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Review: The Cuban

The Cuban started life as a short film script. But when they couldn’t get the money to shoot it they expanded it to a feature and crowdfunded to get started. Then they found out that Oscar winner Lou Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) had already read the script and they were off and running. It’s the story of the relationship between Luis (Gossett), an elderly Cuban musician suffering from Alzheimer’s who’s languishing in a nursing home, and Mina (Ana Golja), a young, headstrong pre-med student, who brings him back to life though the power of music. It’s a fairly predictable story, but well-done and ultimately heart-warming.

Still Alice

The reason to see Still Alice, and you really should, is Julianne Moore. She just won an Academy Award for her beautiful and heartbreaking performance as Alice Howland, a successful linguistics professor with a loving husband and several grown children who is stunned to find that she is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the story of her trying to keep it together even though she knows what is coming, and her family trying its best to take care of her as she disappears before their eyes. Alec Baldwin plays the husband who is as helpless as Alice against the disease, but tries to make her diminishing world as livable has he can. And Kristen Stewart is remarkably competent as her youngest daughter, a would-be actress who turns out to be the one who can help her Mom when she needs it most.

Robot & Frank

Robot & Frank is a fun little indie comedy that will probably pass most people by. Set in the “near future” it is about an aging man who is clearly not all there any longer, and his son’s solution is to give him a robot that will take care of him. The central character Frank is played by the wonderfully talented Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) and is no syrupy sweet old doddering fool or even lovable curmudgeon. He is a full ranging character who is right on that edge of knowing that he is losing it. He has some serious gaps in his memory, but what he does remember are the skills he used as a young man when he was a successful second story man, mostly a jewel thief.