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Sunday, January 13, 2013


THREE films for your consideration:
"Quartet" is a fascinating story of relationships among  folks who are living in an elegant - prestigious  home for retired musicians. Splendid acting (Maggie Smith, Billy Connelly , Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay) Flawlessly directed by Dustin Hoffman (recent recipient of one of the Kennedy Honors for his outstanding lifetime body of work). Lovely music, too!

"Barbara" is a German film that has earned rave reviews from the critics.  The titled heroine plays a nurse in an East  Germany hospital, awaiting her travel papers to enable her to join her fiance in West Germany.   Sub-titles, of course, translate the sparse dialogue. (I always appreciate sub-titles!)  Barbara genuinely cares for and about her patients, and even about other patients in the hospital, who are not her responsibility. Her smiles and comforting presence work wonders, and her final sacrifice (SPOILER ALERT) of her passport to freedom demonstrate and prove her "heroine" status.  Unlike a Hollywood treatment of the story, it seems to move slowly, and is definitely more subtle.  In retrospect, it stays with you -- favorably.

"Guilt Trip"  got all the way from luke-warm to bad reviews, so I went in with low expectations. (Always a wise approach to an "iffy" movie.)   It's certainly not great, but it was better than I expected.  Barbra Streisand plays the stereotypical obnoxious "Jewish mother" and Seth Rogan plays her son.  They go tooling across the country  for several days.  It has some very annoying scenes, some quite funny ones.  Take your chances.

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