Movies: The Best of Enemies, Diane, The Public

The Best of Enemies

It’s not often that Hollywood confronts adversaries directly, especially when racism is front and center.  This film was based on real events, the clash of two adversaries set in 1971 Durham, N.C. after an all black school suffers severe fire damage.  It’s based on a book by Osha Gray Davidson.

The headliner roles are played very well by Sam Rockwell as C.P. Ellis, the Exalted Cyclops of the KKK, and Taraji P. Hensen as the city’s fair-housing activist.

Make no mistake, this film confronts racism as a fact of life, where the politically elected white citizens actively fight against racial progress.  We won’t give the plot away but know the story gets intense and confrontational.

The film is rated PG-13 for thematic material, racial epithets, some violence and a suggestive reference.  It’s listed as a Drama with a run time of 132 minutes.

Note:  Do not miss the scenes in the credits where actual footage reveals the real relationship between the key characters.

Rating

Diane

This much anticipated film from writer and director Kent Jones is a fascinating film about aging, purpose, family and friendship and ultimately quality of life.

The all star cast deliver exceptional performances that soften the serious subject matter.  The cast includes Mary Kay Place as the central character, Jake Lacy as the son, Estelle Parsons plays a cousin, Andrea Martin is the closest friend and confidant.  A handful of other actors round out the cast as friends and family.

The production is both inspiring and painfully difficult to watch at the same time.  One critic called the film the most depressing 96 minutes of the year.  We disagree.  Challenging…yes, openhearted and insightful, yes.  A powerful film about real life, absolutely.

The film is not rated.  It is listed as a drama.  We do not feel this film is suitable for younger children.

Rating

The Public

This fascinating film is also a lesson in Civics.  It’s written, directed, and stars Emilio Estevez.  The core cast also includes Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Alec Baldwin, Gabrielle Union, Michael K. Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Jacob Vargas and Christian Slater.

It’s set in a Cincinnati Library during a frozen storm front where the homeless take over the third floor to escape the horrid conditions outside.  Ultimately it’s a story about the haves and have nots, the privileged and the disadvantaged.

The film is rated PG-13 for thematic material, nudity, language, and some suggestive content.  We do not suggest this film for younger children and would caution parents with older children as well.  It’s listed as a Drama with a 122 minute run time.

Rating

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