04th Mar2017

Certain Women (Film)

by timbaros

18 CertainWomenThe lives of three women are told in the beautifully acted new film ‘Certain Women.’

Three women all lead totally separate lives from each other, yet their lives become slightly intertwined. First there is lawyer Laura (Laura Dern). Her client, Fuller (Jared Harris), is disgruntled because he is not able to work anymore due to an injury caused at work, and he can’t sue the company because he has already received a small settlement. So it’s up to Laura to deal with him and his reckless behaviour that eventually leads to a hostage situation and standoff with police. Laura is having an affair with Ryan (James Le Gros), who happens to be the husband of Gina (Michelle Williams). Ryan and Gina are building a new house in the countryside and they need sandstone, so they visit a local man who has a pile of it in his front yard. Yet while they are building their new home together, they don’t appear to be totally happy. In fact, Ryan always seems to undermine her in front of their daughter, while Gina is just Gina going through the motions. The best is yet to come in the third story. Jamie (Lily Gladstone) is a ranch hand who lives on a farm. She appears to be very lonely until one day she decides to walk into an adult education class taught by young lawyer Beth (Kristen Stewart). They start eating together after class but Beth always has to cut it short because she’s got a four hour drive home. Their after class get togethers are misinterpreted by Jamie because she is falling for Beth, and she’s not sure Beth feels the same. Beth, meanwhile, happens to work at Laura’s firm. Hence the intersection of the lives of these three certain women.

‘Certain Women’ is a simple, quiet film, one where the acting takes center stage. Gladstone is the standout – her Jamie is painfully alone, and all she wants is for someone to be with. Williams has a quiet yet powerful role as a woman who doesn’t appear to be totally happy in life yet soldiers on. Dern has a meaty role as the lawyer who has to deal with a volatile client. It’s Stewart who brings it all down a notch. Using her typical acting style (she always seems to be playing herself), she doesn’t add any energy or likability to her Beth. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, ‘Certain Women,’ based on several short stories, is particularly aimed at a female audience, an audience who can appreciate and relate to the strong female characters in this film.

27th Feb2017

Academy Award Winners (Film)

by timbaros

1051065393The Academy Awards were handed out last night and it was almost La La Land that took Best Picture but the true winner was Moonlight and the mix up was quickly resolved to allow Moonlight’s producers to graciously accept their award.

La La Land did not leave empty-handed; it won six awards on the night, including Best Director (Damian Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), among others. Casey Affleck won for Best Actor while Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Viola Davis for Fences.

Here is a complete list of winners:




“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”


“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight” (WINNER)



Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”

Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”

Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”

Denzel Washington in “Fences”



Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”

Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight” (WINNER)

Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”

Dev Patel in “Lion”

Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”



Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”

Ruth Negga in “Loving”

Natalie Portman in “Jackie”

Emma Stone in “La La Land” (WINNER)

Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”



Nicole Kidman in “Lion”

Viola Davis in “Fences” (WINNER)

Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”

Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”

Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”



“Kubo and the Two Strings”


“My Life as a Zucchini”

“The Red Turtle”

“Zootopia” (WINNER)



“La La Land” (WINNER)






“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (WINNER)

“Florence Foster Jenkins”


“La La Land”



“Arrival” – Denis Villeneuve

“Hacksaw Ridge” – Mel Gibson

“La La Land” – Damien Chazelle (WINNER)

“Manchester by the Sea” – Kenneth Lonergan

“Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins


“Fire at Sea”

“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Life, Animated”

“O.J.: Made in America” (WINNER)




“4.1 Miles”

“Joe’s Violin”

“Watani: My Homeland”

“The White Helmets” (WINNER)



“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”



“Land of Mine”

“A Man Called Ove”

“The Salesman” (WINNER)


“Toni Erdmann”


“A Man Called Ove”

“Star Trek Beyond”

“Suicide Squad” (WINNER)



“La La Land” (WINNER)





“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”

“City Of Stars” from “La La Land” (WINNER)

“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”

“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”



“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Hail, Caesar!”

