In 1766, the well-read, 15-year-old Princess Caroline Matilda of Wales (Alicia Vikander) is married off to her cousin, the 17-year-old newly crowned King of Denmark (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard). She’s sweet and willing, he’s been psychologically manipulated and debauched by cynical court regents–if he lived today, his sex tape with Kim Kardashian would be legend.
Chicken with Plums, an Iranian and French film with English subtitles, is a surprisingly witty comedy-drama with visual flair. Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, the folks who gave us Persepolis, this tale of a moody violinist nursing a broken heart skips melancholy and goes for whimsy, big time.
The smug and manipulative Django Unchained manages to rouse itself for its spatter-filled climax–not that it matters much. In his latest goo-fest, a “western” set in l858, aging Bad Boy writer-director Quentin Tarantino, the eternal sophomore, gives us more or less what we’ve come to expect: revisionist history, smart-assed dialogue, blood out the old wazoo and loose ends.
Sneaking in under the wire to qualify for the Oscar nominations, one or two of which it might get, Promised Land–written by its stars, Matt Damon and John Krasinski–might just get patronized by Hollywood types watching its screener at the Polo Lounge. Its lazy publicity gives off an aromatic mixture of predictable Americana, but don’t you believe it: This is a B-plus movie beautifully acted–again credit Damon and Krasinski, with Frances McDormand–with a story by the great Dave Eggers.
The New Year holiday always brings out confusing emotions in me: bittersweet and nostalgic regret for the year just passed, unadulterated stress for what might lie ahead, the constant reminder that I’m one year closer to being dead. I may need to talk to someone, especially since we’ve just come through the other end of 2012, a year in which we were forced to confront our mortality in more ways than were comfortable.
Film Reviews / By now, we’re all familiar with Peter Jackson’s long, drawn-out, expositional style of filmmaking, in which the first hour–the so-called “popcorn hour”–amps up to a majestic battle of good versus evil, or in one case, a giant primate going berserk in Manhattan. At best, the long lead-in creates suspense and excitement, but when the droll fluff begins to cloy, we moviegoers suffer.
Before we get to Film of the Year . .
Oscar-bound, and for all the right reasons, the cunning true-life story in The Sessions is based on the writings of Mark O’Brien, iron-lung-encased polio victim, who, at age 38, decided to seek out a sex therapist to help him lose his virginity. He does, finding a compatible spirit in the form of Cheryl Greene, as played by Helen Hunt, returning triumphantly here to the screen in a starring role.
The drama of a prisoner and the long-suffering woman/mother/child who waits for him was a cornerstone of the Depression–and Depression-era movies–when life was lived on the margins and the system created miscreants (see: Criminal, They Made Me A). Indeed, my great-uncle, Robert Tasker, a convict at San Quentin in the early ‘30s, wrote chain-gang and jailhouse movies upon his release.
For as long as we can remember, Chinatown has been notorious for drugs, homelessness and filthy streets. Some claim nothing has changed–and that it never will.
Bicyclists have long been overlooked by four-wheel riders on Honolulu’s congested streets. In the gleaming, armored pecking order of the road, cyclists are too often dismissed as lane hogs, hand-signaling nuisances and unfortunates who can’t afford cars.
The fate of some 1,525 acres of land at Hoopili in ‘Ewa may have been decided last Wednesday in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court. The decision might have gone differently, but the appellant attorneys’ strategy seemed to collapse as Judge Rhonda Nishimura picked it apart based on technical errors.
Last Thursday, May 9, the Caldwell administration revealed its action plan for solving Honolulu’s homeless problem. But at the City Council’s budget meeting the same day, Budget chair Ann Kobayashi wanted to know where the money for “Housing First” (see Cover Story, pg.
The Mayor Wright Housing project has been slated for major redevelopment by the Hawaii State Housing Authority (HSHA); requests for qualifications will be going out to developers in three to six months. Nonprofit group Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) wants to make sure the project’s tenants have a say in the redevelopment process, which could include major renovations or a total rebuild.
The Honolulu City Council held a special Committee on Transportation meeting on Tuesday, May 7, to go over its Complete Streets initiative with input from the department directors of Design and Construction (DDC), Planning and Permitting (DPP) and Transportation Services (DTS). At prior meetings, including the Moiliili workshop, community members pressed the idea of combining Complete Streets with Caldwell’s repaving projects, which Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and some councilmembers have said makes sense.
Not much to agree with my friend Doc Berry (“Limits of Growth,” April 17). None of the scenarios he posits will ever materialize.
In your Diary of May 8 (“End of the 27th)” you reported on SB 1214, passed by the Legislature. In their nimble way, the Legislature tacked the wheel boot prohibition on a bill that was intended to abolish the Commission on Transportation.
On Friday, May 3, at 3:45 p.m., I was driving town bound through the Wilson tunnel on the Likelike. I was parallel to another car, and there were several other cars following closely behind me.
Congratulations Honolulu Weekly on the recent Pai award for investigative reporting (“Boss GMO,” Jan. 4, 2012).
When the biofuel guys say that costs are “confidential” (“Big-foot Biofuel,” May 8), I reply that since I am the one who is going to end up paying the cost, I have a right to know. Frankly, when everybody tries to hide the costs, I smell rat …
The Foster Botanical Garden never ceases to inspire for an urban setting it is like a step back in time (“See the Flora,” May 8). If Koko Crater Botanical Garden contains the world’s largest plumeria collection as suggested, it may be thanks in part to the Prussian born Dr.