Klaus Review: Animated April

Wanting to watch something to feel the spirit of Christmas is how I ended up watching “Klaus” (2019) the first time. It ended up being a film that we all loved and deemed eminently re-watchable. This film has all the makings of a new Christmas Classic to be enjoyed by the whole family. It steps away from the traditional tales of how the legend of Santa Claus came to be and creates an entirely new story that still manages to explain the toy-making, the sleigh, the reindeer, the naughty list, the red suit, and, of course, the timeless tradition of Letters to Santa. This film further subverts other Christmas Classics because the central character is not Santa Claus but the new local postman, Jesper (Jason Schwartzman). Continue reading Klaus Review: Animated April

Review: “Bruised”

Year: 2020 Runtime: 129 minutes Director: Halle Berry Writer: Michelle Rosenfarb Actors: Halle Berry, Sheila Atim, Adriane Lenox, Adan Canto, Danny Boyd Jr. By Valerie Kalfrin Halle Berry has often been a fighter. She leaped from TV shows to feature … Continue reading Review: “Bruised”

Passing: NYFF 2021 Review

Year: 2021 Runtime: 98 minutes Director: Rebecca Hall Writers: Rebecca Hall, Nella Larsen (novella) Actors: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, Andre Holland, Alexander Skrasgard, Bill Camp By Tom Moore Rebecca Hall’s feature directorial debut touches on a unique story on “racial … Continue reading Passing: NYFF 2021 Review

Sundance Review: “Passing”

Based on the 1929 novella of the same name, “Passing” (2021) is a look at racial identity, gender, sexuality, and class. The film follows childhood friends Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga) who reconnect later in life. Irene lives her life as a Black woman and passes as white from time to time for convenience. Clare, however, has chosen live life as a white woman, likely continuing to do so due to her husband John’s (Alexander Skarsgård) racist viewpoint. Hence, the title “Passing.” Continue reading Sundance Review: “Passing”

Review: Rebecca

“Rebecca” could be ripe for a modern interpretation. For the uninitiated, the title takes its name from Rebecca de Winter, the late wife of aristocrat Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier in the Hitchcock version). Rebecca dies before the novel opens; yet she’s a strong presence throughout the book. She’s as much a character as Manderley, the manor where Maxim brings his new bride (Joan Fontaine in the Hitchcock film) after a whirlwind romance. The new Mrs. de Winter is gawky where Rebecca was glamorous and refined and feels herself paling by comparison, especially under the withering gaze and comments of the head housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Continue reading Review: Rebecca