Thursday, October 24, 2013

Enough said

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: James Gandolfini , Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, Tracey Fairaway, Eve Hewson, Tavi Gevinson, Toni Collette

A charming, big-hearted movie featuring divorced, Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a masseuse with an array of narcissistic and self-absorbed clients and coping with the prospect of living alone again when her teenage daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) leaves for college. She bumps into mild mannered schlub, Albert (James Gandolfini) at a party and they seem to share much in common. They start a relationship but unbeknown to both Eva befriends a client who happens to be Albert’s ex-wife the haughty Marianne (Catherine Keener). As the relationships blossom, Eva innocently at first absorbs Marianne’s bile for her ex and once she makes the connection between the two finds herself doubting her own relationship to humorous effect. Toni Collette plays Sarah, Eva's therapist friend who spends her life rearranging her furniture and whose marriage seems to be destined for the same fate as that of the other two women. Smart, sensitive writing with wonderfully pitched characterizations and terrific performances from Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. Highly recommended.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fruitvale Station

Director: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Ariana Neal

A murder story based on a real incident in San Francisco. Ex-con Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) was shot by a transit policemen after being arrested for causing a disturbance on a train following a confrontation with a white supremacist. The senseless shooting at Fruitvale Station led to community riots and the two officers were eventually fired and the shooter was later convicted of an involuntary manslaughter charge. The movie follows the 24 hours leading up to the fatal shooting. A sensitive, well-acted and engrossing film.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Director: Declan Lowney

Starring: Colm Meaney, Felicity Montagu, Nigel Lindsay, Sean Pertwee, Steve Coogan, Tim Key

After a takeover of North Norfolk Digital, a local radio station, slimy presenter Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is in fear of losing his job and nominates fellow jock, Pat Farrell for the chop. At the launch of the new station an embittered Farrell returns with a rifle and ammunition and to hilarious effect holds the whole staff hostage. Partridge escapes to inform authorities and is then asked to talk the madman down. What follows is a series of mildly amusing to hilarious comedy as the hapless Partridge becomes the "face of the siege." If you want a laugh this is a good movie.