Matt writes: On May 1, we lost the brilliant actress Olympia Dukakis, died at the age of 89. His portrait of Rose, the mother of Loretta (Cher) in Norman Jewison’s crowdpleaser in 1987 “Dreamer“has been one for the ages, earning her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (you can watch her acceptance speech in the embedded video below). Roger ebert praised Dukakis’ work in both his original four-star review of the film as well as his 2003 essay Great Movies. We recommend that you read our contributor Jessica Ritchey’s obituary for Dukakis here as well as an excerpt from the Ebert review below …
Grudges and blood feuds, old wounds and hatreds are all over this movie. The mother knows, for example, that her husband is having an affair. She asks from the bottom of her heart why it should be so, and a friend replies, “Because he’s afraid of dying.” She immediately sees that it is so. But does this make her sympathize with her husband? Barely. One evening, he comes home. She asks where he has been. He replies: “Nowhere”. She tells him that she wants him to know one thing: “No matter where you go or what you do, you are going to die.” Some of these moments are so loaded with tension that they remind us of the great opening scenes of “Saturday night fever(And the mother of this movie, Julie bovasso, is handy here, as aunt). But all passion is emptied of its potential for injury, in a way, by the influence of the moon, which has enchanted these people and protects them from the consequences of their frailties. Jewison captures some of the same qualities of Ingmar bergman‘s “Smiles of a summer night”, In which nature itself conspires with the lovers for their happiness.
The amusement park(1973), 4K restoration. Directed by George A. Romero. Written by Wally cook. Featured Lincoln maazel,Harry albacker,Phyllis casterwiler. Synopsis: An elderly man opts for what he thinks is an ordinary day at the amusement park, only to find himself in the middle of a hellish nightmare.The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Benedetta(2021). Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Written by Paul VerhoevenandDavid Birke(based on the book byJudith C. Brown). Featured Charlotte rampling,Lambert Wilson,Virginie efira. Synopsis: A 17th century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion and the relationship between the two women turns into a romantic love story. The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Undine(2021). Written and directed by Christian petzold. FeaturedPaula beer,Franz Rogowski,Maryam zaree. Synopsis: Undine works as a historian lecturing on the urban development of Berlin. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine must kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.Debut in the United States June 4, 2021.
Bawl(2021). Written and directed by Nicole riegel. FeaturedJessica barden,Pamela Adlon,Austin Amelio. Synopsis: To pay for her studies and the chance for a better life, a young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal team. Debut in the United States on June 11, 2021.
Georgetown(2021). Directed by Christoph waltz. Written by David Auburn. Featured Christoph waltz,Vanessa Redgrave,Annette bening. Synopsis: Ulrich Mott, an ambitious social climber, marries a wealthy widow in Washington DC to rub shoulders with powerful political figures. The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Blue miracle(2021). Directed by Julio Quintana. Written by Chris DowlingandJulio Quintana. Featured Dennis quaid,Bruce mcgill,Raymond Cruz. Synopsis: To save their cash-strapped orphanage, a tutor and his children team up with a stranded boat captain for a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition. Debut on Netflix May 27, 2021.
Plan B(2021). Directed by Natalie Morales. Written by Joshua LevyandPrathiksha Srinivasan. FeaturedMason cook,Michael provost,Victoria Moroles. Synopsis: Follows a high school student and her lazy best friend who, after an unfortunate first sexual encounter, has 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in the heart of the United States.Debut on Hulu on May 28, 2021.
Your lover’s last letter(2021). Directed by Augustine frizzell. Written by Nick payneandEsta Spalding(based on the book byJojo Moyes). Featured Shailene woodley,Felicity jones,Joe alwyn. Synopsis: Two intertwined stories, past and present, follow an ambitious journalist determined to unravel the mystery of a forbidden love story at the center of a treasure trove of secret love letters from 1965.Debut on Netflix on July 23, 2021.
Ghost lab(2021). Directed by Paween Purijitpanya. Written by Paween Purijitpanya, Vasudhorn Piyaromnaand Tossaphon Riantong. Featured Thanapob Leeratanakachorn,Paris Intarakomalyasut,Nuttanicha Dungwattanawanich. Synopsis: After witnessing a haunt in their hospital, two doctors become dangerously obsessed with obtaining scientific evidence for the existence of ghosts.Debut on Netflix May 26, 2021.
