“Colossal” (2017). Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson, Dan Stevens, Hannah Cheramy, Nathan Ellison, Sarah Surh, Haeun Hannah Cho. Director: Nacho Vigalondo. Screenplay: Nacho Vigalondo. Web site. Trailer.
Ever feel like you’ve unwittingly projected something of yourself out onto the world? That might not be so bad if it’s something benevolent. But what if it’s resulted in something positively monstrous? That’s the uncomfortable realization faced by a shocked young protagonist in the new sci-fi comedy, “Colossal.”
“Gifted” (2017). Cast: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, John M. Jackson, Glenn Plummer, John Finn, Elizabeth Marvel, Jon Sklaroff, Michael Randall Kaplan, Keir O’Donnell, Joe Chrest, Kelly Collins Lintz. Director: Marc Webb. Screenplay: Tom Flynn. Web site. Trailer.
What does it mean to be a kid? That can be a precarious proposition, especially these days. But what happens when you’re a child with special talents, such as phenomenal intelligence or extreme aptitude for a particular skill or ability? That can complicate matters even further, especially when you’re caught up between competing forces that each contend they have “your” best interests at heart. Those are the dynamics at work in the thoughtful new family saga, “Gifted.”
“The Zookeeper’s Wife” (2017). Cast: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl, Timothy Radford, Val Maloku, Efrat Dor, Iddo Goldberg, Shira Haas, Michael McElhatton. Director: Niki Caro. Screenplay: Angela Workman, Book: Diane Ackerman, The Zookeeper’s Wife. Web site. Trailer.
If you had the means to protect the persecuted from a horrific fate, would you be willing to provide it? If so, how far would you go with it? Would you proceed even if your own safety were at stake? Those are difficult questions and even more difficult choices. But, for a courageous husband and wife team, there was no question about what to do, as seen in the new, fact-based historical drama, “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
“A United Kingdom” (2016 production, 2017 release). Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto, Jessica Oyelowo, Vusi Kunene, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Anastasia Hille, Arnold Oceng, Charlotte Hope, Theo Landey, Abena Ayvior, Jack Lowden, Madison Manowe. Director: Amma Asante. Screenplay: Guy Hibbert. Web site. Trailer.
The power of love is undeniable. In fact, when employed skillfully, it can work wonders, not only in interpersonal relationships, but also in circumstances that have wider ramifications, some of which may be unforeseen at the outset. That’s the surprising and amazing outcome for a romance once considered taboo, one even with international implications, as depicted in the new historical love story, “A United Kingdom.”
“Paterson” (2016). Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper, Masatoshi Nagase, Rizwani Manji, Cliff Smith, Sterling Jerins, Johnnie Mae, Trevor Parham, Troy T. Parham, Nellie the bulldog. Director: Jim Jarmusch. Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch. Web site. Trailer.
How do you view your reality? Do you see it as a collection of material commodities or as an aggregation of small, magnificent, often-underappreciated wonders? Do you take the time to appreciate the details of the elements that populate your existence, or do you gloss over them as insignificant irrelevancies? And what conclusions do you come away with from such assessments? Those are some of the thoughtful ponderings raised in the quietly meditative new independent release, “Paterson.”
“Things to Come” (“L’avenir”) (2016). Cast: Isabelle Huppert, André Marcon, Roman Kolinka, Edith Scob, Sarah Le Picard, Solal Forte, Elise Lhomeau, Daniel Dray-Rabotnik, Guy-Patrick Sainderichen, Yves Heck, Rachel Arditi. Director: Mia Hansen-Løve. Screenplay: Mia Hansen-Løve. Web site. Trailer.
Having it made is something we all crave, right? The prospects of all of our material, vocational and emotional needs being met probably has tremendous appeal for most of us. But what happens when what we thought we wanted becomes a trap that keeps us from exploring other options? We may come to feel stifled, restricted and unfulfilled. But what do we do about it? Those are the questions raised in the thought-provoking new French melodrama, “Things to Come” (“L’avenir”).
“Fences” (2016). Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney. Director: Denzel Washington. Screenplay: August Wilson. Play: August Wilson, Fences. Web site. Trailer.
The parameters of our existence define the reality we experience. But who or what defines those parameters? Discovering the answer to that question has been a source of debate for eons, but, when we take a really close look at it, we find that the responsibility rests squarely in our own hands, an idea thoughtfully explored in the engaging new stage-to-screen adaptation of playwright August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, “Fences.”
Music creates feelings. I think at Valentine’s Day the question is, “Can music create love?” Feelings, such as love and the energy of music are more connected than we ever imagined! Both energies have waves, which combine in close proximity.
Recall how the sound track of a movie makes you feel. The sound-waves play your “feelings,” as if your body is a harp. Music triggers your feelings, hence music can indeed enhance love.
It’s challenging to stay centered, peaceful, and balanced when the energies of the world change several times each day. Empaths and healers feel the world turn and surge with global events and strong emotions of mass consciousness. We also feel the people around us.
