New and Noteworthy

Nominees gathering for the Oscars luncheon on February 4th. Photo: ABC

My Oscar Predictions 2019

It’s easy to sympathize with those showbiz commentators who wondered if the Academy and ABC were trying to put on a show for people who hate watching the Oscars. 


Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born”. Photo: Warner

All Five Best Song Oscar Nominees 2019

This year, we have singing cowboys, singing nannies and black panthers with supernatural powers. 


Jyo Kairi, Lily Franky, Mayu Matsuoka, Sakura Ando and Miyu Sasaki in “Shoplifters”. Photo: Magnolia Pictures

Review: Shoplifters

The camera is intimate and focused; Hirokazu Kore-eda knows when to linger and when to move on.


Bruno Ganz in “Downfall”. Photo: Newmarket Films

Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

There were many sides to Bruno Ganz whenever we were fortunate to see him in a movie.


Jessica Rothe in “Happy Death Day 2U”. Photo: Universal

Quick Take: Happy Death Day 2U

It is severely overbaked and wants to be a lot of things.


“Alita: Battle Angel”. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Quick Take: Alita: Battle Angel

Alita’s charm and fighting skills, part of the visual effects, compensate for weak villains and an unsatisfying conclusion.


Frida Gustavsson in “Swoon”. Photo: Nordisk Film

Quick Take: Swoon

The two leads are weak and the romance unsatisfying, not helped by contrived moments of magical realism. 


Albert Finney. Photo: History Nebraska

Albert Finney, 1936–2019

Albert Finney spent his career delivering explosive but natural performances.