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  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★★

    Yes, it's that story... told once again! This version is fresh and takes some chances. I'll credit that to star Bradley Cooper, who also directed. Lady Gaga seems a natural on screen as Ally the young singer who is spotted singing in a drag club by established star Jackson Mane (Cooper). Chemistry and romance follow and when Jackson finds out Ally is songwriter of some talent he invites her on stage to sing one of her songs in front of…

  • Pauline at the Beach

    Pauline at the Beach

    Eric Rohmer paradise... a young tomboy, Pauline, joins her statuesque older cousin for a vacation at the beaches of Normandy and there learns a lot about love and life.

    But in my opinion what she mostly learns is that self-obsession breeds discontent and unhappiness. Ultimately it is Pauline's natural embrace of life that might provide a valuable lesson to cousin Marion and the men who dote over her.

    Rohmer's gentle and conversation-filled films are a delight and provide their own lesson in what cinema is all about... when natural interaction replaces artifice the audience can be both entertained and edified.

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  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★★½

    A Swedish family on ski holiday in the French Alps brunches on the scenic outdoor patio of their mountain hotel, when a controlled avalanche comes rumbling down the opposite slope, threatening to grow out of control. Chaos ensues. In the aftermath, a family dynamic is broken... integrity is questioned, disappointment and disillusion set in.

    Funny at times and acutely observant of individual nuances, the film takes on tragic elements when the nuclear family starts to disintegrate. Lies and mistrust are…

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice

    ★★★★½

    Not an easy film to follow... is the Thomas Pynchon novel on which it is based the source of this confusion? But if one gets lost in the intricate plot, nothing to worry about. The film is an utter delight, even at an almost three hour running time. Joachin Phoenix gives another great performance as a drug-addled private investigator 1971 L.A., where the hippie culture is played nicely against the Nixon political era. Every performance (there are many cameos) is…