March 7, 2013 |
Though unevenly told and at times too fanciful for its own good, "Electrick Children" marks an intriguing feature debut for its risk-taking writer-director, Rebecca Thomas. Thomas apparently drew on her own upbringing to craft this 1996-set tale of 15-year-old Rachel (Julia Garner, excellent), a fundamentalist Utah Mormon who believes she's become pregnant by secretly listening to an old cover recording of Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone" sung by a stirring male voice. To avoid a face-saving marriage arranged by her religious leader father (a nicely calibrated Billy Zane)
February 15, 2009 |
After his death last September, Paul Newman received any number of tributes -- for his acting and his humanitarian efforts. Less remembered, and somewhat neglected throughout his career, was his work as a filmmaker. Newman, who majored in directing at the Yale Drama School, ventured behind the camera only on occasion -- he directed six films from the late '60s to the late '80s, most of them starring his wife, Joanne Woodward. John Cassavetes and Clint Eastwood notwithstanding, the figure of the actor-turned-director often conjures up the dreaded notion of the vanity project.
May 4, 1985 |
Adding a new chapter to the lore of Washington workaholism, Budget Director David A. Stockman was rushed into a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Friday only 8 1/2 hours after assisting at the pre-dawn birth of his first child, a daughter named Rachel. "I had a little sleep and I'm only here for a little while," he said somewhat apologetically as he headed into Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole's office carrying the sheaf of papers that is his trademark.
October 30, 1998 |
Rachel (Amanda Carlin) is a perky little housewife with an excessive stream of happy talk on the eve of her favorite holiday--Christmas. Her husband (Don Fischer) has a unique present for her this year--he's hired a hit man to kill her tonight, although now he thinks they "should have talked it out." Carlin is perfect as the wide-eyed innocent, pushed out in her housedress and robe into the winter snow in Craig Lucas' dark comedy "Reckless," at the Interact Theatre Company.
May 6, 2011 |
Here's the central conundrum in the new romantic comedy "Something Borrowed": Does the pop-off-the-page pretty of Kate Hudson's Darcy give her automatic rights to hunky Dex (Colin Egglesfield)? Or does the less shiny but still pretty penny that is Ginnifer Goodwin's good girl Rachel deserve a shot at the ring, even if that ring's already on her best friend's finger? Before we get to the answer, let me bring up the central problem in "Something Borrowed" — a Grand Central Station of problems.
May 7, 1989 |
Did he find her "lovely"? one of Ellen Lesser's protagonists wonders while posing nude for a painter. "When he looked at her shoulder, delicately rendered, was he thinking of her?" Lesser's sensitive characters often cast about this way for signs of who they are and what they want. Rather than experiencing the sudden epiphanies that lend drama to the lives of many fiction characters, however, they, like real people, must make do with only glimpses of self-discovery. These glimpses (also as in real life)
January 16, 1987 |
"To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday" at the Westminster Community Theatre is a haunting of sorts. Michael Brady's contemporary drama is about the pain and coping associated with the departure of a loved one. David, who recently lost his wife, Gillian, in a boating accident, has isolated himself and his daughter on an island off the Eastern Seaboard, having quit his professorship and abandoned New York and its societal demands to live by the beach.
August 29, 2013 |
The darkish comedy "Afternoon Delight" gives the talented Kathryn Hahn her first movie lead, and for a while it looks like an opportunity to dig in deep. Hahn's vanity-free performance as a bored Los Angeles housewife who befriends a stripper goes a considerable way to humanize a film of occasional insight and underdeveloped provocations. Ultimately, though, her character is as thinly conceived and hard to root for as everyone else in filmmaker Jill Soloway's erratic blend of not-quite satire and halfhearted soul searching.