Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (2016)

In Nocturnal Animals, the sting of a paper cut can penetrate way below the dermal level. Directed and written by Tom Ford, the film, based on the book Tony and Susan, by Austin Wright, demonstrates that a seemingly slight abrasion can turn into a deep, male-inflicted wound, underscoring the movie’s key questions: how do we […]

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: ‘The Nice Guys’ (2016)

Done right, the two-guys-and-a-gal buddy-movie combo is hard to beat. It worked superbly in the 1950s-set L.A. Confidential, where a nurturing Veronica Lake-lookalike prostitute (Kim Basinger) was sandwiched between Bud White’s (Russell Crowe) brawn and Ed Exley’s (Guy Pearce) brains. That archetypal Moon-Mars-Mercury triad has somehow begotten The Nice Guys. The movie, co-written and directed […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Maggie’s Plan’ (2016)

Life plans sound so solid and promising, but are often unreliable conduits to bliss. Maggie (Greta Gerwig), an affable, soul-searching millennial with an MBA, stable career and what she thinks is a viable agenda, is about to find that out. Written and directed by Rebecca Miller, and based on a story by Karen Rinaldi, Maggie’s […]

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: ‘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 New Girlfriend’ (2015)

Men with a burning need to express more of their Feminine side typically do it by connecting with archetypal Venus – fashion, appearance and the arts – rather than the nurturing Moon. The New Girlfriend, written and directed by François Ozon, and adapted from a fictional work by Ruth Rendell, features the rare male protagonist […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Hot Pursuit’ (2015)

On the surface, Hot Pursuit is about an uptight law enforcement agent shepherding an unwilling witness to court to testify against a drug lord. Archetypally, it’s a joust between by-the-book, tightly coiled Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) and renegade Colombian hottie Daniella (Sofia Vergara). Given that one woman intensely colors inside the lines and the other doesn’t […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Cinderella’ (2015)

It’s certifiable eye candy, but the latest cinematic version of the Cinderella story also packs a pleasingly egalitarian punch while managing to tip its hat to Jungian psychology. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Cinderella gets its heady spirit from Chris Weitz’s screenplay whose recurrent and play-it-forward mantra is “Have courage and be kind.” Young Ella, the […]

Astrology: Film: ‘Adore’ (2013)

As soon as heterosexual boys hit a certain age, erotically feminine and Venusian attributes so highly prized in girlfriends become horrifically taboo when displayed and confidently owned by their own mothers. Of course, these restriction don’t necessarily apply to other fellows’ mothers. Or, as depicted in Adore, your best friend’s mother. Adore, a sophisticated piece […]