“La La Land” (WINNER)



“Blind Vaysha”

“Borrowed Time”

“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”


“Piper” (WINNER)


“Ennemis Intérieurs”

“La Femme et le TGV”

“Silent Nights”

“Sing” (WINNER)



“Arrival” (WINNER)

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“La La Land”




“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“La La Land”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”


“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“The Jungle Book” (WINNER)

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”




“Hidden Figures”


“Moonlight” (WINNER)


“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“The Lobster”

“Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

“20th Century Women”

25th Feb2017

Academy Award Predictions (Film)

by timbaros

464191912_oscar-academy-awards-zoom-bb836c56-be14-43f3-9559-a4bd8253d5b7It’s been a great year for movies, and it all culminates on Sunday night with the award show to end all award shows – the Academy Awards. Herewith are my annual predictions as to what should win, and more importantly, what will win:

Best Picture:
The Academy saw it fit to nominate 9 films in this category (why not round it to 10? Perhaps Jackie or The Lobster?).
Almost all the films nominated in this category deserve to be here, with the exception of Arrival – it just wasn’t that good!
Should win: Moonlight – a beautifully told film about a young black man growing up gay in Miami. It could slip through and win on the heals of it’s rave reveiws and the ‘Oscars so White’ campaign of last year, but ‘La La Land’ is still the odds-on favorite to win.
Will win: La La Land. Hollywood loves films about itself (remember the all-star movie ‘Crash’ which shockingly won ten years ago over Brokeback Mountain?) La La Land has picked up the BAFTA and the Golden Globe awards – and it’s on track to win this category – even though it is not an excellent film.
Other nominees: Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion and Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor:
There is no contest in this category. Casey Affleck will deservedly win for his performance as a man struck by tragedy and who who has to raise the teenage son of his dead brother in Manchester by the Sea. None of the other acting nominees stand a chance as Affleck has won every award for this performance. He’s a much better actor than his brother, Ben.
Should and will win: Affleck
Other nominees: Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling for La La Land, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Denzel Washington for Fences.

Best Actress:
This category is hard to call. It’s a three-way race, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whose name will appear on the envelope. Emma Stone has won the BAFTA and Golden Globe (Comedy or Musical) for La La Land, however, Isabelle Huppert also won a Golden Globe (Drama) and is the sentimental favorite for her performance in Elle where she plays a woman who tracks down the man who raped her. A few months ago this award would’ve gone to Natalie Portman for her stunning performance in Jackie, however, the film was not great and it failed to get Best Picture, director or writing nominations. I’m not too sure why Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenikins was included, her performance was OK but Viola Davis for Fences really does belong in this category and not Supporting Actress.
Should win: Huppert – she is one of the France’s most iconic actress of all time and she’s been ignored by the Academy until now. She’s been nominated for the César Award (French Oscars) 16 times.
Will win: Stone. She will piggy-back on La La Land’s momentum on the night and win in this category.
Other nominee: Ruth Negga for Loving.

Best Supporting Actor: This is a category where any one of the actors nominated deserves to win. Dev Patel just won the BAFTA for Lion, while Mahershala Ali is gaining momentum for his portrayal of a drug dealer who befriends a young black child in Moonlight, and Jeff Bridges’ rancher in Hell or High Water has won several film critics awards. Michael Shannon was the second best thing in Nocturnal Animals – however, it was Aaron Taylor Johnson who had the meatiest role – he should’ve also been nominated in this category (he won the Golden Globe) but wasn’t.
Should win: Mahershalla Ali’s performance was exquisite.
Will win: Ali.
Other nominee is Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea

Supporting Actress: This is the easiest category to call. Viola Davis has it all sewn up for her role in Fences where she plays Denzel Washington’s suffering wife. It’s a role thats leading and not supporting, but she’s in this category and will win. The other women don’t even stand a chance.
Should and will win: Davis
Other nominees: Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle will win for La La Land as it’s the film to beat, an award he’s getting for his celebration of Los Angeles/Hollywood in his film. He’s won almost every other directing award this year, including the all-important Directors Guild of America Award which guarantees him a win in this category.
Should win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight. It’s a film that’s different in so many ways – it’s about struggle, race, discrimination, acceptance, homophobia – themes that are so relevant in today’s crazy political environment, and Jenkins captures it beautifully.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees: Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlight will and should win this award for the reasons mentioned above. Jenkins, with the story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, is the standout in this category. Other nominees: include Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures and Lion.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Chazelle will take the statuette in this category for a film that is as original as they come.
Should win: Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea because it’s a pull at your heartstrings kind of film that’s packs a strong punch.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees include Hell or High Water, The Lobster and 20th Century Women.

Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia should and will win this award. It’s Disney and they’ve got a good track record in this category. Other nominees include Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards will be shown live on television here in the UK on Sunday night/Monday morning on Sky Cinena (channel 304) at 1:30 a.m. For those of you who are unable to stay up all night to watch the show, an Oscar highlights show will air on Monday night at 10:00 p.m. on Sky Living (221).

