Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
“I was loved. I was hated. Then I was a punchline.”
And then she was a movie, in which she is, well, a punchline.
“She” is Tonya Harding, a hard-luck Olympic ice skater who, for about 16 seconds in 1994, became world famous as the white-trash underdog who tried to take out America’s ice-princess sweetheart, Nancy Kerrigan.
With “Phantom Thread,” Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson have made precisely the movie they wanted to make.
This is not as easy as it may sound. The variables, in a performance or an entire film, are immense and notably intractable. The sort of icy control evinced in “Phantom Thread” calls to mind that other master of sub-zero cinema, Stanley Kubrick.
When everyone talks about movies with good roles for women, “Molly’s Game” is precisely the sort of movie they’re talking about. Brash, clever and bristling with sexy insider jargon, the film offers Jessica Chastain the kind of showcase most actors would kill for.
And she’s killer in the part.
Chastain plays Molly Bloom — no, not the Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s “Ulysses” — but a real-life person. In fact, this Molly isn’t even Irish. She’s Russian Jewish, which comes in handy when she decides to poach some players from the highest-stakes poker game in New York, a legendary Brooklyn-based operation run by the Russian Mob.
The man who made us believe in man-eating Great Whites, homesick extraterrestrials and re-booted dinosaurs now wants us to take a real leap of faith.
Steven Spielberg wants us to believe in newspapers.
“The Post,” as in the Washington Post, is in many ways the sort of rousing old-fashioned newspaper movie they used to make in the ‘40s and’50s. Tough-talking editors with rolled-up sleeves. Deadlines stretched to the breaking point. Hard-boiled reporters for whom dirty tricks are just business as usual when it comes to getting the story.
It would be easy to joke around and say “The Shape of Water” is like “Mad Men” meets “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” with a “Dr. Strangelove” gloss.
But Guillermo del Toro’s sublime fairy tale romance/Cold War commentary is so much more than that. It’s an utter original and not really what we would expect from the director of such memorable fantasy-tinged horror films like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone.”
There are still those of us old enough to remember the sequential side-of-the-road billboards for Burma Shave or South of the Border. They were pseudo-cheeky, pretty stupid and, well, impossible to ignore. Even if you were going 80 mph.
In “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) takes something of the same approach. She rents three peeling billboards on a deserted road and plasters her own very personal message across them. In order, they read: Raped While Dying; And Still No Arrests; How Come, Chief Willoughby?
Not surprisingly, a movie written and directed by Greta Gerwig, based on her own experiences as a high school senior, is a lot like a Greta Gerwig performance. It sneaks up on you. It’s sly, a little sideways, grudgingly poignant in places, and uproariously funny when you least expect it,
Granted, Gerwig’s not exactly a household name (like, say, a judge on “Dancing With the Stars.”) But you’ve seen her — mostly in well-received indie movies like “France Ha,” “Maggie’s Plan” and “Mistress America.” You may not like any or all of her films (I don’t), but her work is always interesting. And I mean interesting in a good way, not in that uncomfortable I-know-I-should –like-this-but-I-just-don’t way.
Genial and inviting, “The Man Who Invented Christmas” has the same sort of old-fashioned appeal as Coca Cola’s iconic Santa Claus.
But this isn’t a story about Santa or the historical Saint Nicholas or even Clement Clark Moore, whose ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” filled our heads with sugar plums and eight tiny reindeer.
According to director Bharat Nalluri and writer Susan Coyne, the man who transformed Christmas from a minor holiday to a major phenomenon was none other than Charles Dickens. And he did it by writing his immortal tale, “A Christmas Carol.”
Well, you may not “fwoe up” as Dorothy Parker so famously wrote in her book review of “The House at Pooh Corner.”
But you might come close.
Well-intentioned as it is, “Goodbye Christopher Robin” could put a Pooh Lover off Winnie-the-Pooh permanently.
A.A. Milne’s much-loved children’s books have been required bedtime reading for generations of children (and, let’s face it, many adults). Written in the aftermath of World War I, the adventures of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and, of course, Christopher Robin have as firm a place in classic literature as “Alice in Wonderland” or “Peter Pan.”
The mish-mash that is “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” isn’t likely to take the wind out of the sales of this summer’s grrrl-power blockbuster
In fact, it isn’t likely to do much of anything.
It’s an origin story. A true one, apparently. Sometime in the late ‘30s-early’40s, a Harvard psychologist named William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) dreamed up the super-heroine best known for her star-spangled costume, her golden lasso and – most importantly for this picture’s purposes – her handcuffs.
“Blade Runner 2049” is admirable and occasionally astonishing. But there is nothing in its entire 163 minutes that matches the gut-wrenching power of Rutger Hauer’s final speech in the original movie.
Ridley Scott’s sci-fi cult classic, “Blade Runner” was originally released in 1982 (since then, there have been one or two revised versions). It was set in the future (2019) in a rain-drenched world of neon and noise. And human-like androids called replicants.