Sunday, October 22, 2017


Director Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck is an extremely interesting drama that requires a lot of patience by the audience.  However, I assure you that patience will pay off, beautifully.
The film has two parallel stories, one in 1927 regarding an adolescent deaf girl (Millicent Simmonds) in New Jersey, who escapes her tyrannical father and escapes to New York City.   The other takes place in 1977, regarding a 15-year-old boy (Oakes Fegley), in Minnesota, whose hearing is lost in a freak lightning storm soon after the death of his mother.

The 1927 story is depicted in a black & white tone, while the 1977 story is in color.

The patience I mentioned is due to the fact the principal characters are deaf and there is sparse dialogue while the audience is trying to figure out how, if at all, these stories may relate to each other.  Spoiler alert… They do.

 The young actors are wonderful and Julianne Moore is magnificent in dual roles.   

Cinematographer Edward Lachman deserves kudos for his wonderful images.

I give Wonderstruck a 4.1 out of 5.

Happy Death Day

Director Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day is an unexpected funfest.  It’s one of the few horror/thrillers that can please even non-fans of the genre.
And, while giving a nod to Landon and Screenwriter Scott Lobdell, the film succeeds mostly because of Jessica Rothe, who plays the principal role of a college student, who  relives the day of her death over and over until she figures out who her assailant is.

The cast members all play their roles, admirably, and, thankfully, the film does not end with the stereotypical “f*#k you”…where the monster/killer revives just before the credits…of most every film in this genre.

I’m happy to give Happy Death Day a 4.1 out of 5.

The Snowman

Director Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman is a grisly Oslo, Norway-based thriller in which alcoholic detective Harry Holt (Michael Fassbender) attempts to track down the killer of women, who he feels lead objectionable lives.

A female detective (Rebecca Ferguson), initially, tries to keep Harry on track, but, soon, the tables are turned as Harry discovers her true identity.

Charlotte Gainsbourg as Harry’s true love Rakel and Val Kilmer as a counterpoint alcoholic detective in the city of Bergen, Norway both bring up a needed energy of the film.

The story is taken from Writer Jo Nesbo’s successful series of Harry Holt thrillers and his readers may have a disconnect with the casting of Fassbender in this role, as he in no way resembles the character they have come to love.

Others may find the film just too bleak. 

I give The Snowman a 3.3 out of 5.