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  • Disobedience

    Disobedience

    ★★★

    In this turgid, but well acted, drama, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) plays the apostate daughter of a famed London Ashkenazi rabbi, who returns from exile in the U.S. for her father's funeral. It soon turns out that the reason for Ronit's expulsion from her father's insular cult was that the old rabbi had discovered her affair with a woman, Esti (Rachel McAdams), and disowned Ronit. However, Esti remained behind and submitted to a loveless marriage with the old rabbi's favored acolyte,…

  • Tully

    Tully

    ★★★½

    It would be hard to imagine a story with less relevance for me, personally, than a mother's postpartum depression after the delivery of her third child. Yet, thanks to Charlize Theron's amazingly realistic performance (even her body changed and conformed to the role with 50 added pounds) and a surprisingly revelatory script by Diablo Cody, I was able to relate. No spoilers from me (and I recommend not reading any reviews that hint at spoilers). This wasn't an easy film to watch...just an amazingly truthful one, thanks to the acting and the empathetic direction of Jason Reitman.

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  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.