Early Review: ‘Green Book’ is destined for golden nominations

“Green Book” – “When growing up, I saw segregation.  I saw racial discrimination.  I saw those signs that said white men, colored men, white women, colored women…and I didn’t like it.” – U.S. Congressman John Lewis – GA (D), during a Nov. 16, 2016 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross During the same interview, Lewis reflected on his childhood during the 40’s and 50’s, when segregation was everywhere, and he asked his parents, “Why?” Lewis said that they just responded, “That’s the way it is.” Set in 1962, Dr. Don Shirley…

‘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…

Close honors “The Wife” with an Oscar-worthy performance

“The Wife” – Look back at any decade since 1979, and Meryl Streep could be called America’s Most Celebrated Actress.  Streep collected 21 Oscar nominations and nabbed three wins over her career, so it is difficult to make a case for another actress to topple this aforementioned, fictional acting title.  In the 1980’s alone, Streep collected seven Oscar nominations and two Best Actress wins for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) and “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), but if she is the most decorated actress from the 80’s, Glenn Close might be the runner-up.…

Cranston fights an implausible story in ‘Wakefield’

“Wakefield” – “I’m totally bewildered by the situation that I created for myself.” – Howard Wakefield “A short story is the shortest distance between two points.  A novel is the scenic route.” – Robert J. Sawyer Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is a married man who lives in a big, beautiful house nestled in an affluent suburb with his wife, Diana (Jennifer Garner), and their twin girls.  He is a law firm partner.  She is an assistant curator at the county museum.  Their lives appear in perfect order, one that the…