The Goldfinch, by Donna...

This is one of those books that you look forward to reading all day long. It is exceptional. An extremely enjoyable read, beautifully written, with a plot that takes turns that are both unexpected and yet completely believable. Her characters are complex and fully realized as are her...

Chico and Rita

If you like a good love story, music, and gorgeous animation, don’t miss “Chico and Rita”. The story is set against backdrops of Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Paris in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and tells the story of a beautiful singer and a...

Ginger and Rosa

Set in England in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, this coming of age story begins with a lot of quick, impressionist shots and sequences that establish the lifelong friendship of the two girls. Then the narrative kicks in. It’s Elle Fanning’s movie to carry and she is...

Stoker

This is a well made creep movie with an excellent cast including Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. The latter played the nice guy in Woody Allen’s Match Point and the villain in Scott Frank’s The Lookout. If you haven’t seen The Lookout, do. As for...

56 Up

Director Michael Apted started work on this documentary series with a group of children aged 7, asking about their aspirations etc. The subtext was that class defined one’s future in Britain. Since then, he’s revisited the “kids” (now 56 years old) every seven...

Upside Down

Kirsten Dunst has a knack for taking parts in odd movies. Here she plays Eden who falls in love with Adam. But they can’t be together because they live in worlds where the gravity goes opposite ways. The film takes the first few minutes with an explanation of how this all...

The Oranges

We liked this comedy drama. I’ll say nothing of the plot. But the cast includes Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt and Allison Janney, all accomplished comic actors that manage to choose good parts. There’s also Alia Shawkat, who you may remember as Maebe from...

Lore

What was it like to be the privileged, naive children of elite Nazis when the war ending? That’s the well-told story here. Like the best of European movies, it doesn’t attempt to explain everything to the audience, letting us make our own connections.   Share...

Orphan Black

This ten-part BBC America series is currently available on demand at FiOS, Time Warner, Dish and DirectTV, among others. The first episode contains probably six major plot points, so I won’t say anything about it. Just that the writing is tight, the acting excellent. It’s...

American Gods

American Gods, Neil Gaimin What happens to the gods of the old world when their believers cross the ocean to the New World? American Gods is a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the...