‘Colette’ excels as a fresh tale of ‘He said, She wrote’

“Colette” – The phrase “He said, She said” has pushed to the front of the country’s consciousness during the last week of September, and millions of Americans have staggered to the month’s finish, looking forward to the weekend and October.  Anything to turn the page. Director Wash Westmoreland’s picture is a figurative page-turner about the world-famous writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette or Colette (Keira Knightley) in a film defined by a troubled and colorful story of “He said, She wrote.” Opportunities for women at the turn of the 20th century were limited,…

Thompson, Tucci lead ‘The Children Act’ but the script needs discipline

“The Children Act” – “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela Judge Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) faces difficult decisions every day.  With stacks of high profile cases and judgments piled up in her well-documented history, the work refuses to slow down in her present.  On any given weekday, one can find Judge Maye quietly stewing in her chambers, pouring over documents, making phone calls, and wrestling with conflicting – and sometimes explosive – particulars. From…

This unnecessary rebirth of “A Star Is Born” does shine brightly

“A Star Is Born” – Lady Gaga can act, and Bradley Cooper can sing. If one takes away anything from director Bradley Cooper’s remake of “A Star Is Born”, it is the aforementioned statement. Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a famous country singer.  How famous?  The man cannot walk 20 yards without someone recognizing him, patting him on the back, claiming their fandom, and/or asking for a photo.  Jackson has the world by the tail, but not unlike every human, he suffers from flaws, and the biggest is his alcoholism. After…

‘Love, Gilda’ offers plenty of reasons to remember and love Gilda

“Love, Gilda” – “Because I’m not a perfect example of my gender, I decided to be funny about what I didn’t have instead of worrying about it.” – Gilda Radner Gilda Radner, the very first cast member selected for “NBC’s Saturday Night”, did not always have it all, but she certainly garnered the adoration of millions and shot up to superstardom as one of three female Not Ready for Prime Time Players in 1975, along with Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman.  Martin Short affectionately remarks that Radner always lit up…

Stern searches for order in ‘American Chaos’

“American Chaos” – “They hate her, and they hate Obama too.” – James D. Stern The aforementioned quote about Hillary Clinton and President Obama is one of the conclusions that director James D. Stern inevitably acknowledges in his documentary “American Chaos” about a nearly two-year-old event, the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  Stern – a lifelong Democrat who declares that Bobby Kennedy is one of his heroes – probably already knew that particular fact before making his movie.  He confirms it, however, during his own personal ground game. For six months…