Category Archives: Mimi

Serpico (1973) R

This is Al Pacino at his best. As a New York City cop, he sees corruption all around him. When he refuses to extort money from criminals, his fellow officers turn against him. When he tries to do his job, he experiences vengeance in the worst form. A grand jury inquiry only makes things worse.

Based on a true story, Serpico helped to bring corruption into the headlines. The gritty realism of the film shows the versatile actor in a character that will stay with you long after the film ends.

Directed by Sidney Lumet. Based on the Peter Maas book of the same name.

Atonement (2007) R

atonementIn 1935 England, 13-year-old Briony witnesses her sister and a young man interact and misinterprets it. Later she tells a lie about a rape and Robbie, the son of a family servant, is sent to prison. Her older sister Cecelia loves Robbie, but the lie changes their lives forever and the consequences are devastating. Three years later, England is at war and the two lovers try to reunite.

Atonement has an excellent cast. Kiera Knightley (Cecelia) has never been better, and James McAvoy (Robbie) is perfect as the wronged lover and soldier. Saoirse Ronan plays Briony. The war scenes are realistic, and the story based on the novel by Ian McEwan is superb.

Begin Again (2013) R

beginagainDan (Mark Ruffalo) is a down and out music executive who has hit a new low. While trying to recover from being fired from the record label he founded, he stops in a bar and listens to Gretta (Keira Knightley) sing. She too has suffered a big disappointment. What he hears and sees makes him think she has written a hit, although no one is applauding. Their journey to get this and other recordings made will tell you a lot about the music industry and how you can overcome disappointments.

Begin Again is a wonderfully sweet film about life and how it can change because someone believes in you. Adam Levine and James Corden play interesting but minor roles.

Chinatown (1974) R

chinatownIt is 1933 and private detective Jake Gittes is hired by a socialite to investigate her husband’s extramarital affair. Jake doesn’t know what trouble he is about to find and what is really going on. Pre-war southern California is the setting for murder, treason, political graft, deceit, and more.

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway are at their best. This film noir movie was written for the big screen and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. The American Film Institute rated Chinatown the second best mystery movie.

Midnight in Paris (2011) PG-13

Did you ever wonder what Paris was like in the 1920s? Here is your chance. Owen Wilson is visiting Paris with his fiancé and her family. He is a writer with writer’s block. One evening he decides to take a walk to clear his mind. When a limo pulls up and the passengers offer him a ride, he accepts. This is the start of his adventure and a chance to go back to the Paris of the 1920s.

Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein and Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali welcome him into their world. When Owen’s fiancé and her family become suspicious of his disappearing every night, they hire a detective. The results lead one to believe this may or may not be a dream.

Midnight in Paris is one of Woody Allen’s best. The acting is great and the literary characters are true to life.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974) PG

Duddy Kravitz is out to make a success of his life. He has just graduated from high school and he has a lot to learn, but not the time. Set in Montreal, Canada, the film follows Duddy’s attempt to purchase a plot of land and his attempts to make a killing developing it. His grandfather believes, “A man without land is nobody.”

Along the way, Duddy breaks every rule to succeed. You will want him to win because he is funny, caustic, and brash. Yet you will be shocked as he uses people and schemes to prove himself.

Richard Dreyfuss, Randy Quaid, and Jack Warden star in this 1974 film based on the 1959 novel by Mordecai Richler. Find a copy of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz on DVD today.

Ulee’s Gold (1997) R

Peter Fonda plays Vietnam vet Ulee Jackson, who is now the operator of a beekeeping business in Florida. Ulee’s son is in jail and his daughter-in-law is a drug addict. As he tries to raise his two granddaughters, a crisis arises and Ulee must confront his emotions and his long-held secrets. His strength for those that need him is powerful and moving. Patricia Richardson and Jessica Biel costar in this often touching film.

Check out Ulee’s Gold from the library today.

Young Adult (2011) R

When life gets tough, some people just want to go home and think about a different time. Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) just can’t accept her current situation, so she goes home to recapture her old boyfriend’s (Patrick Wilson) love. Unfortunately, he’s happily married – but that doesn’t stop her.

Mavis writes teen fiction and she is obviously stuck in the past. The only person who may help her is a former teen outsider (Patton Oswalt) who tries to give her advice. Awkward situations prevail. Not your usual comedy.

Diablo Cody (who also wrote Juno) penned the script.

Check the library catalog to find a copy of Young Adult.

The Last Station (2009) R

This jewel of a movie takes place in Czarist Russia. Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) has a large following in his anti-materialistic movement and Paul Giamatti is their leader. Tolstoy’s wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) is an aristocrat and she is fighting Tolstoy and his followers over his money and the rights to his royalties. The conflicts are loud and raucous.

Sofya married Tolstoy, gave him 13 children, and translated and edited his works. She is not about to give him or his royalties up without everyone knowing his anguish. A subplot involves young lovers (James McAvoy and Kerry Condon). Tolstoy’s idealism and his desertion of his wife make for a fascinating story.

Check out The Last Station today!