Movie of the Week: ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’

“The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (1981) – The opening scene – from director Karel Reisz’s film – surprises but revealing the head-scratching beginning of “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” would be a crime.  Divulging it would somewhat spoil the experience of this cleverly constructed romantic period piece.  Let’s just say that the film’s screenplay adds a layer of complexity which amply raises the level of intrigue in this classic romance. Set in England during the 19th Century, a time when wealthy men courted equally affluent women with the utmost respect.  Gentlemen formally call on the ladies they…

Movies of the Week: Cronenberg-Mortensen Triple Feature

The body-horror master, David Cronenberg, returns to his twisted ways with his new film “Crimes of the Future” (2022), and he reached out to his go-to actor, Viggo Mortensen, for the part of a performance artist who frequently is carved up on a sicko operating table.  “Crimes” is the fourth partnership between David and Viggo, so let’s look back at their three previous cinematic encounters in a triple feature that you shouldn’t miss.  “A History of Violence” (2005) – Set in rural Indiana, this step into film noir offers a…

Movie of the Week: ‘The Gauntlet’

“The Gauntlet” (1977) – “Never saw a cop feeling sorry for himself before.  Mind if I watch.” – Augustina Mally (Sandra Locke) Sandwiched between Dirty Harry’s third and fourth movies, Eastwood plays Ben Shockley, an invisible Phoenix Police officer in “The Gauntlet”.  Despite several years on the force, Ben hasn’t broken a big case yet, and he longs for a wife and kids.  Unfortunately, he’s been married to alcoholism for far too long. On a beautiful Downtown Phoenix morning, his commanding officer (William Prince) hands him a routine assignment to…