23 Reviews
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1/10
Glad I was not raised a Hadid
14 August 2019
For a show focused on beauty, watching Ms. Hadid beat up on 13 year olds is an ugly pastime, and she looks like a true maleficent passing judgement and watching coldly as the children choke back tears. Could our mythology about the wisdom of the CIO rock star - or model making equivalent - be more cruel, self congratulatory or self satisfied? Plays like a Dickens novel. Give me the Kardashian mogul making mom any day - at least there is some heart. A show only made possible by the almost complete devaluing of women and girls in an industry famous for their emotional and physical destruction. Stay away from my adorable, overweight, pimply teenager. You are nobody's role model.
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2/10
Prejudiced and insulting to include her estranged half sister
19 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
One cannot help but feel if the color wheel were reversed that no one would even consider providing a platform for the ubiquitous, irrelevant and always nasty estranged half sister of the Duchess. I guess the white folk have to have their say (and cash in). Really bad form TLC!
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The Orville: Lasting Impressions (2019)
Season 2, Episode 11
10/10
A masterpiece of inoculation (some mild spoilers)
30 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The best writing creates a small group of indelible individual characters, each caring about the other, but also struggling to maintain their own personal integrity as they experience the normal disagreements of being in a committed friendship or relationship. The journey of the characters of Jane Austen come to mind, as her characters life experiences move them to confront each other differently as they bloom - in full view of those that care about them - into a different understanding of the world. That is the brilliance of the writing here. The last 10 minutes of the episode, in which Kelly struggles to both be a good friend but also to be truthful, is some of the most beautifully written dialogue regarding internal integrity and honor meeting friendship and caring I have witnessed. Seth MacFarlane is an incredible writer. Leighton Meester, in a shorter reprise of her under appreciated performance in the movie Country Strong, just grabs the screen. Is there a more charming actress of her generation? Just incredibly special entertainment. Thank you. I needed this for what ails me - an inoculation not for cigarettes but for the hate so grabbing our country right now.
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8/10
Beautifully crafted, wonderful film with a meh score
30 January 2019
I'm old enough to remember the first run of the magical Mary Poppins in a live movie theater, and I was surprised to find myself moved to actual tears when Emily Blunt first appeared as Mary Poppins, in all of her pert glory. Evidently I had not been in touch with my 8 year old inner self who desperately missed her magic. The movie is a carefully and on the whole satisfying homage to the original with a great deal of originality. The cast is enthusiastic, the choreography fantastic fun, the story line (to me) an interesting and subtle extension of the themes of the first movie, and Emily Blunt is simply perfection. The appearances of aging Disney matriarchs in wonderful cameos was moving, fitting and appropriate. BUT...there was no whistling a happy tune. The lyrics and orchestration far outstripped the quality of the musical score, which was blah and repetitive.. No haunting equivalent of "Chim Chim Cheeree" or "Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag" or even "Supercalifrajilisticexpialidosis (sp?)" (When I was a kid I memorized every tune from the original movie, and could easily say that word backwards - imagine!) When the old tunes were referenced here and there briefly in the movie score, I missed them. If this musical score was on the radio, I would turn it off. Annoying. Next time, and I really hope there is a next time, please hire a composer worthy of the legacy of these incredibly moving, wonderful and timeless melodies.
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10/10
Bradley call me - happily married 25 years but nothing cast in stone
30 October 2018
One of the sexiest movies ever. Bradley directs everyone to reveal their gut authenticity and the result is electifying from beginning to end, even as a remake. Not a false note (no pun intended). Can't wait to see what this multi-talented producer/director/singer/songwriter (played all 4 roles in this movie!) does next! As for Gaga, she deserves all that loving adoration she gets from her multi-talented co-star. Incredible how she manages to come across with zero victimhood in what could have easily become maudlin with less sensitive handling. A tour de force performance!
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9/10
The liberal that correctly called Trump the 2016 winner way back way weighs in - contains spoilers
29 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Moore looks rough here. The lessons of the last election weigh heavily on him and on the nation. The Russians are barely referenced - instead, Michael Moore gives us the working class views of the betrayal of all parties in addressing the needs of the average working American. Doing so, he opened my eyes personally to a lot of events I didn't even know occurred - such as Michigan Governor acceding to GM's request to provide clean water in Flint while continuing to deny that same clean water to the primarily black population of Flint, 100% of the children of whom now have irreversible lead poisoning. "It took a Governor of Michigan to achieve what no terrorist could - the poisoning of an entire town, " says Moore. What is coming up here again and again, in examples like Flint, is exactly how far Americans will allow the 1% to continue to ravage the earth, poison and starve children, over medicate adults with addictive substances, all in the name of greed. When history records this time, there will be no fence. Moral outrage is the only reasonable response to these violations. God help us all.
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Suits (2011–2019)
10/10
Louis Litt Fan Club
3 September 2018
I love this TV series even sans the sparkling Meghan Markle, but the real story is the emotional vulnerability of the Louis Litt character. Just so fresh and new. Thank you.
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E! News (1991– )
10/10
So glad to have you back Guiliana!
2 September 2018
I watched the ugly breakup of the E! channel circle around Joan Rivers, after her tragic and unexpected demise, with such sadness. I am so glad to have Guiliana back. She has such a unique personna, equally comfortable talking about fashion and cancer recovery, that somehow provides the perfect balance between appropriate gravitas and celebratory girliness. Bravo E!
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10/10
A not such a suprise hit - mild spoilers
