Movies: Oh Lucy!, Love, Simon, Isle of Dogs

This is a quirky movie about a middle aged Japanese woman and her sister, her sister’s daughter, and her daughter’s boyfriend and so on…

That said, it also has a universal quality about it.  It is more like real life than the movies.  Its twists and turns are often unexpected and poignant.

The cast includes Josh Harnett in the role of John, and is well suited for him.  Shinobu Terejima is great as Lucy.  Kaho Minami plays Lucy’s sister.  Shioli Kutsuna plays Lucy’s sister’s daughter.  There are more than a dozen other bit roles that make up the rest of the cast.  These strong performances are what makes this film compelling and enjoyable.

This film is not rated.  It is listed as a Comedy, Drama.  It is in limited release so do seek this one out sooner rather than later.  Run time is 96 minutes.  Japanese and English, with English subtitles.

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Love, Simon

Every once in a while a film is released that is well written, well acted, and well…on target to its topic.  Here Simon Spier is gay, 17 years old but hasn’t told anybody.  Not his parents or close friends.  At the same time Simon is openly communicating anonymously with a classmate who is gay but he doesn’t know who that person is.  One by one more people become involved but no one knows the whole truth.

A great cast and strong performances make this film believable.  Nick Robinson delivers a heartfelt performance as Simon.  Equally good performances by Jennifer Garner as the Mom, Josh Duhamel as the supportive Dad and Talitha Bateman as the sister.  And…I can’t tell you anymore lest I spoil the finale.  Let’s just say the movie is charming, inspiring and uplifting.

It is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual references, language and teen partying.  It is listed as a Drama and runs 109 minutes.

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Isle of Dogs

Yet another good release.  This one is clever, intelligent with interesting characters.  It’s Wes Anderson’s ninth feature film, his second in stop-motion animation.

Japan is hit with an outbreak of canine flu and all dogs are quarantined on an island.  Meanwhile a government conspiracy leaks to the press and tensions swell to a breaking point.

The voice cast is a whose who of Hollywood including Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono and more.

It is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images.  It is listed as Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy.  It runs 101 minutes.  It can become tedious and a bit difficult to follow but well worth a watch.

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