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Pop Culture

“a quiet passion” movie review

Posted on May 12, 2017

A Quiet Passion

As a writer, I’ve always been enamored with Emily Dickinson. so I was really looking forward to learning more about the reclusive poet — and her beloved Newfoundland, Carlo — in A Quiet Passion.

Well — spoiler alert — Carlo never appears in the movie, which pretty much ruined it for me and made me wonder just how much, uh, poetic license was taken by director Terence Davies about her life.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic. But I do think the dog-loving Emily would agree.

There’s no question that Cynthia Nixon is outstanding, showing us the Emily Dickinson we always hoped for: not a mousy wallflower but a fiery, rebellious woman who was complex and smart and surprisingly funny. If she were alive today, she’d be wearing a pussy hat even though she might not join the march.

We’d all want to be her friend. more »

“the dinner” movie review

Posted on May 11, 2017

The Dinner

There’s a really fascinating, thought-provoking plot line that’s finally introduced late in The Dinner. It’s shocking and timely and worthy of intense discussion.

If it were actually the focus of the movie, I would have been hooked. Unfortunately, by the time they got to it, I was so disgusted with the unlikeable characters that, like a few other uncomfortable dinners in my life, I just wanted it to be over. more »

“the zookeeper’s wife” movie review – plus a giveaway!

Posted on March 30, 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife

I’m finding it harder and harder to watch movies about the Holocaust and I can’t bear to watch anything bad happen to animals so, in theory, The Zookeeper’s Wife should not be a movie I’d want to see.

But I love Jessica Chastain, I adore animals and I’m finding it more important than ever to learn as much as possible about the Holocaust.

With too many similarities happening today, I wish everyone would see The Zookeeper’s Wife, which is based on the true story of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Jan, who oversaw the Warsaw Zoo and who hid hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust.

It is an astonishing story of heroism and proof that every person has the power to make a difference in the world. more »

“going in style” $100 visa giveaway!

Posted on March 29, 2017

Going In Style

Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures for sponsoring this post. All
opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

Three of my favorite actors are starring together in a new movie, and I can’t wait to see it!

Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin team up  in director Zach Braff’’s Going in Style, a comedy about lifelong buddies who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

Amazingly, this sounds like a very timely story and one that we will likely all be cheering. more »

“beauty and the beast” movie review

Posted on March 16, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

Although I’m going to write 399 more, there’s really only one word you need to know about Beauty and the Beast, and that’s “magical.”

Watching the new live action version of the Disney animated classic in IMAX was one of the most enjoyable and deeply satisfying theater experiences I’ve had in a long time. There were so many times I wanted to burst into applause. Or tears. Or simply with joy.

The movie is just magical. more »

“the wholehearted” at la jolla playhouse

Posted on December 16, 2016

The Wholehearted

If you’re in San Diego now, stop what you’re doing and order tickets to see The Wholehearted before this special — and I do mean special — engagement leaves on Sunday.

La Jolla Playhouse always features unique and thought-provoking shows, but this is one of its most powerful theater experiences ever.

Written by UC San Diego professor Deborah Stein, The Wholehearted is a one-woman show performed by Suli Holum, who co-directed it with Stein.

And it’s a knockout. more »

“weiner” movie review

Posted on December 8, 2016

Anthony Weiner

It feels appropriate to end my 2016 movie reviews with Weiner, don’t you think?

This has been a year of crushing disappointments in both politics and male behavior, and Weiner is the perfect representation of both. more »

“jackie” movie review

Posted on December 3, 2016

Jackie

Sorry, Amy Adams, Emma Stone and Emily Blunt, but this year’s Academy Award for Best Actress is pretty much guaranteed to go to Natalie Portman for her stunning portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie.

Not only does she channel the First Lady’s look, mannerisms and, oh, that distinctive voice, but she transforms herself into a woman we all thought we knew so well and reveals a whole other side of her. Her performance is haunting. more »

“miss you like hell” at la jolla playhouse

Posted on November 13, 2016

Miss You Like Hell

As we all know,  there are few things as emotionally charged and inherently dramatic as the mother-daughter relationship.

So it’s no surprise that Miss You Like Hell, La Jolla Playhouse’s new, highly-anticipated world premiere musical, is a combination of funny and sad and poignant. Plus, it’s got some great songs. more »

“arrival” movie review

Posted on November 12, 2016

Arrival

Arrival seems like a fitting movie for this election season, and I couldn’t help wishing it had been released before we voted so people could have seen the importance of having a strong, smart woman in charge.

But I digress. more »

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