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Diederik van Hoogstraten
by | Dec 28, 2017

Christopher Plummer has played so many memorable roles. I mean, The Sound of Music! But here’s a question. As a spry 88-year-old, has the British master ever been better than he is in All the Money in the World? We…

by | Dec 21, 2017

Before we move on to the Earnest and Important, a word about Father Figures. I didn’t expect it, but this movie is smart, witty, and even moving. Owen Wilson and Ed Helms star in a film that fits squarely in…

by | Dec 15, 2017

Good actors show up in terrible films. This year’s The Leisure Seeker is an example: the great Helen Mirren works with a sublimely bad script and the resulting Very Ill Senior Citizen comedy is utterly unwatchable. Bad actors sometimes show…

by | Dec 8, 2017

The voice of Sally Hawkins is appealingly clear. Just last year she hummed and muttered her way through the overlooked indy Maude. So seeing this English actress shine in a film without saying a word is, to say the least,…

by | Nov 30, 2017

The waves of the Pacific Ocean can be mesmerizing, providing solace and peace and, for surfers, excitement — a welcome counterpoint to the noise of Southern California’s daily grind. The Mason family seems to be looking for this sort peace…

by | Nov 17, 2017

Films about race and racism can be important. They’re also difficult to make. Witness Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation, which failed last year to convince moviegoers and award voters. Now, 2017 has been a better year for the genre….

by | Nov 10, 2017

Frances McDormand is a force. It’s something in the actress’s voice, her eyes, her sense of humor and her quiet charisma. Look at her, engage with her character, and you are off on a trip. That’s certainly true for her…

by | Nov 3, 2017

Steve Carell has often said the way to deal with hardship is through humor. The man we know from The Office certainly knows how to make you laugh, but those projects were hardly serious or painful, setting aside the famous…

by | Oct 27, 2017

Growing up with a Protestant minister for a father, I learned very little about Catholicism. I knew Christianity — the Dutch-reformed kind. Catholics? We didn’t like them and, supposedly, we weren’t like them. Now some of my best friends are…

by | Oct 20, 2017

The towers burned, the city was in a panic. Most of us fled as smoke and fear filled the air. Still, a small group of men and women moved toward the danger. It was September 11, 2001, when new generations,…

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