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01.11.2014
Rarely have the dynamics of a loving yet unhealthy relationship been explored with such tenderness and insight. Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common.
A report from a panel at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival about diversity in the light of the 2015 Oscar ceremony.
As a realistic portrayal of life in rural South Carolina in 1964, "The Secret Life of Bees" is dreaming. You will receive a weekly newsletter full of movie-related tidbits, articles, trailers, even the occasional streamable movie. If I sense the beginnings of a teardrop in my eye during a movie, that is evidence more tangible than all the mighty weight of Film Theory. Seeking answers and a new lease on life, she compels her caretaker Rosaleen to join her on a journey to fill in a gap in her mother's history.
The two of them journey to a town in South Carolina where her mother spent some of the happiest days of her life. One critic has described it as sappy, syrupy, sentimental and sermonizing, and those are only the S's.


The same reviewer admitted that it is also "wholesome and heartwarming," although you will never see "wholesome" used in a movie ad.
But it is not a bad movie.Above all, it contains characters I care for, played by actors I admire. Queen Latifah, who combines conviction, humor and a certain majesty, plays August Boatwright, a woman about as plausible as a fairy godmother, and so what? She lives outside town in a house painted the color of the Easter Bunny and gathers honey for a living. Her best friend and defender, the black housekeeper Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), endures the wrath of the father, because she will not abandon Lily. One day Rosaleen is so bold as to attempt to register to vote and is beaten by racists in the nearby town.
From what little we see of the folks in Tiburon, they're as nice as the folks in Lily's hometown were mean.They land on August's doorstep. And there the proper story begins, involving discoveries about the past, problems in the present and hopes for the future. I expect her to make the transition from child to woman with the same composure and wisdom that Jodie Foster demonstrated.


Here she plays a plucky, forthright and sometimes sad and needy young teen with the breadth this role requires and a depth that transforms it.Then observe Sophie Okonedo, the London-born, Cambridge-educated actress who has no trouble at all playing a simpleminded, deeply disturbed country girl.
Remember her in "Hotel Rwanda"?The Alicia Keys character, June, is really too complex for a supporting role. In the workings of the story, she functions as an eye-opener for Rosaleen, who has never guessed black women could be so gifted and outspoken. The three sisters live in an idyllic household that must have taken a powerful lot of honey sales, even then, to maintain.
We believe it, because Queen Latifah as August beams watchfully on all before her, and nobody can beam like Latifah.
If ever there was a woman born to be christened Queen, she's the one.I have great affection for this film because it honors a novel that many people loved for good reasons. That was the year the Civil Rights Act was passed, and a year before the Voting Rights Act became law.



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