The “light” energy amplifies everything. The energy is challenging, and it’s important to tap into the inner self on a regular basis to find our way. Otherwise, we lose touch with the inner self, which acts as a light on the path.
Golfers invent a myriad of excuses in order to sneak out and play this much beloved game. Sometimes it is an early exit from work, other times it’s a respite from chores, the spouse, or the honey-do list. Admittedly I may have been guilty a time or two decades ago before golf became my work or when an old boyfriend didn’t play golf and didn’t want me to, either. These days I need to provide reasons I’m not playing golf.
In 1984 I became Director of Music at St. Rita Church in Detroit and my responsibilities were to oversee the music ministries there, conduct choir rehearsals, play and sing at weekend and holiday liturgies, funerals and weddings, and to attend staff and parish council meetings; but basically, I had some free time during the week to do as I pleased, which included responsibilities at Capers, the restaurant I’ve owned since 1982, and of course, playing golf.
“Hidden Figures” (2016). Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glenn Powell, Olek Krupa, Ken Strunk, Kurt Krause, Donna Biscoe, Corey Parker. Director: Theodore Melfi. Screenplay: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi. Book: Margot Lee Shatterly, Hidden Figures. Web site. Trailer.
Reaching for the stars, both literally and figuratively, is quite a lofty goal. It’s especially ennobling for those who seem to have the deck stacked against them but whose ambitions are so fervent that they refuse to be denied the pursuit of their goals. Such are the aspirations of a trio of enlightened and irrepressible dreamers seeking to achieve greatness for themselves and a cause near and dear to them in the inspiring new biopic, “Hidden Figures.”
“Collateral Beauty” (2106). Cast: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jacob Lattimore, Ann Dowd, Kylie Rogers, Mary Beth Peil, Alyssa Cheatham. Director: David Frankel. Screenplay: Allen Loeb. Web site. Trailer.
Reality can be a funny thing. We can be going along just fine when something suddenly comes out of left field to totally disrupt everything. What’s that all about? And how are we supposed to cope? Much depends on how we view the fundamental functioning of existence – and the role we play in it. Those are the issues that play out in the wondrous new holiday offering, “Collateral Beauty.”
“Jackie” (2016). Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Caspar Phillipson, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant, Max Casella, Richard E. Grant, Sunnie Pelant, Aiden Weinberg, Brody Weinberg, Georgie Glen, Gaspard Koenig, Craig Sechler, Rebecca Compton, Vivienne Vernes. Director: Pablo Larraín. Screenplay: Noah Oppenheim. Web site. Trailer.
How would we cope when tragedy strikes? Would we rise to the occasion or fall apart? What would our priorities be in handling it? And would we allow ourselves to be overcome by the circumstances, getting caught up in rhetorical ruminations about why events have unfolded as they have? Those are among the questions faced by a high-profile public figure wrestling with unspeakable grief in the audacious new biopic, “Jackie.”
Part I of this series included the following 5 strategies for moving from inspiration to the accomplishment of an exciting new idea of yours:
- Get really clear on what your exciting new idea actually is;
- Run your idea by some trusted advisers to help clarify it even further;
- List the resources you need to accomplish it;
- List possible obstacles in your path;
- Ask yourself what there is about you that may be getting in your way. (That’s a toughie!)
Secrets of Christmas Past
Must buy the perfect present… What to have for Christmas dinner… Get those Christmas cookies baked. When are we trimming the tree? Clean the house… Who will I be with this Christmas? YIKES – I CANNOT HANDLE THIS: ( … Stress! Stress! Stress!
These familiar feelings of dread make a sharp contrast with the true significance of Christmas – Peace on Earth, Goodwill, Joy and Love; Celebration! So how do we reconcile the hustle and bustle and Christmas EXHAUSTION – with the deep feelings of peace and love that we all want?
“Christine” (2016). Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, Maria Dizzia, J. Smith-Cameron, Timothy Simons, Kim Shaw, John Cullum, Morgan Spector, Jayson Warner Smith, Kimberley Drummond, Lindsay Ayliffe, Ritchie Montgomery. Director: Antonio Campos. Screenplay: Craig Shilowich. Web site. Trailer.
Staying on top of things when we’re under constant pressure to perform can be challenging enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when we add to that issues of unresolved ambition, the pursuit of integrity, personal problems and health concerns, we might easily be pushed over the brink. Such is the case for a troubled television reporter seeking to do worthwhile work and make a name for herself in the disturbing new biographical drama, “Christine.”
“Loving” (2016). Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon, Will Dalton, Winter-Lee Holland, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Marton Csokas, Bill Camp, David Jensen, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, Sharon Blackwood, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Jennifer Joyner, Jevin Crochrell, Jordan Williams Jr., Georgia Crawford, Brenan Young, Dalyn M. Cleckley, Quinn McPherson. Director: Jeff Nichols. Screenplay: Jeff Nichols. Web site. Trailer.
