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The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield play Tammy Faye and Jim Baker. Those of us of a certain age will certainly remember them as the founders of the PTL Club (The Jim and Tammy Show) who amassed a fortune in their evangelism ministry and then lost it all quickly in a major corruption scandal (and, of course, infidelity). The best thing about the film is Chastain: She is remarkable as Tammy Faye in the singing voice, all the make-up – she is the reason that you are so drawn into the movie. Andrew Garfield is good as well, but Chastain steals …

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Parallel Mothers

(Spanish) Almodóvar’s latest film concerns two women – Janis, who is in her 40’s, and Teresa, who is a teenager – who strike up a bond while sharing a hospital room as both are preparing to give birth. That connection and how it happens is one storyline. In another storyline, Janis, a photographer, has an affair with Arturo, an archeologist who specializes in digs related to Spain’s civil war. Janis asks him to help her to organize a dig of a plot of land where many of her male relatives were murdered and buried. These two stories are woven together …

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The Batman

Robert Pattinson is the latest to don the cape and play the Batman. There is absolutely no disappointment in that choice. The film is different from previous Batman films in its very film-noir approach to the subject. In this film, Gotham City has been taken over by gangsters, drug lords who rule the city; major politicians and most of the police department has been bought off. I loved the characterization of the city, its darkness and the chaos. The filming in this regard is fantastic. The Batman is widely despised by the city and is characterized as a villain by …

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Its a Sin (Limited Series)

I don’t always weigh in on limited series, but I was particularly captivated by this one (5 episodes). Three young and very different men – Ritchie, Colin, and Roscoe – all are 18 and move to London to explore their lives as gay men. It’s a Sin spans the decade between 1981 and 1991, the time when AIDS, a then-unknown disease that was affecting primarily gay men, was casting a shadow over the lives of many, gay and straight alike. It is a bit like the Boys in the Band but from the perspective of the UK. Those of us …

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The Tragedy of Macbeth

To preface this short summary, I have never seen any other version of this story, either play or screen; I recall having read it once in college, but alas, I have always struggled with the language of Shakespeare. So, I refreshed my memory of the story before watching the film. I loved it. I had a hard time with the language – I am glad I had subtitles to catch it all (part of it is just getting older and the mind is less efficient at keeping up with the abstract talking). A part of me wished it had been …

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  • The Shape of Water

    Set in the early 1960’s during the height of the Cold War, Eliza (Sally Hawkins), who is mute, and her friend Eliza (Octavia Spencer) work for a high-security government laboratory as cleaners. Strickland (Michael Shannon, doing his characteristically fantastic job of playing a creepy guy) has recently arrived to safeguard a high security “asset,” an amphibious, human-like creature. Eliza, who is lonely and lives with her gay friend Giles (Richard Jenkins), finds ways to communicate and strike a friendship with the asset through music and sign language. This is visually beautiful and is a beautiful love story as well – …

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