Hannah and Her Sisters

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Set over a two-year period, Hannah and Her Sisters follows the numerous exploits of three sisters living in New York and their various friends and family. Hannah (Mia Farrow) seems to have her life most effectively in place. She is an actress, getting back into her work after taking time to raise her children, and is married to her financial adviser husband Elliot (Michael Caine). Elliot however has been harbouring a long-standing infatuation with Hannah’s younger sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), who is in a relationship with standoffish artist Frederick (Max von Sydow). At the apex of Elliot and Lee’s joint feelings of dissatisfaction with their partners, the pair sleep together, and must deal with the ramifications. Meanwhile the third sister, Holly (Dianne Wiest) is a recovering drug addict turned aspiring actress and restaurateur, self-employed as a caterer alongside her friend April (Carrie Fisher), a colleague and competitor for both acting roles and eligible men. Finally Hannah’s ex-husband Mickey (Woody Allen) is a stressed out hypochondriac, whose latest imaginary malady might turn out to be his most serious, and his last.
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Wiener Dog

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Todd Solondz is almost the dictionary definition of an acquired taste when it comes to film. For most directors, subjects like rape, dead parents, domestic terrorism and a lifetime of remorse wouldn’t necessarily inspire a comedy, yet they’re all par for the course with Solondz in this darkly comic anthology following the various owners of an ambivalent female dachshund.
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Forbidden Planet

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

In the 23rd century, mankind is undergoing a widespread mission to colonise other planets. Twenty years before the story begins, a ship arrived on the planet Altair IV and now a new crew, captained by Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen, back in his serious acting days), has been sent to see what has become of this quest. Upon arrival they are warned off by Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), but decide to go anyway, only to discover that Morbius is the only surviving member of the original crew, along with his daughter Alta (Anne Francis), who was born on the planet and knows little of the outside world. Her presence causes friction amongst the crewmen who haven’t seen a woman in months, and the addition of Morbius’ assistant, the giant Robby the Robot, doesn’t really help matters either.
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Men & Chicken

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Brothers Gabriel and Elias (David Dencik & Mads Mikkelsen) discover they were adopted after their apparent father passes away. Elias’ mother died in childbirth, and the fate of Gabriel’s is left unclear, so the pair set out to discover their biological parentage. Their quest takes them to the small island of Ork, a place with barely 40 inhabitants, and a dilapidated house believed to be the home of their father. Upon their arrival, Elias and Gabriel face another shock when they meet their three other half-brothers, aggressive but protective Franz (Søren Malling), gluttonous Josef (Nicolas Bro) and simple Gregor (Nikolaj Lie Kaas). The brothers live in a state of disarray and constant fighting, which Elias fits right into, but Gabriel attempts to reform it, all while persisting to find his father and uncover the secrets of his mysterious basement.
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Gilda

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small time hustler and card shark, saved from a potentially nasty end by illegal casino owner Ballin Mundson (George Macready), and employed as an enforcer and eventual floor manager after gaining Ballin’s trust. All that might count for nought however, when Ballin returns from a trip with a new wife on his arm, the flirtatious and ravishing Gilda (Rita Hayworth), who Johnny seems to recognise from his past.
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The Marriage of Maria Braun

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

After getting married during a bombing raid in Germany in the midst of World War II, Maria and Hermann Braun (Hanna Schygulla & Klaus Löwitsch) are able to spend half a day and a whole night together, before Hermann returns to the front. Maria faces the struggles of life at home during wartime, surviving with her mother and sister, even in spite of news that Hermann may not be returning.
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Room

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Today is Jack’s birthday, he is five years old. To him, the whole world is Room, an 11×11 foot enclosure outside of which he has never been. He lives with his mother, Ma, plays with Egg Snake under Bed, eats with Meltedy Spoon and sometimes, when Old Nick visits, Jack has to sleep in Wardrobe, counting the groans before Old Nick falls asleep. The stuff on TV is all fantasy, things that don’t exist in real life. Jack’s world ends at the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the skylight and the heavy metal door, locked with a keypad combination. Beyond that, there is nothing.
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