Home / Biography

Biography

Capone

Tom Hardy plays Al (Fonso) Capone during the last year of his life. At this point, syphilis has caused extensive neurological damage resulting in worsening dementia. After prison, he lives his final years in an exquisite estate in Florida with his close family and the FBI listening in on all of his phone calls. Capone believes he has hidden 10 million dollars somewhere on the property, but he cannot remember where it is at, and various people around him, including the FBI, are very interested in the money’s whereabouts. The film is rather strange, and not always in a good …

Read More »

Dark Waters

The latest Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven, Safe, I’m Not There) is based on a true story about a lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) who discovers that Dupont has been poisoning the drinking water of a community in West Virginia. The film is well-acted, particularly by Ruffalo who does an excellent job of playing a guy whose passion exhausts him, his family, and his law practice. I have always really liked Todd Haynes films; he is a meticulous director who has a penchant for detail and can tell a really great story. It is a story that is infuriating but also …

Read More »

Unbelievable

This Netflix miniseries that begins with a young woman living in the Seattle area, Marie (Kaitlyn Dever) who was raped, reports it and then, under pressure from the local police, withdraws her allegation. This further alienates this young woman, who spent many of her childhood years moving from one foster home to another. Meanwhile, about 5 years in the future, two detectives (played by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) are investigating a series of sexual assaults that appear to be connected. The film moves back and forth across the 8 episodes between the two stories. Overall, I liked the film. …

Read More »

Just Mercy

This is an adaptation of one of the most inspiring books I have read recently by the same name. Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer in Alabama who has spent his entire career helping get people released from death row who have been wrongfully convicted. The film focuses mostly on the story of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), who was arrested for a murder of a white 18-year-old woman. The film follows Stevenson (played very well and convincingly by Michael B. Jordan) and his journey to get McMillan free. I liked the film; the story is incredibly compelling and provides some real …

Read More »

Bombshell

This film is based on the story of how Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. Her cause was bolstered by Fox News host Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron). I will start with what I thought was good. The makeup – incredible. These three actors look so much like the people they are playing. Charlize Theron’s impersonation of Megyn Kelly is uncanny. The acting is excellent by all. I particularly liked Charlize Theron who just always looked and seemed like Megyn (I don’t think there is any role she cannot …

Read More »

The Irishman

Martin Scorcese’s latest film, based (probably loosely) on the life of Frank Sheehan (played by Robert DeNiro), an associate of the mob and of Jimmy Hoffa, is very impressive. There are two narrative strands that weave to form the overall story and narrated by Frank Sheehan in the present from his nursing home: The road trip that was taken by him and his mob boss Russell Buffalino (Joe Pesci) to attend a wedding and meet with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and the story of how Sheehan rose in the ranks as he did. The acting overall is great, but the …

Read More »

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari:  Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale) are racing friends. Carroll has since retired due to a heart condition and designs and sells cars; Ken works in an autobody shop, barely making ends meet and racing for little or no money on the side. He knows the heartbeat of a racecar like no one else. Ford approaches Shelby about making a racing car; their goal is to have one of their cars win one of the Grand Prix events of auto racing, the Le Mans in France. I really enjoyed this film. Bale and Damon …

Read More »

Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell (in a strong performance by Paul Walter Hauser, who I remember as the bumbling confederate in the I Tonya) is a wannabe police officer who is working as a security guard at the Atlanta Olympic games. He discovers a bag with explosives and is briefly labeled a hero for saving more people from injury. Soon after, the FBI manufactures a case identifying Richard Jewell as the one who planted the bomb. The story is interesting, although the movie is rather uninteresting. I liked the performances by Hauser and Kathy Bateman, who plays his mother. The part of the …

Read More »

A Hidden Life

Terrence Malick’s latest film is based on the true story of a conscientious objector in the era of Hitler. Franz owns a farm in Austria and is married to Franziska; they have three daughters. Franz goes off to basic training, and when he comes back, he decides that he cannot take the Hitler loyalty oath. As with most Malick films, this one requires patience. The film is long, at over 3 hours, and it is exquisitely shot and scored. I was bracing myself for a long film, but it seemed to fly by. Malick is known for his heavy themes, …

Read More »

The Souvenir

Julie (played by Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton’s daughter) is a 25-year-old film school student who is making a film about a boy who is dying and has an unusual attachment to his mother. Julie’s mother (Tilda Swinton) pays the rent and provides money when needed. Julie meets Anthony (Tim Burke), a mysterious guy who has a job in the “foreign office” and who right away gets under your skin; there is something not right about him. There is a lot to admire in the film. The acting by Byrne and Burke is remarkable; Byrne plays Julie as a quiet …

Read More »
Skip to toolbar