Who we fall in love with is no one’s business but our own. However, it wasn’t always that way. As recently as the 1960s, interracial marriage was illegal in a number of states. But, in the end, laws weren’t enough to separate those whose love destined them to be together. One couple’s precedent-setting fight to assert this fundamental right provides the basis for the touching new historical drama, “Loving.”
“Arrival” (2016). Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O’Brien, Tzi Ma, Jadyn Malone, Carmella Nossa Guizzo, Abigail Pniowsky, Julia Scarlett Dan. Director: Denis Villeneuve. Screenplay: Eric Heisserer. Story: Ted Chiang, “The Story of Your Life.” Web site. Trailer.
Something as simple as saying “hello” shouldn’t be difficult, right? But what if we were up against that task in the context of contact with aliens? How would we respond? In fact, where would we even begin? Establishing a connection and effective communication are crucial. However, such critical concerns notwithstanding, an even more fundamental consideration is developing an understanding of how we each view the nature of existence. Without that, we may never even get to hello. These are among the questions a team of experts wrestles with in the profound, thought-provoking new sci-fi thriller, “Arrival.”
Part of everyone’s purpose is to share light and love. As we become adept, our higher purpose (dharma) is revealed. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing–we can always choose to send light to others–and to the world.
When we send light and love, we create positive change within ourselves and the world. We also help ourselves by shifting into a higher frequency.
Here are a few tips:
“Anesthesia” (2015). Cast: Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Tim Blake Nelson, Corey Stoll, Kristen Stewart, Gretchen Mol, Richard Thomas, K. Todd Freeman, Michael K. Williams, Jessica Hecht, Hannah Marks, Ben Konigsberg, Jacqueline Baum, Ekaterina Samsonov, J. Bernard Calloway, Rob Morgan, Scott Cohen, Gloria Reuben. Director: Tim Blake Nelson. Screenplay: Tim Blake Nelson. Web site. Trailer.
The struggles of everyday life can be overwhelming. They may even be more to cope with than we can handle. And, because of that, many of us may seek avenues of escape from the pain and hardship through various means. But, in doing so, we may unwittingly cut ourselves off from sources of support, comfort and guidance. Such are the themes explored in the engaging multifaceted drama, “Anesthesia,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray disk and video on demand.
“Howards End” (1992, original release; 2016, re-release). Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel West, James Wilby, Adrian Ross Magenty, Nicola Duffett. Director: James Ivory. Screenplay: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Book: E.M. Forster, Howards End. Web site. Trailer.
A little kindness goes a long way, sometimes much further than any of us might expect. That’s a meaningful lesson for those who need some gentle nudges in that direction, and it’s an imperative for anyone who brazenly puts self-interest before all else. Such is the message of the 1992 award-winning screen classic “Howards End,” recently released in theaters in a digitally restored 25th anniversary edition.
Many paths lead people along the long road to enlightenment – when one overcomes the difficulties of negativity in the world of duality. At the conclusion of the journey participants experience nothing but love.
Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, service and devotion are examples of such paths to enlightenment. Today we introduce a new path… the road of sublime music!
Music can be pleasurable, feel good and birth happiness. One can endlessly listen to music, even while doing other activities. Each uplifting listening experience adds a drop of positive energy to one’s fields. Music, which can engage and entertain, can be influencing us for the entire journey of self-improvement… making this an easier path to complete.
We are all feeling the shift–the motion of photons into new patterns, the alteration of life on the planet, and subtle changes within our perception of life. Sometimes, it’s helpful to recognize aspects of the shift. By simply observing, we become more aware.
“Queen of Katwe” (2016). Cast: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Kabanza, Taryn “Kay” Kyaze, Ivan Jacobo, Nicolas Levesque, Ronald Ssemaganda, Ethan Nazario Lubega, Nikita Waliga, Esther Tebandeke, Philip Luswata, Maurice Kirya, Peter Odeke. Director: Mira Nair. Screenplay: William Wheeler. Book: Tim Crothers, The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster. Web site. Trailer.
What does it take to beat the odds and rise above our challenges? That can be a rather tall order, especially when things seem stacked against us. But, when we put our mind to it, it’s possible to achieve almost anything. One need only look at the inspiring example set by a determined young woman from the Ugandan slums and her dreams to achieve greatness, a fact-based story told in the heartwarming new biopic, “Queen of Katwe.”
“Sunset Song” (2015 production, 2016 release). Cast: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie, Daniela Nardini, Jack Greenlees, Ron Donachie, Linda Duncan McLaughlin, Niall Greig Fulton, Gilbert Johnston, Douglas Rankine, Simon Tait. Director: Terence Davies. Screenplay: Terence Davies. Book: Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song. Web site. Trailer.
Making one’s way in the world can be difficult enough, even under the best of circumstances. But, when conditions offer repeated challenges, the chances of success can become that much more difficult, as evidenced by the experiences of a young Scottish farm girl in the days before World War I, the subject of the moving drama, “Sunset Song,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray Disk and video on demand.