Friday, December 1, 2017

The Shape of Water

In addition to the year’s best movie title, Writer/Producer/Director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is wild, wacky, wonderful and, certainly, worth seeing.  In fact, I suspect it will make my Top 10 of 2018.
Sally Hawkins plays Elisa, a mute cleaning woman, who works in a secret lab that has brought in a sea creature captured in the Amazon.  That’s all I’ll tell you.

Everybody performs in absolute top form in this romantic fantasy; Richard Jenkins as Elisa’s artist neighbor, Octavia Spencer as her co-worker and Michael Shannon as her crazed boss.

You will smile at the development of this story, wonder where it will lead and be pleased with how del Toro weaves its resolution. 

I give The Shape of Water a 4.8 out of 5.

Wonder Wheel

Writer/Director Woody Allen’s Sleeper in 1973 was one of his best films.  His new film Wonder Wheel is a sleeper of a different sort…zzzzzz.  And the only wonder is why he was possessed to make it.
It’s like a Eugene O’Neill version of a Jackie Gleason The Honeymooners episode, only filled with foolish characters of little interest.

I can only give this embarrassment a 2.2 out of 5.  And, that’s only for Kate Winslet and the worthy production crew.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Darkest Hour

After his missteps with Pan and Anna Karenina, one of my favorite directors, Joe Wright is back in form with the historical drama Darkest Hour.
It’s the story of Winston Churchill’s rise to power as Prime Minister of England during the early days of World War II.   Gary Oldman superbly portrays Churchill and is almost sure to nab an Academy Award nomination for his work.

Lily James as his aide and Kristin Scott Thomas as Churchill’s wife back Oldman up, admirably. 

Writer Anthony McCarten’s script brings out all the drama of the uphill battle Churchill faced against those who wanted to appease or surrender to Hitler.

Darkest Hour is an excellently conceived and produced testament to a story every person born after World War II should know.  I give it a 4.3 out of 5.