Tag Archives: Annette Bening

Captain Marvel

EVERYTHING BEGINS WITH A (HER)O. In 1995, Vers (Brie Larson) returns to Earth, a member of an elite alien force… but also with vague memories of life as a U.S. Air Force pilot. Virtually serving as a parenthesis between two Avengers movies, Infinity War and Endgame, this film introduces another Marvel hero while also taking … Continue reading Captain Marvel

The Grifters

SEDUCTION. BETRAYAL. MURDER. WHO’S CONNING WHO? Veteran con artist Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston) meets her son (John Cusack) for the first time in eight years and realizes that he’s been seriously hurt; after getting him to a hospital, she meets his mysterious girlfriend (Annette Bening)… The same year as Martin Scorsese directed GoodFellas, he also … Continue reading The Grifters

American Beauty: Beyond Italian Upholstery

… LOOK CLOSER. The story of how American Beauty, one of the most celebrated films of the 1990s, was made is the story of how a struggling TV writer tried to break into movies and a theater director with a flair for staging dark reinventions of musicals like “Cabaret” and “Oliver” got his huge breakthrough … Continue reading American Beauty: Beyond Italian Upholstery

Mother and Child

A thorough and moving examination of the bond between mothers and children, exemplified by three stories. We meet a middle-aged woman (Annette Bening) who’s never been able to move past giving up her newborn daughter when she was 14; a career-oriented business lawyer (Naomi Watts) whose life’s about to change; and a woman (Kerry Washington) … Continue reading Mother and Child

Kids Are All Right: Moms, Meet Dad

NIC AND JULES HAD THE PERFECT FAMILY, UNTIL THEY MET THE MAN WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE.  It took forever, but then it all seemed to change in a few months. Suddenly, Americans adopted a more positive attitude toward the idea of rainbow families. President Barack Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage in … Continue reading Kids Are All Right: Moms, Meet Dad

The Great Outdoors

THE WILDLIFE IS WILD, BUT HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW IS UNBEARABLE. Chet and Connie Ripley (John Candy, Stephanie Faracy) are enjoying their summer vacation in Wisconsin with the kids when a visit from Connie’s sister’s annoying yuppie husband (Dan Aykroyd) turns everything upside down. In John Hughes’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Candy was the overbearing one; … Continue reading The Great Outdoors

The Women

IT’S ALL ABOUT… When fashion designer Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a Saks salesgirl (Eva Mendes), it becomes an opportunity to change her life… Murphy Brown creator Diane English finally realized her dream project, an updated remake of The Women (1939), but it wasn’t worth the … Continue reading The Women

The American President

WHY CAN’T THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD HAVE THE THING HE WANTS MOST? Widowed President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) falls for an environmental lobbyist (Annette Bening), but dating has political consequences for a man in his position. Another charming romantic comedy from Rob Reiner, greatly aided by Aaron Sorkin’s idealistic, highly political but also amusing … Continue reading The American President

Mrs. Harris

SHE LOVED HIM, SO SHE SHOT HIM. A slightly bizarre TV version of the famous case where a teacher with kids married an affluent doctor and subsequently shot him to death when their marriage soured. A previous TV movie, The People vs. Jean Harris from 1981 (that starred Ellen Burstyn), focused a lot on the … Continue reading Mrs. Harris

Open Range

NO PLACE TO RUN. NO REASON TO HIDE. Four freegrazers run afoul of a landowner (Michael Gambon) who kills one of them and incapacitates another; the remaining two (Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner) aim for revenge. Costner’s comeback in the directing chair has a story that could have been lifted from any old horse opera… but … Continue reading Open Range