Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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A beautiful film and a beautiful story about acceptance. The lead actress,
Kalki Koechlin, was brilliant as a girl with cerebral palsy seeking her place in the world. I truly believed she was afflicted with the condition. Her performance was impeccable. And her smile was radiant. I fell in love with her character. Be prepared for an emotional ride.
Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, and a stellar cast of British character actors shine a light on the movie making process in which fact gives way to truth in order to tell a compelling story. There is humor and pathos, intrigue and great courage, hardships and sacrifices, all set during the siege of London. Directed by Lone Scherfig, based on a novel by Lissa Evans, I can highly recommend it.
Hailee Steinfeld captures the essence of the high school outcast whose fragile psyche is rocked when her best friend starts up a relationship with her BMOC older brother. Her angst is palpable as she rebels against her emotionally needy mother, pines after one of the school bad boys, and with the perceived desertion of her one and only friend, finds the only person she can talk to is her teacher, Mr Bruner, played by Woody Harrelson. A fine cast carried the story and the emotions seemed genuine as the stories played out on the screen. Ms Steinfeld was radiant and commanded the screen whenever she was on camera, The script accurately portrayed teenage angst without getting heavy handed or melodramatic and the denouement felt organically natural.
A brilliant stop-motion animated film, directed by one of my favorite directors, Wes Anderson. A young Japanese boy, Atari Kobyashi, travels to the toxic wasteland where the dogs on Uni province have been banished, to find his beloved guard dog, Spots. The story tugs at your heartstrings, but never becomes maudlin, as there are moments of laugh out loud humor. The scenery and set design are fabulous. Each of the dogs has a distinct personality and the voice actors do a fabulous job of making that happen. The film is in Japanese and English, and some, but not all, of the Japanese is either translated to, or subtitled in, English. Much of what Atari says while on the island is left untranslated, but the emotion comes through anyway. The story is of a boy and his dog with a lot of political intrigue and social commentary cleverly presented.