07th Feb2017

Akron (Film)

by timbaros

Edmund Donovan (front) and Matthew Frias (back) in AKRON - Courtesy of Wolfe VideoTwo young college men fall in love but are linked to a tragedy that took place years ago in the excellent ‘Akron.’

Hispanic Benny (Matthew Frias) and white All-American Christopher (Edmund Donovan) meet on the football pitch on their college campus. They have an instantaneous attraction to each other, and start dating. Benny still lives at home with his parents which includes his warm loving mom Lenora (an excellent Andrea Burns) and his lawyer father and younger sister. Benny’s parents are very accepting of his homosexuality, but they not quite over the loss of a son who died many years ago.

Benny and Christopher start spending a lot of time together – they really like each other and are a good match. They decide to go to Florida to stay with Christopher’s mom Carol (a good Amy Da Luz) where they plan to spend a perfect and romantic spring break. However, Christopher’s mom opens up to Benny about the tragedy that befell both their families years ago – a tragedy that’s probably worst of it’s kind. It leads Benny to question his relationship with Christopher. He was starting to fall in love with Christopher but the revelation by Christopher’s mom changes everything, enough so to have Benny’s parents forbiding him to see Christopher anymore. Benny has to make some adult decisions, but does he decide with his heart or does he listen to his family?

‘Akron’s’ truly a romantic film about two young men in love and events that make them grow up very fast. It has an undertone of sadness, yet it overcomes this to bring us a film that is heartfelt and emotional. And it’s got a first rate cast – both Frias and Donovan are very good, and Burns is excellent and natural as Benny’s mother. Directors Sasha King and Brian O’Donnell give us a movie, from a script by O’Donnell, that will pull at your heartstrings. Superb music by Bill Snodgrass sets the tone for each scene – creating the music in Dublin, Ireland where he played composed the score and played every instrument himself. Make sure you watch ‘Akron.’

Releasing February 7th on DVD / VOD

05th Feb2017

Gold (Film)

by timbaros


Matthew McConaughey deservedly won an Oscar a couple years back for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the film ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ He definitely won’t win one for his new film ‘Gold.’

‘Gold’ is the true story of American Kenny Wells – a man so intent in following in his father’s footsteps that he’ll do anything to succeed. His father, played by Craig T. Nelson, founded a mining company, and Kenny wants to keep the company going strong. So he goes in search of gold, a commodity that he hopes is easy to find and which he hopes will make him extremely rich. He teams up with geologist Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez), and with Mike’s expertise in knowing where exactly to mine for gold (it is in the unchartered jungles of Indonesia), they easily, perhaps too easily, find gold, and become very very rich. Their company goes public and the stock goes up and up and up. Other larger companies start circling around them like vultures trying to buy them out, with investments bankers ready to seal the deal to become rich themselves. It’s all about money and who can trump who, but it comes at a cost. Wells gets malaria in the Indonesian jungle and almost doesn’t survive, his long-term girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) doesn’t like the man he’s become, and to top it off, is Acosta the man he appears to be? It’s basically ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ all over again. And if you remember McConnaughey’s excellent cameo in that movie (as a rich and successful banker mentor), well in ‘Gold’ he is playing a similar character. It’s fine for a few minutes of showmanship but for more than two hours it gets to be a bit too much.

McConaughey, who put on the pounds for this role (he lost the pounds for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’), overacts and overacts. ‘Gold,’ which is set in the eighties, shows Wells as a man who gets everything he wants, and method actor McConaughey plays it over the top. Howard is much much better as his girlfriend – all she wants is the simple life and does not care for nights at the Waldorf Hotel or expensive meals. The standout in this film is Ramirez. He’s charistmastic and extremely believable as Well’s business partner, a man who knows his business and can charm both the men and the women. Ramirez was also the lone standout in the awful ‘The Girl on a Train’ as Doctor Kamal Abdic. Make him a leading man already! Directed by Stephen Gaghan (Traffic and Syriana), in ‘Gold’ there’s no excitement, no feeling of happiness or sadness when the characters go through through their ups and downs. And the soundtrack is just god awful – the music just doesn’t go with the scenes in the film – it’s tepid at best but belongs in an old cowboy western movie. Originally scheduled to open wide on December 25, 2016, it was pushed back to open on January 27, with the December 25 release staying a limited release in order to qualify for awards. The film’s limited release was then pushed back to December 30, 2016, four days after its presumed date. ‘Gold’ has not been nominated for any awards, it doesn’t deserve any.