31 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This rewrite on the Cinderella love story pits the Asian over-achieving middle class against the Asian super rich, but the magical charm is intact. For me the break out charmer was the lead actress who manages the requisite transformation from dress-down geek to dress-up stunner with equal aplomb and enthusiastic equanimity. I couldn't take my eyes off her the entire movie. This being Hollywood, I expect never to see her again except in a sequel, but the male lead will be cast again and again, probably in some action flick. I find it more than mildly insulting that this movie, in the spirit of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is such a "surprise" hit. The endless litany of super-hero films targeted to 14 year olds, or "realistic" depressing adult-oriented films about the many horrors in our current society, it almost guarantees that when there is a film with a modicum of humor, charm, and mild suspense, targeted to adults, we will come out in droves. While I am happy for the Asian community, I don't see this particular movie as particularly representative of their culture. It's just a clever, well- acted and well-constructed romantic comedy, delivered to an adult audience starved for similar fare. A thoroughly enjoyable romp.
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Wakefield (2016)
9/10
The ultimate suburban nightmare (contains spoilers)
30 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Wakefield, as the name suggests, is the story of a man named Howard Wakefield who "awakens" to discover that his family does not want, need, miss or love him. The journey to this realization is suspenseful and at some point, if you are really tracking, your heart breaks for him. At first, hiding in the garage attic spying on his wife and kids for months at a time, watching them go from surprise, to grief, to healing, to an enjoyment of daily life far more satisfying than his dour nature would allow, seems the ultimate in manipulation and as a result, nothing more than Howard deserves. But there is more to Howard than his compulsive spying. His isolation manifests in a heightened spiritual childlike joy in nature. And his journey also reveals his deep love for his wife, whom he wooed and won to spite a challenger, but who is now absolutely central to his world. Howard makes his final move when that old challenger comes back into her life, months after Howard's closet is emptied, and the family's celebrations of the Christmas holiday demonstrate real and true joy without him. Howard then makes the sacrifice of returning to his family, so that they can find closure and get on with the business of ejecting and replacing him with his old rival. It is clear his wife will never know of either his deep feelings nor of his sacrifice; nor will she care. The existential despair of the male provider, the ostensible head of the family, has never been so beautifully wrought. Is he loved for himself, or as a meal ticket? This question was touched upon during the last episode of Mad Men, when Don Draper reacted sympathetically to a male participant of a support group who claimed that no one spoke to him at the dinner table. Howard was a man determined to find out what was behind that dining room table silence, and heartrendingly, succeeded in answering that question. A beautiful film noir that looks at the dark underbelly of the "successful" head of the household and the emotional price men can pay for their financial power. I think Brian Cranston deserves an Oscar. Nine stars because this film is just too darn creepily close to some very uncomfortable truths.
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The Alienist (2018)
10/10
Elevated consciousness with incredible acting - Dakota Fanning is incredible! (contains spoilers)
15 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
As our politicians seem to sink lower into the mud, our entertainment appears to try to balance out the zeitgeist. The Alienist is the latest of those outstanding shows that appear to try to remind us of our best selves, in this case, ironically, by showing the importance of being willing to face our inner demons rather than project it onto others and thereby do them harm. Psychologically astute and beautifully rendered during what may appear to be almost the anciently stiff morality of 19th century England, the time echos the era of the Boston Strangler and other such dark figures of the Victorian past. Despite this setting, the show manages to be amazingly fresh. There are few if any professional women of today that cannot relate to Dakota Fanning's secretary character being treated as piece of meat, in the understated but no less menacing unwelcome gesture of her male co-worker reaching to touch her face and asking her to blow on the eyelash for luck. Women working in a professional environment are very familiar with these intimidation tactics, not unlike those utilized by slave owners, or abusive parents. The most clever use fear and intimidation to underscore one's relative powerlessness, but not in a way that can be reprimanded within the letter of the law or in a simple recounting of facts (eyelash you say- what harm is there is removing an eyelash?). In these moments Dakota Fanning excels, her ability to project her thoughts is incredibly powerful, and understated, dignified, but powerful performance anchors a similarly excellent cast and rich production values. For those astrology buffs out there, as we go further into our latest transits with Pluto (ruler of sex, the unconscious, and all things Freudian :)), more and more of our societal secrets in these formerly taboo areas are being brought to light. Shows like these can be a lightening rod for those who feel that by even discussing our individual subconscious dark selves we create a danger that wasn't there before. This is sophomoric thinking - we certainly don't want to dwell in this darkness, but we do need to be vigilant, monitor it, and ensure that it doesn't take over. Repression only serves to feed it. Bravo!
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The Orville (2017– )
10/10
Watching Seth MacFarlane's boyhood dream come true is fun for us all - some minor spoilers
5 November 2017
Seth MacFarlane - whom I've never met - is clearly having a lot of fun with this, and the good thing is, we get to play too. MacFarlane's The Orville is a a tribute to Gene Roddenberry, who set out to change the world (first black TV actress in a series, first black-white kiss on TV, first multi-ethnic cast...to name just a few) through what Gene called "A western in the stars" named Star Trek. Although Star Trek only ran a few short seasons, unlike most TV shows, the visionary picture of a future without want, prejudice, and plenty of time and resources for the simply curious out to explore space resonated with the public, and the rest is Star Trek history. MacFarlane has a look of complete childish joy as he takes the helm of the Orville, and has created a show that is true to the radical essence of the Trek. In the second episode, for example, he explores the controversial topic of gender identification with a sensitivity and realism that I'm sure that Gene (who's ashes are now, appropriately enough, circling the earth at his request) would certainly applaud. MarFarlane does Star Trek one better by adding a slew of self-deprecating, modern twists (a crew member reacting to a life-threatening crisis by remarking "we'll never get off this shift by 5:00 now")that adds a funny, realistic dimension. In these dark times, not only is The Orville a childhood dream fulfilled, it is a sorely needed reminder of the best of us - our fairness, openness, true humanity and the values that serve to let us as a world community truly prosper and thrive. A rare gem by one of America's media mogul success stories, to be cherished and appreciated.
