Neely Swanson

“The Old Man and the Gun” – Shoot the moon [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Old Man and the Gun” – Shoot the moon [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “The Old Man and the Gun” is Robert Redford’s valedictory film for us all, demographics be damned. Based on a New Yorker article written by David Grann, writer-director David Lowery has given us a meaningful send-off for Robert Redford. Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, a professional bank robber, Lowery […]

 Neely Swanson

“Tea with the Dames” – And there’s nothing like it. [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Tea with the Dames” – And there’s nothing like it. [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Tea with the Dames” is one of the most delightful documentaries to come along in a period that has been full of wonderful documentaries. Although the term “Dame” refers to the royal honorific bestowed on women who have made outstanding contributions to their craft, it can, surprisingly also take on the American […]

 Neely Swanson

“The House with a Clock in its Walls” – Tick, tick, boom! [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The House with a Clock in its Walls” – Tick, tick, boom! [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson Never has such a delightful, family-friendly film come along that boasts what seems to be a counterintuitive creative team. Maybe that’s just another of the terrific surprises associated with this flat-out wonderful movie. From this point on, if you expect anything remotely negative about “The House with a Clock in its Walls,” […]

 Neely Swanson

“Colette” – Nicely Knightley played [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Colette” – Nicely Knightley played [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Colette,” a portrayal of the soon-to-be-famous Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, is an almost-ran on too many levels. Directed by Wash Westmoreland (“Still Alice” and Quinceañera”) and written by a team including Westmoreland, Richard Glatzer, and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, all from a story by Glatzer. And this may be the problem, for with that many writers, […]

 Neely Swanson

“Love, Gilda” – A valentine [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Love, Gilda” – A valentine [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Love, Gilda” is a warm look back on comedienne Gilda Radner by first time director Lisa D’Apolito. D’Apolito successfully enters the world of Ms. Radner, the sorely missed icon of sketch comedy, using archival footage and home movies. Radner kept a very detailed diary and the director was lucky enough to have […]

 Neely Swanson

“When You Read this Letter” – And you must [MOVIE REVIEW]

“When You Read this Letter” – And you must [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “When You Read this Letter,” is one of only a couple of films that Jean-Pierre Melville directed but did not write. Working from a script by Jacques Deval, “When You Read this Letter” was the film Melville reluctantly agreed to direct to prove that he was capable of making a commercial movie. […]

 Neely Swanson

“Hot to Trot” – Definitely warm [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Hot to Trot” – Definitely warm [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Hot to Trot,” the documentary by Gail Freedman, in her directing debut, is a warm-hearted, soft-focus film about the same-sex competitive ballroom dancing world. Following several dancers as they traverse the pitfalls of life and their passion for ballroom dancing, “Hot to Trot” takes you into a world that few, outside and […]

 Neely Swanson

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” – Lovely [MOVIE REVIEW]

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” – Lovely [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson Every once in a while, you need a fantasy – that families are supportive and loving, even when tragedy has occurred; that no one goes without; that your bestie has your back; that high school isn’t the most troubling time of your life; that mean girls can be parried. We all need […]

 Neely Swanson

“Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” – How can I resist you? [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” – How can I resist you? [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson I really wanted to hate this movie; I really did. The first was such a perfunctory visit to a karaoke bar where no one was quite drunk enough to pull it off. And the opening of “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” is not promising. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is moping. As she […]

 Neely Swanson

“Yellow Submarine is 50!” – And looking good. [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Yellow Submarine is 50!” – And looking good. [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson For a time, in the late 60’s, we all lived in a Yellow Submarine and played in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band dreaming about when we’d be 64. Well, many of us are on the other side of 64 and no longer have the satin epaulettes but, thanks to the digital […]

 Neely Swanson

“Maineland”- Not mainstream [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Maineland”- Not mainstream [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Maineland” is a thoughtful documentary by Miao Wang that is intended to shed light on the trend of newly wealthy mainland Chinese parents sending their high school-aged children to the United States for an education that will prepare them for the global economy. Several factors, whether or not intended, complicate this rather […]

 Neely Swanson

“Summer 1993” – A change of seasons [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Summer 1993” – A change of seasons [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson The world of six-year old Frida has just been upended in Carla Simón’s autobiographical film, “Summer 1993.” In putting much of her own personal story on screen, director/writer Simón balances the tragic with the heroic, the perplexing with the knowing. Frida’s parents have recently died and she is shipped from her native […]

 Neely Swanson

“The Escape” – Hers or ours [MOVIE REVIEW]

“The Escape” – Hers or ours [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “The Escape,” a film conceived, written and directed by Dominic Savage is a well-intentioned effort to portray the slow suffocation of a young wife in her role as the stay-at-home mother with a seemingly perfect life. Savage understands full well that what seems perfect on the outside is often not the complete […]

 Neely Swanson

“Le Corbeau”- Malevolence takes flight [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Le Corbeau”- Malevolence takes flight [MOVIE REVIEW]

  by Neely Swanson Le Corbeau, by Henri-Georges Clouzot has been reissued in a 4K digital restoration that emphasizes every shadow, angle, and atmospheric danger that lingers around every corner of this seemingly picture-perfect town. Recognized now as an early classic of film noir, it was Clouzot’s masterpiece of psychological suspense, misinterpreted and reviled by […]

 Neely Swanson

“Lives Well Lived” – A collective knowledge of 3000 Years [MOVIE REVIEW]

“Lives Well Lived” – A collective knowledge of 3000 Years [MOVIE REVIEW]

by Neely Swanson “Lives Well Lived,” Sky Bergman’s joyful little documentary had its roots in one particular life well lived, that of Bergman’s gregarious Italian grandmother Evelyn Ricciuti. Marveling at Ricciutti’s energy whether cooking for her extended family or going regularly to the gym to work out, Bergman felt that there must be some key […]

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