05th Feb2017

Gay and Lesbian Film Critics choose ‘Moonlight’ as Best Picture (Film)

by timbaros

ml_webAfter being nominated for 7 Dorian awards, ‘Moonlight’ has been named Best Film of the Year by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Circle (GALECA).

This coming-of-age drama set in Miami over a span of 20 years was also voted LGBTQ Film of the Year, and won awards for Barry Jenkins for his direction and screenplay. Mahershala Ali was named Best Actor, while Trevante Rhodes, who plays the adult version of the film’s main character, was voted the Rising Star Award.

Viola Davis won Best Actress for her role in ‘Fences.’

The late Carrie Fisher was awarded Wilde Wit of the Year (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse) while John Water was named Timeless Star ((honoring an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit).

GALECA is comprised of more than 170 film and TV critics and entertainment journalists across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The awards cover both film and television.

The winners will be honored at a special ‘toast’ ceremony to be held on Saturday February 18th in Los Angeles.

Here is a complete list of the winners:

Film of the Year
Moonlight (A24)

Director of the Year (Film or Television)
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Film Performance of the Year – Actress
Viola Davis, Fences (Paramount)

Film Performance of the Year – Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (A24)

LGBTQ Film of the Year:
Moonlight (A24)

Foreign-Language Film of the Year
The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

Screenplay of the Year
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Documentary of the Year (theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)

Visually Striking Film of the Year
La La Land (Lionsgate)

Unsung Film of the Year
Christine (The Orchard)

Campy Film of the Year
The Dressmaker (Broad Green/Amazon Studios)

TV Drama of the Year
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

TV Comedy of the Year
Transparent (Amazon)

TV Performance of the Year – Actor
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)

TV Performance of the Year – Actress
Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)

TV Current Affairs Show of the Year
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)

TV Musical Performance of the Year
Kate McKinnon, “Hallelujah,” Saturday Night Live (NBC)

LGBTQ TV Show of the Year
Transparent (Amazon)

Unsung TV Show of the Year
The Real O’Neals (ABC)

Campy TV Show of the Year
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)

We’re Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year
Trevante Rhodes

Wilde Wit of the Year (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse):
Carrie Fisher

Wilde Artist of the Year (honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television) (tie)
Kate McKinnon
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Timeless Star (honoring an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit)
John Waters

01st Feb2017

The White King (Film)

by timbaros

Lorenzo Allchurch in The White King 2‘The White King’ is not a film that will cheer you up.

It’s about a young boy who is growing up in a country ruled by a dictator, where rules are set in place, and where there is no freedom. This film comes at a time in our real world when we are dealing with the likes of Brexit and American President Donald Trump, and the possibility (probably not) that Trump will start banning all minorities and will control much what Americans do and say. Such is the story of ‘The White King.’ It’s a dystopian society called Homeland where Djata (Lorenzo Allchurch) and his parents Peter (Ross Patridge) and mother Hannah (Agyness Deyn) attempt to meek out a living. When Peter is arrested for being politically incorrect, Djata and Hannah are left to survive among (and are labeled traitors by the government) the rules and regulations their society has to abide by. And to make matters more intimidating, the community is overlooked by a huge statue called the White King – so big and imposing it’s as if it’s the dictator is literally looking down on them.

Djata gets to visit his grandparents where his grandfather teaches him to shoot. Djata is coming of age where soon enough he faces the prospect of perhaps going to war for his country, and who realizes that his mother is going slightly mad. ‘The White King’ is a film about Djata’s journey, his journey through life, through society, and growing up all too quick.

‘The Empire of the Sun’ comes to mind when trying to describe this film. While ‘Empire’ is a masterpiece and perhaps one of the best films ever made (and which starred a very young Christian Bale), ‘The White King’ of course does not measure up to ‘Empire.’ But it’s a quiet film with a strong message, supported by very good performances and a believable story. Adapted from a novel by Gyorgy Dragoman, and directed by Alex Helfrecht and Jörg Tittel, it’s a simple story that will leave an impression on you in these troubled times that we now live in. The plot in ‘The White King’ could soon become reality in Trump’s world. Scary.

