Movie of the Week: ‘The Birdcage’

“The Birdcage” (1996) – Mike Nichols’ remake of “La Cage aux Folles” (1978) is a landmark LGBTQ film in American cinema, although looking back, this hit comedy – which raked in 185 million dollars worldwide – does have a troubling premise.  The mid-90s and 1978 were different times, so the story of a 20-year-old son asking his gay fathers, Armand (Robin Williams) and Albert (Nathan Lane), to act straight for one night to fool his fiancée’s conservative parents – perhaps – seemed like a semi-reasonable request to the American public…

Movie of the Week: ‘Personal Best’

June is Pride Month, so our Movies of the Week will be LGBTQ-themed.  Let’s start the celebration with a look back at the 1980s, writer/director Robert Towne’s “Personal Best”! “Personal Best” (1982) – A few drops of water fall on the bone-dry earth, and once the camera pulls back, it reveals that a track athlete anxiously anticipates the starter’s gun to fire. With long blonde locks and dressed in tight-fitting polyester athletic wear, Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is about to race in the hurdles at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR…

Movie of the Week: ‘Midnight Run’

With Charles Grodin’s passing on Tues., May 18, AHFW’s Movie of the Week is our film critic’s – Jeff Mitchell’s – all-time favorite comedy, director Martin Brest’s “Midnight Run” (1988) starring Robert De Niro and Grodin. “Midnight Run”(1988) – Jack Walsh (De Niro), a former Chicago Police detective, works as a bounty hunter these days.  He bags some local jobs here and there, but Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano) asks Jack to pick up a mob accountant Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin) in New York City and fly him back to Los Angeles,…

Movie of the Week: ‘Bringing Up Baby’

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12 in 1907, 114 years ago, so AHFW wants to feature our favorite Hepburn film as our movie of the week! “Bringing Up Baby” (1938) – Dr. David Huxley (Cary Grant) is trying to use the peak of his powers, as his life is coming into focus.  He works hard at the Stuyvesant Museum of Natural History and looks for one more bone – an intercostal clavicle – to complete a monstrous brontosaurus skeleton.  Just one more!   The good paleontologist just needs to convince philanthropist…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Apostle’

With the Oscars arriving in April (Sunday, April 25), we’re looking back at films and performances that the Academy missed. “The Apostle” (1997) – Robert Duvall, with over 140 acting credits, sometimes gets behind the camera, and in 1997, he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in “The Apostle”.  He plays a Pentecostal preacher, Euliss F. “Sonny” Dewey, a passionate, but also flawed man.  He drinks and womanizes, and after a dubious public incident, he’s on the run.  It’s one of 1997’s best films, probably just behind “L.A. Confidential”.  It wasn’t…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Florida Project’

With the Oscars arriving this month (April 25), we’re looking back at films and performances that the Academy missed.  Director Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” was our #1 film of 2017, but it sadly wasn’t nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  Thankfully, the Academy nominated Willem Dafoe for Best Supporting Actor, however, he lost the gold statue to Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.   We love Rockwell in that film but feel that Dafoe’s restrained performance – as a manager of a budget apartment complex called The Magic…

Movie of the Week: ‘Wild Rose’

With the Oscars arriving rather quickly – April 25 – AHFW is looking back at some flat-out glorious films and performances that the Academy missed.   This week, we’ll turn to 2019 and “Wild Rose” (2019).  Jessie Buckley plays Rose-Lynn Harlan, a single, Scottish mom of two, and she has her hands full with raising her kids while trying to reach her dream: making a living as a country singer in Nashville. Well, Buckley delivers a dream performance in “Wild Rose”, AHFW’s movie of the week! “Wild Rose” – “Whosever heard…

Movie of the Week: ‘Wendy and Lucy’

The Film Independent Spirit Awards nominated Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow” for Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor (Orion Lee), so let’s look back at our favorite Reichardt-film, “Wendy and Lucy” (2008). “Wendy and Lucy” (2008) – Wendy (Michelle Williams) – a 20-something hoping for a streak of good luck – is driving to Alaska to look for work, and her dog Lucy is by her side and along for the ride.  They’re taking a no-frills trip, but Wendy hasn’t received many luxuries in life, as we learn through a couple…

Movie of the Week: ‘Cleo from 5 to 7’

March 8 is International Women’s Day, so it’s the perfect time to feature director/trailblazer Agnes Varda and one of her classics.  “Cleo from 5 to 7” is AHFW’s Movie of the Week! “Cleo from 5 to 7” (1962) – Florence (Corinne Marchand) – nicknamed Cleo – is a famous singer around town, and this town happens to be The City of Lights. Paris! Cleo’s tall, striking, and generally attracts double-takes or long looks from men who pass by.  On first blush, she seems to have it all, but she’s awfully…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Rider’

With writer/director Chloe Zhao winning Golden Globe Best Director and Best Picture honors on Feb. 28, AHFW wanted to feature her heartfelt 2017 feature “The Rider” as our Movie of the Week. “The Rider” (2017) – “Sometimes, dreams aren’t meant to be.” Writer/director Chloe Zhao’s beautiful but heartbreaking picture tenderly embraces this aforementioned resignation in the world of rodeo riding.  Brady Jandreau, a real-life rodeo rider suffered a brain injury on the circuit, and he plays Brady Blackburn, who suffers the same fate.  Brady’s doctors forbid him to get on…