on race relations in the United States, even though he spent a large portion of his life abroad. He was the […]Read more "The Fire This Time: I Am Not Your Negro"
By Pamela Zoslov I have come to think of certain Hollywood comedies as being like big, dumb, eager-to-please dogs (Golden Retrievers come to mind, no offense to that friendly breed). The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro as an aging insult comic, is one such dog. Unlike many of my film-critic colleagues, I don’t deplore these […]Read more "Last Comic Standing: The Comedian"
By Pamela Zoslov …[A] man himself is a city, beginning, seeking, achieving and concluding his life in ways which the various aspects of a city may imbody — if imaginatively conceived — any city, all the details of which may be made to voice his most intimate convictions. — William Carlos Williams, introduction to Paterson […]Read more "Beauty in Things: Paterson"
By Pamela Zoslov In his 2010 film Beginners, writer-director Mike Mills reflected on the life of his father, who came out as gay at the age of 75. With 20th Century Women, he turns his attention to his mother, Jan, a strong, independent woman with a pilot’s license and a bohemian sense of style. In […]Read more "Mama Said: 20th Century Women"
By Pamela Zoslov The name I.F. (“Izzy”) Stone is spoken of in reverent tones among left-leaning journalists. The investigative reporter and publisher of his own four-page newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953 to 1971, Stone was a model of fearless, crusading reporting. Basing his reporting on his analyses of government documents, Stone wrote about World […]Read more "Media Fail: All Governments Lie"
By Pamela Zoslov Elle, a French-language film directed by Paul Verhoeven, arrives here at a strange moment, when the “normalization” — a leading candidate for 2016 word of the year — of sexual assault grew out of a vitriolic presidential election. So now we might expect that some people, in defiance of “political correctness,” might […]Read more "Elle and The New Normal"
By Pamela Zoslov I was two years old when President Kennedy was shot. Even though I have no memory of it, the assassination occupies a large part of my consciousness. I first encountered the images — the smiling president’s motorcade, the defiant Lee Harvey Oswald, the grieving Jackie, little Caroline and and brave toddler John […]Read more "Jackie: Amazing Grace"
By Pamela Zoslov Maybe the world doesn’t need another boxing movie, but the “sweet science of bruising” has provided enough energy, velocity and melodrama for hundreds of films. The newest, Bleed For This, is based on the true story of Vinny Pazienza (Vinny Paz), a professional boxer from Rhode Island who held world titles in […]Read more "Bleed For This: Born to Fight"