Tag Archives: Diane Ladd

Primary Colors: All the Governor’s Men

HOW MUCH SPIN DOES IT TAKE TO WIN? In 1996, the novel ”Primary Colors” was published, a roman à clef depicting then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, with a Southern governor called Jack Stanton standing in for Clinton. The author was anonymous, but considering the insight into the campaign it had to be someone… … Continue reading Primary Colors: All the Governor’s Men

28 Days

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY… BEFORE SHE GOT A LIFE.  After spectacularly ruining her sister’s wedding, writer Gwen Cummings (Sandra Bullock) chooses 28 days in rehab rather than going to prison… but she has no intention of taking it seriously. A more earnest drama from Betty Thomas than we’re used to, but still with a … Continue reading 28 Days

Joy

After the wacky American Hustle (2013), director David O. Russell reverted to a more solid kind of storytelling along the lines of his The Fighter (2011). This is the real-life story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), the hard-luck, single mom who invented the Miracle Mop and struggled to get her business off the ground. The … Continue reading Joy

Chinatown: Polanski’s Farewell to America

In the early days, Los Angeles was just a village. But as it grew in the late 19th century, it needed a better water supply. A decision was made to build an aqueduct that would bring water from the Owens Valley into the city, but the question of who owned water rights led to a … Continue reading Chinatown: Polanski’s Farewell to America

Citizen Ruth

LIFE, LIBERTY, MONEY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern), a glue sniffer, finds herself pregnant; suddenly, both pro-life and pro-choice groups make her the center of attention. Director Alexander Payne’s first film tackles the red-hot abortion issue but refuses to take sides. Viewers are supposed to identify with … Continue reading Citizen Ruth

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

YULE CRACK UP!  As Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) waits for the all-important Christmas bonus, he starts planning for the best Christmas ever with his family. Of course, disaster looms in this third chapter of the series, which is one of Chase’s funniest movies and a modern Yuletide classic. The one ingredient that always works to perfection … Continue reading National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation