The Wife (2017)
Starring: Glenn Close, Jonathan Price, Max Irons
Director: Bjorn L. Runge
Synopsis: One spouse is winning the Nobel Prize for literature and the other spouse is the skilled writer in the family. As you can imagine, it sets up dynamic tension in the couple’s relationship. Both Glenn and Jonathan are wonderful, but the focus, as the title suggests is on Glenn. Max, who plays their son, was extremely wussy and irritating in it, which is what he was supposed to be, I guess. It’s a good story with nice shots of Stockholm and the Nobel Prize process.
A Dog’s Journey (2019)
Starring: Josh Gad (as the voice of Bailey, the dog), Dennis Quaid, Kathryn Prescott, Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin
Director: Gail Mancuso
Synopsis: This is a 2nd movie with the premise of a dog’s stream of consciousness of how he thinks and sees the world. Where the first movie showed several dogs (all with Josh’ voice) going through several families, this one has the dogs sticking with one extended family. I put off watching this for almost a week because I knew it would be an emotional heart bursting with feeling ride. The due date for the library loan was approaching so I grabbed the large box of kleenex and pushed “play.” Seriously this – and the previous movie – are sobfests. Not all crying comes from sadness in life. This one comes from yes, sadness, but also happiness, and humor. Anyone who has/had a pet they love(d) will appreciate both movies. Watch “A Dog’s Purpose” before watching this one, as they tie together.
The Hustle (2019)
Starring: Ann Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Ashley McGuire, Nicholas Woodeson, Alex Sharp, Casper Christensen,
Director: Chris Addison
Synopsis: Ann and Rebel are both hustlers, but Ann is the big-time one and Rebel is the street-level one. They meet by chance, then Rebel starts stomping through Ann’s turf like a bull in a china shop. After a series of events they compete against each other for a prize. The supporting cast is quite talented. The setting is a beautiful tropical island vacation destination. Both Ann and Rebel are entertaining but Rebel began to grate on my nerves after awhile, and I’m not sure if it was the plot or her. Alex shines in his role. This movie is supposed to be a comedy, but I didn’t find it funny.
Free State of Jones (2016) (can be watched via Netflix)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali , Christopher Berry, Sean Bridgers, Thomas Francis Murphy, Bill Tangradi, Kerri Russell
Director: Gary Ross
Synopsis: Amazing and based on a true story, it starts with Jones as a soldier watching his side get slaughtered and decides to desert and go home. From there, things get real interesting, as he ends up hiding in the swamps at an encampment of runaway slaves and other deserters. Jones is a heroic real-life historical figure who accomplished many amazing things; things you would think were impossible. There is a brutality in this film that feels genuine as far as the seething hatred that many white landowners and business owners and slaveholders had for blacks and any whites who didn’t subscribe to their hatred. Warning: disturbing images and much-repeated racial epithets are in this film. Matthew, Gugu, and Mahershala are excellent in their roles, and the support cast is as well.
I Am Mother (2019) NETFLIX production
Starring: Rose Byrne (voice of Mother), Clara Rugaard, Hilary Swank
Director: Grant Sputore
Synopsis: Futuristic, apocalyptic sci-fi production that starts out with a robot “mother” pulling a stored human embryo out of a flask and growing it into a human infant. It shows Mother (her name) raising the girl (Daughter) similar to any other mother in a locked compound/base. Daughter is told there is a deadly virus outside that would kill her, but at some point it is learned that isn’t true. I enjoyed the movie up until the intruder (Hilary Swank) (Woman) shows up, as the idyllic, peaceful place that Mother created for Daughter has been disrupted. Woman calls into question everything Daughter has been taught to believe. The plot became tense and forced, and lost its cohesiveness around then. This movie feels more like a made-for-TV than big screen.
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Jane Fonda, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider, Vivian Nathan, Morris Strasberg
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Synopsis: An upper class businessman goes missing and Klute (Donald), who is a policeman and friend of the missing man, is hired to find him. Some sexually graphic letters to a call girl (Jane) in New York City are found in the missing man’s desk. Klute follows the lead, gets pulled into the call girl’s world, and follows the trail of the missing man. This film is a classic and is a high quality movie. Donald is young, handsome, and very serious in it. You don’t see that carefree smirk on his face that you’ve seen him with in other movies. Jane Fonda is hot and seductive in this and they give her some great close-up face shots. The plot involves the seedy underbelly of human nature and has some quite disturbing scenes in it.