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10/10
Funny and Sweet - my Go-To Christmans Ensemble Movie ** Contains Spoilers
5 January 2017
Here it is, 2017, and I am writing a review of a movie released in 2006. Perhaps it is because I lived for 20 years in the Boston area, so many of the nuances ring true (Bedford is, after all, considered a high-end suburb) but I just love this movie. I must have watched it over 20 times and it never fails to delight. I guess you can call it my personal ground hog day. Let me count the ways I love this movie - 1) Not a note rings false - ensemble casting at it's best. And the actors seem to know it - they appear to be enjoying themselves. 2) Incredible talent across the board. 3) Watching the Meredith character shed her false rigidity to even the point of believing herself a full-fledged skank, while whining about it all of the time, is one of the funniest portrayals I've ever seen. You can see why John F. Kennedy, the man who could have practically any woman, chose Sarah Jessica Parker for a relatively serious fling. She is an intelligent, sweet hoot. That is all there is to it. 4) The rest of the performances are equally fabulous. That area of Massachusetts (the way Western part), is rather unique. You would have to grow up there, like I did, to really appreciate it I guess. The campus depicted there is where I saw Gwynneth Paltrow perform Shakespeare live on stage on the cusp of becoming famous, and where the front desk told me that Paul Newman was in the B&B. An intellectual Hollywood East of a sort. Not one detail of the movie rang false, from the Volvo to the bags of food from Whole Foods. Thank you for this fabulous gift that keeps giving - the quirky ensemble movie serving up a large helping of both laughs and pathos. I will enjoy it for years to come. For those who don't get it and can't see past the skank factor, this movie is about a loving family in crisis, in particular, in denial that they are about to lose their matriarch to cancer. The "good" son is unconsciously using magical thinking, trying to be super-good by wearing the tie, the suit, and bringing home the conservative (he thinks) fiancé. The irony is that the fiancé herself is a bit of a "freak" (non-conformist) and that she herself discovers this at the same time that the family comes to terms with the imminent loss of their beloved mother. A psychologically astute, funny and moving film.
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10/10
Beautiful, multi-layered film ***Contains Spoilers
20 July 2016
When we first meet Maria Enders, played by Juliet Binoche, she is draped in furs and surrounded by the other accoutrements of success and fame as a respected actress, including Val, a subservient and admiring administrative assistant. As we watch, she is stripped of her trappings of success and power, step by step. As we meet her, she is divorcing her husband and is losing her apartment in Paris. Somehow, in a complex ensnarement involving Val, another young new, ruthless ingenue and just as self-involved director, Maria ends up as an afterthought, dismissed after the 3rd act, in a play that years before had established her fame. Maria is so far gone, by the end of the film, that when a true admirer approaches her, she recommends the new ingenue who replaced her in her old role for the part- Maria now sees herself as "too old." In the film's touching denouement, her admirer rejects the "tabloid fame seeking" ingenue. He sees Maria, for whom he wrote the new film part, as "beyond time." Thus, Maria's art survives her so-called compromised aging beauty, and she is validated at the most basic level as the artist she is. Binoche plays Maria with a look of angry confusion, almost childish petulance, at her unexpected, seemingly uncontrollable fall from grace. Underlying this seeming helplessness, however, you can see in her an honesty, a vulnerability, and a focus on acting as an act of integrity that makes her stand out among the other characters, whose motives may not be transparent, but are clearly not based in any higher ideals related to art or in being in the service of art. It is easy to understand why Maria is (or was) such a huge star, and also, how in her relatively innocent focus on the value of art for it's own sake, she could fall into the trap of losing her own sense of her own value by the manipulative, ego-driven, social-media twisting characters around her. Val, played by Kristen Stewart, ensnares Maria like a spider playing with a fly. Their chemistry is palpable. Stewart won the equivalent of the French Oscar for this film, and it is well-deserved. This film, with all of the subtle nuances, is not for everyone. I love the rare films, like this one, that treat the audience as thinking adults, capable of understanding multi-faceted, complex relationships and character.
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Mad Men (2007–2015)
10/10
Brave, painful ending - **CONTAINS SPOILERS**
13 July 2016
The last few episodes of Mad Men, in which Don no longer has to worry about being Dick - the secret is out already and no one cares - and also no longer has to worry about whether his company is swallowed whole by a soul-less humongous corporate entity - that is also a fait accompli - are far from light and airy. He is adrift, a man with no connections, as befits a person whose demons just run too deep. It is almost too painful to watch as he collapses on the couch of his last connection, to be told, "you are not family." His real family, it turns out, is Roger, who is there to fish him out of the pool, and sell the company when Don needs a boost; Roger too appears to be only left with Don; Roger's daughter abandons him as he abandoned her for the workplace. You root for handsome, clever, and dapper Don Draper, who put on a slick suit and a false name to crawl out of poverty and the literal brothel in which he was raised. Don gives his car to a young dopple ganger, a young boy desperately stuck in the middle of nowhere- saying "don't blow this." So Don is not just a heartless corporate hatchet man who almost monotonously, even helplessly, destroys every meaningful relationship - there is some heart there, too. As Roger says to Peggy, as she skates around the remnants of the company he headed and lost (lost in large part to save Don) - "wasn't it fun?" And yes - it was. For us, too. Bittersweet, but fun. This is a TV show that gets too much to the heart of the truth of America, where we spend much more time "faking it until we make it" at work than with our own spouses and children. In some ways, Mad Men is a warning. Watch out, or all you will have left, really, is the next great ad campaign for Coca Cola.
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I Am Cait: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (2016)
Season 2, Episode 6
9/10
Kardashianland as the New Brady Bunch :)
18 April 2016
I'm of the age when I grew up with the Brady Bunch. I remember reading a review of the Brady Bunch that attributed their popularity to the incredible lengths they would go to support each other, no matter how seemingly absurd that effort may have been. Each week, one kid would either reach for something and find an obstacle, or get in some sort of trouble, and the rest of the family, after rolling their eyes, would go to extraordinary, often funny lengths to make that -whatever it was - either happen if good, or go away, if not.

