The troubling drama ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ always hits the mark

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” –  Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) is in trouble. She’s the oldest, 17, in a working-class family with younger siblings, her mother (Sharon Van Etten) and an aloof, frosty stepfather (Ryan Eggold), and this troubled teen often feels overlooked.  Ignored.  Her mom’s semi-disregard for Autumn is not out of malice, but with other kids to tend to, her eldest – in a pinch, when such time-squeezes may appear in bunches – can fend for herself. So, this reserved, unsure-of-herself teenager tolerates her way through her small town in…

Oscar-nominated ‘Corpus Christi’ spins an inspirational tale and a tense countdown

“Corpus Christi” – “No seminary accepts convicts like you.” – Father Tomasz (Lukasz Simlat) “Doesn’t matter where you’re coming from.  All that matters is where you are going.” – Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) Daniel (Bielenia) doesn’t wish to think about his previous travels. This slight, young Polish man – with glittery sapphire eyes and an impish crewcut – has crashed into life’s dead ends and incessantly circled in nowhere cul-de-sacs.  He actually resembles an Eastern Bloc version of Scottish hooligan Renton (Ewan McGregor) from “Trainspotting” (1996), but sans any mates to…

Just Because Wednesday, Movies at Home: The “Fifty Shades” series

Just Because Wednesday features our favorite films, and this Wednesday is no exception.  Well, a little exception, because we aren’t highlighting one movie, but an entire series! The “Fifty Shades” series – “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015), “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017) and “Fifty Shades Freed” (2018) – is the very best film adaptation in Hollywood history!  Yes, please step aside “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962), “The Godfather” (1972), the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and “The Shining” (1980).  Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have perfectly brought billionaire playboy Christian Grey…

Movies at Home: Celebrate National Doctors’ Day with ‘Doc Hollywood’

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, but these days, doctors, nurses, other health practitioners and staff don’t need their own 24-hour celebration.  They deserve their own year.  These supermen and superwomen are confronting the challenge of their lives (and ours) during these worldwide, dystopian months. Well, here’s some movie-medicine to take your mind off COVID-19 for 104 minutes.  “Doc Hollywood” (1991) is a light, romantic comedy, where a bout of bad luck might turn into a packet full of grins and a bucket of horseshoes. Dr. Ben Stone (Michael J.…

Brendan Gleeson Triple Feature

Happy Birthday, Brendan Gleeson! This in demand, Irish-born actor turns 65 on March 29, so this is the perfect time to celebrate his work with a Gleeson triple feature.  Gleeson has starred in lots of big movies since his film career began in 1990, including “Braveheart” (1995), “Michael Collins” (1996), “28 Days Later…” (2002), “Gangs of New York” (2002), the “Harry Potter” series, and “Suffragette” (2015). His impressive resume offers countless choices to highlight, but let’s look at a film from director Michael McDonagh and two more from his director-brother…

Just Because Wednesday, Movies at Home: ‘Tracks’

This week’s Just Because Wednesday movie is not only one of our favorites, but the lead Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) takes social distancing to a whole new level.  “Tracks” is a taxing but rewarding and inspirational journey! “Tracks” (2013) – “I’m the first to admit I’m remarkably unqualified for such a hazardous undertaking, but this is precisely the point of my journey. I’d like to think an ordinary person is capable of anything.” – Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) Robin Davidson is a blonde, fair-skinned early 20-something, who “simply” decides to…

Movies at Home: ‘1917’ arrives on Blu-ray on March 24

It might feel like we’ve been cooped up in our homes, apartments or condos for 101 days, but here’s some good news:  a 2020 Best Picture nominee, one that takes place 103 years ago, arrives on Blu-ray on March 24. “1917”  Sam Mendes uniquely-filmed WWI epic is our #6 film of 2019, and but it’s first on our minds today. Here’s our review: “1917” – “I wanted you to feel like you were there with the characters, breathing their every breath, walking in their footsteps. The best way to do…

Movies at Home: Five Great Michael Haneke films on Amazon Prime

Happy Birthday, Michael Haneke! Well, no matter how much you prepare for one of Haneke’s films, he always surprises, but it’s no shock that “Amour”, his 2012 movie about dementia, won the 2013 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Not just dementia, but this writer/director isn’t afraid to explore other pitch-black material, and in fact, he’s made a bright career in doing so.  Now, Haneke’s films aren’t apocalyptic, not on a grand scale, but instead, they sear into vastly troubling relationship or family dramas and are wrapped in disturbing intimacy. Since…

The female creators and cast crack open big surprises in ‘Blow the Man Down’

“Blow the Man Down” – “The simple truth is that you can understand a town.  You can know and love and hate it.  You can blame it, resent it, and nothing changes.  In the end, you’re just another part of it.” – Brenna Yovanoff The Connolly sisters, Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor), reside in Easter Cove, Maine, a fictional coastal town that – actually – is not so picturesque.  Sure, it meets the ocean, but a wintertime chill smothers and covers the whole local-lot, as snow and…

Just because Wednesday, Movies at Home: ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

Every Wednesday, Art House Film Wire will feature one of our favorite films.  Why?  Just because!  With most theatres closed and home sweet home suddenly becoming our 24/7 work-living space, trips to the movies only consist of taking a left from the kitchen and finding a spot on the couch. Hopefully, you find a place on your calendar to see “Monsieur Lazhar” (2011), a film from Montréal that earned a 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. In the U.S., it’s available on Netflix DVD, but if you don’t want to wait,…