Year: 2016

‘Moonlight’ illuminates alternative possibilities

‘Moonlight’ illuminates alternative possibilities

“Moonlight” (2016). Cast: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner, Patrick Decile. Director: Barry Jenkins. Screenplay: Barry Jenkins. Story: Tarell Alvin McCraney. Web site. Trailer. Finding ourselves can be a difficult enough experience even under the best of circumstances. But, when the process is burdened by challenges and extenuating circumstances, it can become that much more difficult. So it is for a young man trying to discover himself in the gripping new coming of age drama, “Moonlight.” The film tells the story of Chiron, a young African-American man growing up in Miami and Atlanta. In recounting his experience, the picture examines three phases of his life – his childhood, when he goes by the nickname Little (Alex Hibbert); his teen years, when he identifies with his given name (Ashton Sanders); and young adulthood, when he reluctantly refers to himself as Black (Trevante Rhodes), a nickname given him by a friend. The names are significant, partly because they serve as the titles of each segment but also because they aptly characterize who Chiron is in each phase of his life. In many respects, Chiron has a number of strikes against ...
Read More
This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Moonlight,” “Inferno” and three more movies from the Chicago Film Festival are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the Blog Page of The Good Radio Network, available by clicking here ...
Read More
‘Anesthesia’ explores our attempts at escape from reality

‘Anesthesia’ explores our attempts at escape from reality

“Anesthesia” (2015). Cast: Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Tim Blake Nelson, Corey Stoll, Kristen Stewart, Gretchen Mol, Richard Thomas, K. Todd Freeman, Michael K. Williams, Jessica Hecht, Hannah Marks, Ben Konigsberg, Jacqueline Baum, Ekaterina Samsonov, J. Bernard Calloway, Rob Morgan, Scott Cohen, Gloria Reuben. Director: Tim Blake Nelson. Screenplay: Tim Blake Nelson. Web site. Trailer. The struggles of everyday life can be overwhelming. They may even be more to cope with than we can handle. And, because of that, many of us may seek avenues of escape from the pain and hardship through various means. But, in doing so, we may unwittingly cut ourselves off from sources of support, comfort and guidance. Such are the themes explored in the engaging multifaceted drama, “Anesthesia,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray disk and video on demand. In the tradition of films like “Grand Canyon” (1991), “Crash” (2005) and “Disconnect” (2013), “Anesthesia” features a series of seemingly disparate story lines that all eventually become interwoven. In this case, the various narratives revolve around Walter Zarrow (Sam Waterston), a popular New York philosophy professor on the verge of retirement. He looks forward to spending his golden years with Marcia (Glenn Close), his wife of many years ...
Read More
On the Radio This Week

On the Radio This Week

Join me and host Frankie Picasso this Thursday, October 27 at 1 pm ET, for an extended edition of this month’s Movies with Meaning segment on Frankiesense & More radio. We’ll discuss a number of new movie releases, as well as a wrap-up of the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival. Tune in by clicking here for some lively movie chat! And, in the meantime, to read more about the Festival, click here ...
Read More
Wrapping Up the Chicago Film Festival

Wrapping Up the Chicago Film Festival

The 52nd annual Chicago International Film Festival is drawing to a close, and I’ve spent much of the past two weeks screening a number of its many fine offerings. Here are brief looks at the pictures I saw, scored on the basis of 1 to 5 (worst to best), the voting system used by Festival attendees to rate the movies shown. “Kills on Wheels” (“Tiszta szívvel”) (Hungary) (trailer) This highly entertaining dark comedy focuses on the exploits of two disabled young men (Zoltán Fenyvesi, Ádám Fekete) who fancy themselves graphic novel artists but who, for economic reasons, are forced to become accomplices to a disabled fireman-turned-hitman (Szabolcs Thuróczy) in helping him carry out the orders of a mob boss (Dusán Vitanovics). In many ways, it would seem that the odds are stacked against the trio of reluctant assassins, but, when pressed, they manage to rise to the occasion, showing how to overcome disabilities that might stop others in their tracks, no matter how dubious the objective. With its offbeat humor, imaginative cinematography, intriguing mix of photography and animation, terrific soundtrack, and excellent performances by disabled actors in their screen debuts, “Kills on Wheels” truly fires on all cylinders. For its ...
Read More
This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Anesthesia,” “The Teacher” and “One Week and a Day,” as well as a radio show preview, are all available in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the Blog Page of The Good Radio Network, available by clicking here ...
Read More