The Darkness, Love and Friendship, Dough, Viva

 The Darkness

darkness

This psychodrama meets the supernatural after a vacation in the Grand Canyon by a Southern California family was not well received by the film critics.

It was a tad confusing.  The writers threw in a bit of autism, bulimia, alcoholism, and infidelity just to make it interesting, if you will.  That just muddied the waters.  We all saw the creepy guys from the beginning, all the rest was window dressing for the finale.

Kevin Bacon is the most notable star and delivers a fair to middling performance.  This will undoubtedly be available on pay per view very soon.  Save your money unless you are in the mood.  It will be on a network channel or airplane sooner than later.

Rating: 1Globe

Love and Friendship

love

This film is based on the unpublished novella Lady Susan written by Jane Austen in 1794.  That’s amazing because this period piece is sharp, witty, funny and unpredictable.  Sometimes all of the above concurrently.

Kate Beckinsale channels Lady Susan Vernon and oozes impeccable taste and scheming ambitions.  There are more ins and out, ups and downs than your favorite soap opera.  The costumes, sets and humor are flawlessly delivered.

Do see this on the big screen if you can.  This is sure to become a popular classic.

Favorite line: Lady Susan’s daughter says: “but marriage is for one’s whole life!”  Lady Susan who has recently been widowed replies “Not in my experience,”

Rating: 3 globes

Dough

dough

This is a comedy/drama that does not take itself too seriously.  Good thing because otherwise the storyline is implausible and kitchy, albeit funny and endearing.

Aging Jewish baker hires young black Muslim immigrant to help bake kosher goods in an evolving British neighborhood.  It sounds benign until the young apprentice starts adding marijuana to certain recipes and conceal an added “surcharge” for the fortified goods.

There is no Oscar material here but just enough laughs and twists to make it worth a watch.

Rating: 2 globes

Viva

viva

This is an interesting and fascinating film.  Interesting because the story is about a young man, Jesus, who ekes out a living as a hairdresser in the slums of Havana, Cuba.  One of his customers is the owner of a seedy drag club who offers Jesus the opportunity to perform.

Suddenly Jesus’s father appears, recently released from prison and inserts himself into Jesus’s apartment and life.  The father is a drunk, a bully and is verbally abusive toward Jesus’ life choices.

Oddly enough, this film is an Irish production, filmed entirely in Cuba.  Viva means “to live”.  This is a harsh peek at life in the slums but also a look at compassion and perseverance.

Very limited theater release.  Seek this one out for a look at a unique film.

Rating: 3 globes

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