Specials: Sigur Ros, Kite Runner, DiCaprio/Scorsese, Wonder Whedon

Anne and I spent the weekend in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, writing and drinking coffee and reading good books. We had the privilege of spending time with Luci Shaw, a marvelous poet and an inspiration to us both. I also listened to a lot of great music. And then I promptly LOST MY CD CARRYING CASE. Currently missing: the new Ron Sexsmith album, Bruce Springsteen's latest, and several other current favorites. [insert much grumbling here] Anyway, I'm finding a whole lot of comfort in … [Read more...]

Finding Neverland: Reflecting More Light Than It Knows?

It's hard to believe Finding Neverland, a small, beautiful, almost perfect motion picture, possessed of a rare and gentle grace, is from the same director who brought us the heavy-handed, implausible, indulgent Monster's Ball. Marc Forster has given us a big screen blessing with this softspoken, restrained, unsentimental movie. Yes, I said "unsentimental," and that's where I part ways with some of the film's critics. Most American movies that employ the word "BELIEVE" in capital letters … [Read more...]

Monster’s Ball (2001)

Monster's Ball

[This review was first published on the original Looking Closer website on May 12, 2002.] - In Monster’s Ball, Billy Bob Thornton plays Hank, a corrections officer carrying intense racial prejudice in one hand and a sidearm in the other. Hank’s aging father Buck (Peter Doyle) constantly reinforces the family’s race-hate, calling Sonny, Hank’s son, "weak" because he befriends their black neighbors. Halle Berry plays Leticia, the wife of a convicted killer, a mother trying to … [Read more...]


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