‘The Test & The Art Of Thinking’ Examines History of Standardized Testing

ap·ti·tude/ˈaptəˌt(y)o͞od/: a natural ability to do something; suitability or fitness. From filmmaker Michael Arlen Davis, “The Test & The Art of Thinking” questions the age-old practice of gauging student success and college admission through standardized testing. Long considered antiquated by educators, students and administrators, the SAT is pulled apart in this documentary that will either…… Continue reading ‘The Test & The Art Of Thinking’ Examines History of Standardized Testing

Hillbilly Elegy is a Family Story, Not a Political Statement

There’s a moment in Hillbilly Elegy where Glenn Close, disguised as elderly, disgruntled Mamaw, tells her grandson that she loves The Terminator, “There are good terminators, bad terminators and neutrals.” The film’s theme proves the opposite: people are typically a mix of all three. Based on J.D. Vance’s best-selling autobiography that follows his tumultuous upbringing…… Continue reading Hillbilly Elegy is a Family Story, Not a Political Statement

‘Dreamland’ released at right time, elevated by Margot Robbie and Finn Cole

Since Margot Robbie and Finn Cole were cast as leads in Dreamland, there’s been a global pandemic, two Oscar nominations and a trip back to post-war Birmingham. But at long last, this coming-of-age Dust Bowl drama from writer Nicolaas Zwart and director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte is brought to the big and small screen – at a…… Continue reading ‘Dreamland’ released at right time, elevated by Margot Robbie and Finn Cole

Stunning Fourth Season of ‘The Crown’ Introduces Era of Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher

As the holiday season approaches, Netflix gifts us Peter Morgan’s stunning fourth season of The Crown, raising the curtain on the 1980s when royal, political and marital turmoil dominated the lives of Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman), Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) and Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin). With an overarching theme of proving oneself in…… Continue reading Stunning Fourth Season of ‘The Crown’ Introduces Era of Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher

Bond of Brothers Tested In ‘Jungleland’

Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell give understated performances as brothers in “Jungleland,” a new film from director Max Winkler. Stan (Hunnam) and Lion (O’Connell) are facing poverty, working at a sewing factory and squatting in empty homes. Lion’s skills as a bare-knuckle boxer are their only way out.  Stan ropes them into driving cross-country from…… Continue reading Bond of Brothers Tested In ‘Jungleland’

In Loud Year, Gripping Drama ‘Let Him Go’ Captures Lost Art of Quiet Strength

From writer-director Thomas Bezucha, “Let Him Go” is a gripping new family drama about a couple’s journey to save their grandson from abuse and hardship. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner reunite as an onscreen married couple in the stirring film from Focus Features, based on the 2013 novel by Larry Watson. They are not Superman’s…… Continue reading In Loud Year, Gripping Drama ‘Let Him Go’ Captures Lost Art of Quiet Strength

‘The Crown’ Sneak Peek: Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher Stars of Season 4

Season four of “The Crown” doesn’t hit Netflix until Nov. 15, but at an online event this week, new cast members Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson discussed embodying iconic British women alongside Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth. Chief TV Critic Caroline Framke interviewed the actresses as part of Variety’s Power Of Women Conversations presented by Lifetime,…… Continue reading ‘The Crown’ Sneak Peek: Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher Stars of Season 4

Variety Power of Women Conversations To Highlight Female Change-Makers

In partnership with Lifetime, Variety is presenting two days of virtual discussions with female industry leaders in several creative fields. “Variety Power of Women Conversations” will be held online Oct. 28-29; registration is free but required for access. Additional sponsors include Providence St. Joseph’s Health, Cadillac and MGO CPA. A week ahead of Election Day,…… Continue reading Variety Power of Women Conversations To Highlight Female Change-Makers

Sofia Coppola’s ‘On the Rocks’ Too Mellow Despite Promising Premise

While high expectations may be the culprit, the trifecta of writer/director Sofia Coppola, subtle and brilliant Bill Murray and equally subtle and brilliant Rashida Jones, On the Rocks, as a whole, is just too subtle for a feature-length film. Or, maybe, viewed through the 2020 lens of a pandemic where constant noise, news and vitriol…… Continue reading Sofia Coppola’s ‘On the Rocks’ Too Mellow Despite Promising Premise