Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 8/31/18
Juliet, Naked (R)
Starring: Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd, Ethan Hawke, Jimmy O. Yang, Megan Dodds
Directed by: Jesse Peretz
In Jesse Peretz’s Juliet, Naked, Annie’s film professor husband is obsessed with the online blog he writes about an American singer/songwriter who disappeared after the release of his 1993 album, Juliet. When a bootleg tape of the musician’s concert appears, Annie writes a very critical review of the singer. Her husband is not amused, and things come to a head when the singer visits his pregnant daughter in Annie’s coastal English village. It seems he wasn’t missing—just living in his ex wife’s garage. Everything is low key in this British rom-com, which is just the way it should be.
3 pieces of sweet, lovely, low-key rom-com toast
Rocky Mountain High: Forty Years Later (NR)
Directed by: Lee Aronsohn
Lee Aronsohn has made a documentary about Magic Music, a band he loved while at the University of Colorado, but you have probably never heard since the musicians refused a national music contract because they didn’t like the producer’s pointy shoes. The director works hard to help the band get “rediscovered,” including filming their reunion concert in Boulder, Colorado packed with other local fans.
3 pieces of a doc about a band that didn’t make it big toast
Starring: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Michelle La, Sara Sohn
Directed by: Aneesh Chaganty
Director/Screenwriter Aneesh Chaganty opens this film Searching with an emotional sequence about the death of a loved wife and mother. Set in Silicon Valley, the father and daughter’s grief is shared via computer screens, until the daughter’s online presence slowly fades into nothingness. A San Jose detective shows up to trace the missing girl and we follow along on a few too many side trips with the father and the detective while grasping for clues that will lead to closure. Once again, a neutral editor could have made the movie into something crisp and profound instead of what we get.
2 pieces of another computer screen image missing persons case toast
93 Queen (R)
Directed by: Paula Eiseit
93 Queen is the Brooklyn-based emergency services team made up of female Orthodox Jewish EMTs. Formed in 2014, against a wave of patriarchal and matriarchal criticism, the team is a response to the “men-only” EMT team staus-quo. One of the major behind the scene debates is over the issue of letting single women EMTs be part of the team. The arguments include the “fact” that single women may not be “mature enough” while at the same time providing ammunition for ultraconservative Rabbis who are against the project. This isn’s a groundbreaking movie, but instead offers insight into an enclave of traditional male privilege.
3 pieces of a sociologically and historically interesting doc toast
Operation Finale (PG-13)
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Melanie Laurant, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Pepe Rapazote, Greta Scacchi
Directed by: Chris Weitz
When Adolph Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi Holocaust is discovered to be alive and working at a Mercedes Benz factory in Argentina, a Mosad agent is sent to bring him to Israel for a televised trial. The film suffers from having been the focus of a half-dozen previous movies, documentaries and TV shows, and comes across as a “we’ve already seen this” political thriller interspersed with horrifying flashbacks of the concentration camp experiences suffered by the Mosad agent’s dead sister. Ben Kingsley plays Eichmann as a buttoned-down bureaucrat just “doing my job.” Meh
1 and 1/2 pieces of a uninspired retelling of a turning point in post WW2 history toast
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