And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Arty Chick’s Seven Picks: Week 6

This week’s picks include two French films that couldn’t be more dissimilar, one a psychological thriller, and the other a magical story set in Paris. There’s an Italian ode to the world of movies, a story of a man drunk on celebrity, another of a simple man who finds celebrity without knowing it, a bureaucrat caught in a dystopian nightmare, and an undercover Hollywood director searching for the authentic America.

A couple of them won Oscars. All of them were worthy of the accolades they received.

This week’s picks are:  Monsieur Hire;  A Face in the Crowd; Sullivan’s TravelsBrazil Being There ; Cinema Paradiso; Amelie

Review: Wild Mountain Thyme

Adapted from a play that director John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck, Doubt) wrote about his own Irish family, Wild Mountain Thyme is a sweet and funny tale of a couple destined to be together who keep missing their chance. Irish actor Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey, A Private War) plays Anthony, an introverted farmer whose Father Tony (Christopher Walken, Hairspray, Deerhunter) isn’t sure he should leave the farm to him. And one of the reasons is that he doesn’t have a wife. Rosemary (Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns) lives is on the neighboring farm and has been in love with him since they were children. But can she convince him that he wants her, too?

Arty Chick’s Seven Flicks: Week 2

Week two of listing favorite films that may not be on your radar because they’re not new. A few of these were made before I was born, and they’re still resonant. This week’s seven run the gamut of genres and styles.

I give you a Chinese Kung-Fu comedy, a French rom-com, a Frank Capra classic, a Hong Kong gangster vs cop drama, a brilliant gothic horror tale, a women’s lib girl power comedy, and the funniest rom-com ever made.

There’s something for everyone here.

 

Arty Chick’s Seven Flicks: Week 1

What are you streaming this week? When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I started a list on my Facebook page, posting a film I love every day. That list has grown, and is still growing, edging up past 150 films. It is getting a little harder to choose a new film. But I’ve remembered a lot of great movies that I’ve watched over the years and they span all genres and eras. And sometimes one film will remind me of another or an actor that I’d forgotten. I’ve stayed away from the last decade because there are a million “best of” lists that included them. These are films that have stayed with me. Some are obscure, and some no doubt skew to my more “arty” taste. But I am sure you’ll find something to watch that will fill that pandemic hole.  I’ll be posting them in batches of 7 each week, until I have nothing more to say. That could take a while.

 

Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery

After a string of romantic dramedies best described as watchable but weak, along comes The Broken Hearts Gallery, a funny, smart and satisfying meet-cute that is – rather sadly – opening only in actual theaters. The movie puts a fresh spin on a tried and true formula with a pair of likeable leads in Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan, Blockers) and Nick (Dacre Montgomery, TV’s Stranger Things). Plus, a dash of Bernadette Peters!

Review: Extra Ordinary

This seems like the perfect time for a horror romcom and this light little film from Ireland will surely transport you away from the world of campaigns and viruses for 93 minutes. The plot revolves around sweet Rose (Maeve Higgins) who’s a driving instructor trying her best to ignore her supernatural ability to see ghosts. But when she’s asked to help a family exorcize the wife/mother who’s making them crazy, she meets handsome widower Martin Martin (Barry Ward). Unfortunately, his daughter is kidnapped shortly afterwards by a satanist who needs a virgin sacrifice, and so Rose and Martin team up to save her from the evil clutches of one-hit-wonder and Satan’s disciple Christian Winter (SNL’s Will Forte) who’s only doing the evil deed because he wants another number one hit. It’s all very silly and a fun ride.

COVID-19 Streaming List

Just in case you’re caught at home wondering what you can do to pass the time, here’s a list of films that, if you haven’t seen, you should, and if you have you might want to watch again. There’s something for everyone. All of these are streaming right now and we’ll post more later, if need be.

Snapshot Review: The Photograph

The Photograph is a fairly straightforward romantic drama that is slow to develop and fails to rise above ho-hum despite its very likeable and very attractive leads – Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. She plays a New York museum curator named Mae; he plays a rising-star journalist named Michael. They are brought together by the mystery of an old photograph of Mae’s recently-deceased mother Christina (Chanté Adams), a renowned photographer whom Michael has been researching for a story. The film intertwines Mae and Michael’s budding romance with flashbacks from a past romance involving Mae’s mother and a young beau in Louisiana.

Review: Last Christmas

Romantic comedies and dramas are few and far between these days, so when a decent one does come along, it’s generally worth celebrating, even if it’s just so-so. Such is the case with Last Christmas. Will it become an instant Christmas classic, ala Love Actually, Elf, or It’s a Wonderful Life? Extremely doubtful. Will it satisfy a minor craving for holiday heartache and cheer, with a splash of meet-cute? Absolutely. It’s a step above Hallmark and Lifetime (and straight-to-Netflix) fare, though not a giant leap.

Quickie Review: Murder Mystery

The Netflix original movie Murder Mystery is lame, riddled with clichés, superficial and mildly amusing. And it knows it. Now you know it too and can plan accordingly. Watch with a grain of salt – sprinkled on popcorn – on a hot and humid summer evening that commands mindless indoor entertainment at home, with the A/C on full blast. The title is your first clue to just how seriously this movie takes itself. Murder Mystery is about… da-da-dum… a murder mystery.