One of the most classic composers of film music passed away yesterday. Michel Legrand was 86 years old. He gained international recognition with his scores for Jacques Demy films, which took him to Hollywood. One of the Oscars he won was for this haunting song, “The Windmills of Your Mind”, heard in The Thomas Crown Affair … Continue reading Michel Legrand, 1932–2019
An incisive documentary that chooses its perspective well and then uses it as a starting point for the greater story of Ingmar Bergman’s life. The year 1957 became his most decisive, a time when he was juggling several film and theater productions. The experience made Bergman find his voice as a filmmaker, emboldening him to … Continue reading Bergman: A Year in a Life
The first Academy Awards were handed out back in 1929. The “show” looked decidedly different then – it was in fact a dinner, the ceremony itself took 15 minutes and the awards had already been announced three weeks earlier. There were also far fewer categories. The first winner was Wings (1927), a film that is chiefly … Continue reading Highlights from 90 Years of Oscars
GET READY FOR ONE MOTHER OF A ROAD TRIP. Inventor Andrew Brewster (Seth Rogen) goes on a cross-country tour of sales pitches and brings his overbearing mother (Barbra Streisand) along; there’s obviously an ulterior motive… Streisand’s first leading-lady vehicle in decades thankfully never turns raunchy like so many other contemporary comedies, but preserves its star’s … Continue reading The Guilt Trip
KIDS BRING EVERYONE CLOSER, RIGHT? After giving Jack (Robert De Niro) twin grandchildren, Greg (Ben Stiller) has finally ended up in the retired CIA agent’s good graces… but that changes again quickly. The third film in the series that began with Meet the Parents (2000) has a script that doesn’t really know which storyline to focus on, and a series … Continue reading Little Fockers
NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE. In 1870s Poland, 17-year-old Yentl (Barbra Streisand) leaves her community and disguises herself as a boy in order to be allowed as a student at a yeshiva… but there are complications. Isaac Bashevis Singer was unhappy with this musical adaptation of his story, but making it was a decade-long dream for Streisand who … Continue reading Yentl
In 1890, matchmaker Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) leaves New York City for Yonkers to set up a successful, grumpy businessman (Walter Matthau) with a future wife… but love is a complicated thing. The Broadway musical became an opportunity for Gene Kelly to make a colorful, expensive Hollywood blockbuster in an era when its kind were … Continue reading Hello, Dolly!
AND YOU THOUGHT YOUR PARENTS WERE EMBARRASSING. Jack and Dina Byrnes (Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner) go to Miami to meet their son-in-law’s parents; the Fockers turn out to be very different from the conservative Byrneses. The sequel to Meet the Parents (2000) has one thing going for it. The introduction of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as … Continue reading Meet the Fockers