Clearly that was a much more innocent era, but the truth holds that Kris Jenner, in her wide-eyed and genuine appreciation of the "girls" that surround her ex, and Kris's support and enjoyment of the friendships Caitlin is now capable of (having come into her own, so to speak), brought that radical level support to mind.

There seems to be no end to the generosity and loyalty this particular clan shows to each other, centered around Kris Jenner, who manages to be both a business genius and a rather believably soft and vulnerable ex-spouse and mother, wrapped into one.

Is there room for one more? I'll take the mansion on the hill.
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10/10
Emotionally Courageous and Incredibly Moving
13 April 2016
Are the rich different? Living a life right out of a John Irving novel, in which the invisible strings of fate seem to undermine even the most glamorous and financially secure lives, the answer is "apparently not." In this unflinching look at the tragedies of his mother's life, some self-created from her very publicly scarred childhood, Anderson Cooper is also unafraid to show his personal pain as these tragedies have played out quite tangibly in his life. Anderson Cooper lays bare the family pain that most of us spend a great deal of energy to conceal, and the result is not only a love letter to his brave and unflinching mother, but to all of us. A transcendent experience that brings us beyond class structure to an understanding of how tragedy can shape our lives and bring about beautiful contributions - in art (Gloria) - and in bearing witness to others pain (Anderson). I can't quite put my finger on it, but this film feels as if it has created a new genre - beyond reality TV into REALITY TV. It is as if we were able to listen in as the Kardashian's attended confession. Moving, vivid, sophisticated, unrelenting, honest, and a true gift.
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Da Vinci's Demons (2013–2015)
2/10
A primer on various forms of torture including the torture of plot less repetitive TV violence
7 November 2015
Da Vinci is top of my list of TV characters in most need of a little "me time."

