THE SEAGULL

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Michael Mayer Stars: Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Brian Dennehy, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen. The Seagull is a new adaptation of the classic tragicomedy from Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, which was written in 1896, and was the first of his great dramas. When it was first performed in Moscow the play was critically maligned and was a deemed a critical failure and a major flop that almost saw Chekhov give up his writing career. This rather staid adaptation Continue reading

FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Paul McGuigan Stars: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Graham, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances Barber. This classy British feature recounts the final days of 50s movie star Gloria Grahame, a star of noir films like The Big Heat, who died at the age of 57 in 1981. She won an Oscar in 1952 for her performance in The Bad And The Beautiful opposite Kirk Douglas. But her career stalled in the mid-50s, amid a series of scandals and turbulent affairs with Hollywood players, and she found herself doing lots of Continue reading

20TH CENTURY WOMEN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Mike Mills Stars: Annette Bening, Lucas Jade Zumann, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Alia Shawkat. The opening night attraction of the recent American Essentials Film Festival, 20th Century Women is the latest film from writer/director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker, etc). His previous film was Beginners, which was inspired by the story of his own father, who came out as gay at the age of 75 following a battle with cancer. It starred Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, who won an Oscar for his flamboyant performance. His Continue reading

RULES DON’T APPLY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Warren Beatty Stars: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Oliver PLatt, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergin, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Hart Bochner, Chace Crawford, Marshall Bell, Michael Badalucco, Holmes Osborne. Despite the fact that he died in 1976, eccentric billionaire, aviator and movie mogul Howard Hughes continues to fascinate filmmakers. Hughes has previously been played on screen by the likes of Jason Robards, Tommy Lee Jones, Dean Stockwell, and Leonardo Continue reading

AMERICAN BEAUTY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Sam Mendes Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Chris Cooper, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher, Scott Bakula,Sam Robards. Yet another biting satire that savagely deconstructs the notion of wholesome family values in the heartland of American suburbia. As an exploration of dysfunctional families, the erosion of family values and the souring of the American dream, American Beauty is a fascinating and insightful character driven piece that explores similar territory to films like The Ice Storm and Continue reading