Songs for a sloth (2021). Directed by Bradley Hasse. Written by Bradley HasseandRichard hollman. Featured Richard hollman,Brian mccarthy,Ava eisenson. Synopsis: On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Maxwell meets a sloth who speaks in his dreams and becomes obsessed with saving the animal’s habitat in his waking life by returning to his first passion for music.The release date in the United States is to be confirmed.
State funeral(2021). Directed by Sergey Loznitsa. Synopsis: The enigma of personality cult is revealed in the grand spectacle of the funeral of Joseph Stalin.Debut in U.S. May 7, 2021.
Oslo(2021). Directed by Bartlett Sher. Written by JT Rogers. Featured Ruth wilson,Andrew Scott,Jeff Wilbusch. Synopsis: Tells the real life, once secret, of the indirect negotiations in the development of the Oslo peace accords of the 90s between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.Debut on HBO May 29, 2021.
American Traitor: The Sally Axis Trial(2021). Directed by Michael polish. Written by Michael polish, Darryl HicksandVance owen(based on the book byVance owenandWilliam E. Owen). Featured Al Pacino,Meadow williams,Thomas Kretschmann. Synopsis: An American named Mildred Gillars broadcast Nazi propaganda during WWII. She was nicknamed Axis Sally by American GIs who both loved and hated her. The story plunges the viewer into the dark underbelly of the Third Reich’s hate propaganda machine, Sally’s eventual capture and her postwar Washington DC treason trial. Debut in US May 28, 2021.
Swim until the sea turns blue(2021). Directed byZhangke Jia. Synopsis: Filmmaker Jia zhangke tells about his local literature festival in Shanxi, China, which features a multigenerational roster of the country’s most esteemed writers. Debut in the United States May 28, 2021.
Anger of man(2021), red band trailer. Directed by Guy ritchie. Written by Guy ritchie, Marn davies, Ivan Atkinson, Nicolas BoukhriefandEric Besnard. FeaturedJason statham,Holt mccallany,Josh Hartnett. Synopsis: The plot follows H, a cold and mysterious character working for a cash truck company tasked with moving hundreds of millions of dollars to Los Angeles every week. Debut in the United States June 4, 2021.
Awake(2021). Directed by Mark Raso. Written by Mark RasoandJoseph raso. Featured Shamier Anderson,Jennifer jason leigh,Ariana Greenblatt. Synopsis: After a devastating global event wiped out all electronic devices and wiped out people’s ability to sleep, a former soldier may have found a solution with his daughter.Debut on Netflix on June 9, 2021.
A Quiet Place, Part II(2021). Written and directed by John krasinski(based on characters created byScott BeckandBryan woods). Featured Emily blunt,Millicent Simmonds,Cillian murphy. Synopsis: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound aren’t the only threats lurking beyond the sandy path.Debut in US May 28, 2021.
Luca(2021). Directed by Enrico Casarosa. Written by Jesse AndrewsandMike jones. Featured Jacob Tremblay,Jack Dylan Grazer,Maya rudolph. Synopsis: On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship is born between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.Debut in the United States June 18, 2021.
David Oyelowo at “Water man“
Matt writes:“SelmaStar David Oyelowo spoke to RogerEbert.com associate editor Nell Minow about his directorial debut, ‘The Water Man,’ which was praised by our critic Sheila O’Malley.
Films of affection
Matt writes: Author Michael Koresky spoke to Sheila O’Malley about her new book,Films of tenderness: a mother, a son and the films of the 80s that define us, which features beloved films like Colin Higgins’ “9 to 5”. You can read their conversation here and find an exclusive excerpt from the book here.
Pot of gold(1941). Directed by George marshall. Written byWalter DeLeon. FeaturedJames stewart,Paulette Goddard,Horace heidt. Synopsis: Jimmy goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before arriving there, he befriends an Irish family who just happen to be his uncle’s worst enemy due to his love for music and the in-house band which constantly practices.
Doll face(1945). Directed byLewis seiler. Written by Leonard praskinsandHarold Buchman(based on the piece ofGypsy Rose Lee). Featured Vivian blaine,Dennis o’keefe,Perry Como. Synopsis: A burlesque star arrives in the big time.
Born to win(1971). Directed byIvan Skip. Written by David Scott MiltonandIvan Skip. Featured George segal,Karen black, Robert de niro. Synopsis: A clever loser and junkie known as JJ spends his days just looking for “one more solution.”