When a routine intelligence writes about real genius, this is the inevitable result

We owe Leonardo an apology

Perhaps the writers should consider hiring someone with the illusive traits of wisdom, character, spiritual wisdom and insight

Oops I digress

Let's flay another villain -slowly and with plenty of fake gore

That is the legacy of genius after all
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Mr. Robot (2015–2019)
8/10
Surprised that economic reality finally acknowledged
27 June 2015
The premise of this show, actually based upon reality but ignored by both the press and most Americans, is actually quite amazing. Anyone that does any research (which I have done - in spades) recognizes that the concept of Americans personal economic well-being, and the reality, don't match.

In all first world countries but the U.S., for example, while the universities are ostensibly private, if you are smart enough to get in, they will fund you. Not here. The large specters of student debt and a rampant Wall Street criminal cabal that goes unchecked time after time for illegal financial shenanigans have taken their toll. You can check it out more by comparing GNP (which measures CORPORATE well-being) and other measures of financial well-being such as the United Nations HDI or Human Development Index, which measures PER CAPITA income (individual income). Normalized for INCOME INEQUALITY ADJUSTMENTS - what this show is about, how the top 10% controls 80% of the wealth of the rest of us -- the average United States citizen's HDI index goes from .914 (we rank about 5 world wide) to .755 (we rank around 29 world wide). In reality, the typical American citizen experiences personal economic well-being at about the level of the Czech Republic.

If you do a web search for "inequality adjusted human development index" you will find the latest report.

So I at least celebrate the increasing awareness of the depth and breadth of our financial inequality as compared to the rest of the first world countries in the globe.

As a caveat, ironically, there is a lot of research that shows that the lower the HDI (the lower access to higher education, shorter life expectancy, etc.), over time that impacts GNP or corporate wealth. So by pressing the average citizen financially so much that our smart and deserving but poor children can't afford to go to college, we are ensuring lower corporate (GNP) income over time for the United States. Corporations need educated workers. Over time, the best paying jobs, which require higher education, are going overseas because our citizens are too poor to go to college. Indeed one of the latest workforce trends is a high rate of un- filled so-called "knowledge worker" jobs concurrent with high unemployment.

We are fast becoming, I guess, the version of "Back to the Future" where Biff won.

