THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT is a slight but eminently humane story, lushly filmed, and richly romantic.  It follows the classic tropes of the romance genre, enhanced with nuanced performances that elevate what might otherwise be stock characters in a plot with few surprises. The biggest surprise being that it is so satisfying as entertainment, and as… Read More »

THEO WHO LIVED — David Schisgall Interview


THEO WHO LIVED is a story of the remarkable empathy its subject, American journalist Theo Padnos, found for the captors who tortured him after being kidnapped in Syria in 2012.  David Schisgall’s sensitive, heart-wrenching documentary about Theo, like Theo himself, finds the humanity in everyone. Preferring to see people as individuals rather than stereotypes, it’s… Read More »

FIRE AT SEA (Fuocoammare) — Gianfranco Rosi Interview

Gianfranco Rosi had intended to make a 10-minute film about the refugees who find themselves on the island of Lampedusa, but once there, he quickly decided that the complexity of the situation demanded more. Hence FIRE AT SEA, short-listed for an Oscar™ and otherwise garnering praise for its sensitive, incisive look at how refugees and… Read More »

Paul Mariano Describes What It’s Like BEING GEORGE CLOONEY


Any film, and any filmmaker, who can make Mussolini part of the story of film dubbing is a film, and a filmmaker, that I want to know. With BEING GEORGE CLOONEY, and Paul Mariano, I was amply rewarded for my time watching this illuminating documentary about the voice actors who put Italian (French, Hindi, Portuguese, etc.)… Read More »

Katie Holmes & Peter Hedges Assemble PIECES OF APRIL


There is not a doubt in my mind that PIECES OF APRIL will be a new holiday classic. If nothing else, it gives the cooking-impaired among us hope as it pits heroine April against a balky stove and a raw turkey. When I spoke to APRIL’s star, Katie Holmes, and its writer/director, Peter Hedges, on… Read More »