Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Loving’ (2016)

Occasionally real-life events enter the fray adorned with the sort of proverbial beacons that signal their relevance and even fatedness. The story captured in the quiet, gem-of-a-film Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols, is one such piece of historicity. It’s 1958 and the protagonists are Richard and Mildred Loving, with their surname suggesting that […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Doctor Strange’ (2016)

The adage “Time heals all wounds” is the anti-mantra that pervades Doctor Strange, the new addition to Marvel’s filmography about a gifted neurosurgeon who goes down the proverbial rabbit hole. Co-written and directed by Scott Derrickson, the movie describes the mental and mystical evolution of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) within a framework of Saturnine […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Mia Madre’ (2016)

The fine line between balancing one’s family and professional life cuts a deep groove in Mia Madre (My Mother), an incisive dramedy co-written and directed by Nanni Moretti. Margherita (Margherita Buy) is an earnest but nit-picking middle-aged movie director who has turned into a frustrated caregiver on set. Her charge is Italophile actor Barry Huggins […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Indignation’ (2016)

Indignation, typically a strong reaction to an offense, also suggests a sense of unworthiness or feeling like an outlier uncomfortable in one’s own skin. Written and directed by James Schamus, the film Indignation, based on Philip Roth’s novel, brings together two non-mainstream individuals who, precisely because of their inability to fit into their culture, fall […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Captain Fantastic’ (2016)

We’d all be a lot happier, wrote Plato, if government overseers were philosopher-kings, rulers who also loved wisdom. Turns out that political hyphenate, an aspirational theme in Captain Fantastic, is much easier to execute on paper than in reality. Figuring out which “real world” is the viable one is at the heart of this movie, […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Hateful Eight’ (2015)

Quentin Tarantino, a huge fan of the Western, likes to hybridize genres. His latest experiment, The Hateful Eight, set in Wyoming about a decade after the Civil War, is a movie about a bunch of cunning entrepreneur-cowboys for whom, in Saturnine style, the end justifies the means. A significant part of this three-hour, solo-film festival […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘45 Years’ (2015)

When a marriage lasts nearly half a century, presumably the partners have figured out a way to romp in the garden without stomping on the flowers. But because every spring blasts new growth, who can predict what seasonal surprises lurk in the soil? In the case of Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Son of Saul’ (2015)

No matter what privileges they give you, the enemy is still the enemy, an adage at the heart of Holocaust drama Son of Saul, whose protagonist must figure out how to use a benefit bestowed by his oppressor to create a personal testimony to goodness before he dies. Directed by Hungarian László Nemes, the movie […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Big Short’ (2015)

In the continuously expanding and contracting world of finance, fortunes are made by those able to spot markers ahead of everyone else, just like the men propelling the narrative in The Big Short. Co-written and directed by Adam McKay, and based on Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book about the meltdown in the housing market in 2008, […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Revenant’ (2015)

Survival has always been about either vanquishing or besting one’s foes, whether they’re humans or offshoots of Nature at its most unforgiving. In The Revenant, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the protagonist must triumph over both. The ordeal is not pretty. The movie is loosely based on Michael Punke’s novel set in the […]