I'm not sure I'm in favor of a complete economic meltdown, personally, as advocated by the show's main character, but we can't escape the fact that this kind of show IS -sadly - rooted in absolute economic reality.
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10/10
Beautifully written and acted
19 June 2015
There is something about this particular combination of actors and writers that I find to be very universal. There is almost a Jane Austen quality to the story, and a deep authenticity in the dialogue and acting that is extremely rare. I have come to rely on Hallmark Network for family entertainment that minimizes violence and focuses on character development. For me, this particular series brings that family entertainment to a new level. The evolving stories of the characters and their emotional bravery in building love with each other despite their vulnerabilities and hurt in the past rings with authenticity. I know because I can't help watch this show without at least once breaking into tears. Even when I know what's coming. All I can say is - thank you. Please ignore the reviewers who must categorize everything into meaninglessness and who tell you this is just like show X with character Y and plot Z. This is unique and should be celebrated for it's uniqueness. I particularly find the female characters to be beautifully conceived - so strong, yet so open to feeling. A true gift.
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9/10
Rang emotionally true, if not historically accurate: sensitively portrayed
26 May 2015
No one who watched Grace Kelly's life unfold could question, seeing the expression in her eyes, that she paid a large price for her ascent to royalty. While this movie is dissed roundly, it is often dissed roundly by men, who focus on the historical details (evidently not accurate down to the letter, while I would guess these same men would overlook similar literary license in say, "The Bridge over the River Kwai.") But this is about a woman who had risen to the height of power in Hollywood, and gave it all up for her family and husband. It is very clear that the Monegasques held her hostage, for so shining an actress would clearly step away from her source of creativity and power (financial, creative, you name it) only when forced. I personally have often wondered if Grace's family, with it's famous athleticism and competitiveness, forced her to a height of so-called "achievement" with a brand of snobbery and narrow-mindedness that overlooked her incredible acting talents and achievements in favor of a traditional role - "snaring" the world's greatest single man "catch" of the time- which of course turned into a nightmare. That is what is strongly implied here and this is a wonderful movie of discovery - watching Grace understand that her life is now a permanent movie role, ultimately her acting ability being used to place Monaco on the world stage. Whether or not Grace was instrumental in somehow saving Monaco from French aggression, this emotional journey rings true. It is the story, really, of every woman who either chooses to or is forced to subsume her own worldly ambitions for home and family, and the price that she pays. A price that men often cannot even recognize, even in the movies. Bravo to Nicole Kidman for this sensitive portrayal of the princess held captive in her castle, choked by her diamonds and weighted by her tiara. Keep them (the men desiring to lock us women up, breeding and smiling) squirming!
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Forever (2014–2015)
10/10
More than meets the eye
23 April 2015
This television show, which critics tend to dismiss, has some components that make it very compelling and moving. First, it is essentially the story of a man trying to live with honor and integrity, despite unusual circumstances. While we may not agree with Henry's choices of the moment, we certainly understand that he is there to protect, especially emotionally, the people he loves. This creates a wonderful twist on the typical question between the two central characters. It no longer "will they or won't they?" - enacted with terrific chemistry - but "should they or shouldn't they?". Henry's moral compass has been honed by his long life, and the TV show is unafraid to explore the major historical events that have shaped both him and us over recent generations, such as slavery and the holocaust, and how they have impacted our lives. These are living influences in Henry's lives, and as we are our father's and mother's children, ours as well. I am so moved by Henry's struggle, and so engaged to learn more about how our collective past has influenced his moral compass. Bravo and thank you for creating such a rich tapestry of a show -- satisfying, meaningful and respectful of adult audiences who are (hopefully) attempting to navigate the world with as much adult accountability as Henry.
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Project Nim (2011)
10/10
Tragic Story of (Human) Animal Brutality
25 October 2014
Nim was raised as a human, breast fed, given clothing, a human family, a house, bed and toys. In this loving environment he naturally developed a facility for language, was toilet trained, learning dozens of sign language words, and the ability to make sentences. He formed lasting friendships with some student teachers that tried throughout their lives, with the limited power they had, to protect him. Once grown, as part of a natural adolescence that included a period of danger to his teachers as he learned his own strength and looked for a mate, he was relegated to dirty cages, and had a near escape from the animal laboratories of nightmares in which conscious live chimps are immobilized in painful brain experiments. The emotional brutality shown towards Nim, particularly by Columbia Professor Hubert Terrace, is breathtaking. Terrace's propensity to sleep with Nim's female caretakers and act out rather strange family dynamics - first with a former lover who just married someone else, and later with the "next hot new thing" - could keep Freud busy for a long time. The most human character in the movie- loving, caring, expressive, communicative, and playful - was, ironically, Nim. I'm ashamed to be part of a culture that treated such a precious soul to such cruelty over so many years. The twisted power structures that enabled men like Terrace to use Nim as a tool to seek fame, and discard him without a thought like his student amours, rankle to the core. Late in his life, Nim kept trying to escape his cold cage to the house on the property - where he still felt he belonged. One wonders what Jane Goodall would think of our brutality towards Nim. I will never forget the interview in which his loving caretaker brought him to the brutal cages where he was met with a cattle prod by yet another heartless professor. I would like to put the cattle prod right back on him. Nim, on behalf of all feeling human beings, I'm sorry.
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