Thumbnails Oct 13
Produced and directed by Shane Salerno, who put up the $2 million
production budget himself and spent nine years on it, this is the story
of hermetic author J.D. Salinger, told by people who knew him, like E.
L. Doctorow and Gore Vidal, including his daughter and his girlfriends.
He comes across as a controlling egoist who exploited very young women,
writing them letters and meeting them and then establishing
relationships with them. It also delves into his affair with teenager
Oona O’Neill with pictures showing her to be a Gene Tierney lookalike.
Adding to the interest are archival pictures of Salinger while serving
in Europe during World War II, including one short film clip, the only
one extant, of this period of Salinger’s life.
Highlighted by Oscar®-quality sound production by Danny Hambrook that
greatly intensifies the speed and danger of Formula I auto racing and
exceptional performances by the entire cast, but especially Daniel Brühl
playing Niki Lauda and Chris Hemsworth playing James Hunt, this is a
fascinating tale of the 1976 rivalry between Lauda and Hunt. Astute
viewers may recognize that director Ron Howard includes scenes that
reflect the influence of, if not actual homage to, oldtime directors
Hitchcock and Capra.
For Sharing (9/10):
time director/writer (with Matt Winston) Stuart Blumberg makes an
auspicious debut with this deep analytical film based upon addiction in
general and sexual addiction in particular. He takes an A-list cast
consisting of Gwenyth Paltrow, Timothy Robbins, and Mark Ruffalo, and
creates a spellbinding drama about people with serious problems in their
lives that necessarily affect their relationships.
Director Luc Besson (“Taken”) continues his magic as he knows how to set
up rewarding scenes in which bad guys get their comeuppance, and there
are a lot of those scenes here, made easier since everyone in the film
is a bad guy, including the good guys, except the federal agents. Robert
De Niro has become an accomplished comedic actor and Michelle Pfieffer
is still gorgeous and can still give a fine performance, but the real
standout is daughter Dianna Agron as a sensual teenager coming of sexual
Producer/director Nick Ryan’s re-creation of “the deadliest day on the
world’s most dangerous mountain,K2,” the second highest peak in the
world, located in a remote region between Pakistan and China in 2008, is
Although quite a bit of archival film from the actual 2008 climb was
used, a lot of the film was shot in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland
beneath the north face of the Eiger. The surrounding Alpine mountains
were seamlessly replaced with the correct Himalaya landscape of K2 in
This is one of the best mountain climbing movies ever made. Opens
There’s a lot here that does not meet the eye, so if you can keep up
with the arcane British legal process it’s an entertaining London-based
thriller highlighted by fine acting, especially by Rebecca Hall who was
the best thing in Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” despite third
Madamoiselle C (5/10):
Roitfeld was the editor of the Conde Nast magazine French Vogue for 10
years. She left for greener pastures and this film chronicles her launch
of a new magazine, CR Fashion Book. She is a peripatetic
presence, with seeming indefatigable energy. But she talks so much
during the first hour that it becomes enormously annoying, interspersing
her comments with superficial pseudo-profundities. It is relatively
incoherent, hard to determine what’s really going on.
probably not possible to make a tasteful movie about a subject as
distasteful as masturbation, but this movie doesn’t even try. Filled
with frank conversation and gutter language, it is misogynistic with an
added dose of misandry, and completely misrepresents Catholic
Confession. I’m not sure if this was intended as a comedy because there
is nothing the least bit humorous anywhere. Whatever was intended, after
only five minutes I started looking at my watch and continued to urge
those hands to move faster throughout the rest of the film.