The White King [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Alex Helfrecht, Jörg Tittel
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Agyness Deyn, Fiona Shaw, Olivia Williams
Rating: To Be Announced

New From: £1.54 GBP In Stock
Used from: £1.25 GBP In Stock

28th Jan2017

Oscar Nominations announced (Film)

by timbaros


Damien Chazelle’s vibrant musical La La Land has been nominated for a whopping 14 Academy Award nominations – the joint record for any film in history. This include nominations for best picture, best director, best actor for Ryan Gosling and best actress for Emma Stone.

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age drama Moonlight and Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi Arrival follow on eight nominations each.

Here is a complete list of the nominations:

Here are the nominations in full.

Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay

Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women
Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Best Film Editing

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann
Best Original Score

La La Land

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La LAnd
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Best Cinematography

La La Land

Best Production Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Editing

Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best Sound Mixing

Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Documentary Short

4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights

Best Animated Short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes


22nd Jan2017

Lion (Film)

by timbaros
Sunny Pawar stars in LION Photo: Mark Rogers

Sunny Pawar stars in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers

A young man attempts to trace his roots in the moving and excellent film ‘Lion.’

Dev Patel is Saroo Brierley. He’s adopted by Australian couple John and Sue Brierley (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman) and vaguely aware that he had a life in India when he was a very young boy – it’s all just a very distant memory. Now in his 20’s, and in college, him and his friends (including girlfriend Lucy – Rooney Mara) have a discussion about their origins, and Saroo tells his classmates that he was adopted and born in India, and probably still has family there, but he hasn’t been there since when he was a little boy. This puts a spark in his head to try to found out where in India he comes from. There are still a few very vague images in his mind he can recall from his childhood, and especially from when he got separated from his brother (a water tower, a train station). Saroo sets about determined to discover where he’s from and starts to map out India until he can pinpoint an area where he believes he came from.

But this is the not the entire movie. The first half of the film has Saroo as a little boy (played amazingly by Sunny Pawar), who along with his brother Guddu (Abshishek Bharate), are lost, so Guddu goes in search of help, and leaves Saroo on a train platform. Saroo falls asleep, then wakes up a bit disoriented, and calls out for Guddu, but he’s nowhere to be found. Saroo walks around the train station calling out for Guddu, but then ends up falling asleep on a train that accidentally takes him 1,000 miles away to Calcutta, taking him far away from home, far away from Guddu, and far away from his life.

‘Lion,’ as mentioned above, is a film with two halves; Saroo as a child and Saroo as a young man. And the first half of the film is simply amazing. It’s all down to Pawar, who as the young Saroo, after losing his big brother Guddu, is lost and confused and scared and aimlessly wandering around looking for food and trying to survive. He knows no one, is totally lost and alone, and is very very frightened. Eventually he is taken in by an orphanage which is where the Brierley’s adopt him and take him to their home in Australia, which is when the second half of the film begins.

Pawar deserves a Supporting Actor nomination or a special child Oscar for his sensitive and heartbreaking portrayal of Saroo (Jacob Tremblay in last year’s award-winning ‘Room’ didn’t receive either but deserved one). Pawar is excellent. Patel is very good as the grown-up Saroo who is determined to find out where he comes from. Patel here proves that he was not just a one-hit wonder in the Oscar-winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’ Kidman is fine as his adoptive mother, but it’s hard not to look at her on screen and think you’re seeing Nicole Kidman and not the character she is playing. The screenplay, adapted from the book ‘A Long Way Home, ’written by Saroo Brierley, and adapted by Luke Davies, tells the story in a way that will tug at your hearts more than any other film this year. Director Garth Davis (who has done mostly television shows) directs with such a fine balance of drama and emotion that it’s a perfect film which tells a true story that truly deserved to be told. It’s the best film of the year.

15th Jan2017

Gay and Lesbian Film Critics announce their film award nominations (Film)

by timbaros

ml_web‘Moonlight’ leads the list of nominations for the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) Dorian Awards.

Director Barry Jenkins story of growing up gay in Miami was nominated in both Film and LGBTQ Film of the year categories. It was also nominated for it’s screenplay and directing for Jenkins, as well as Mahershala Ali and Trevante Rhodes as Film Performance of the Year – Male, and it was also nominated for Visually Striking Film of the Year.

‘Moonlight’ will compete in the best film category along with ‘Jackie,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ and ‘20th Century Women.’ ‘Jackie’ also received nominations for Film Performance of the Year – Female for Natalie Portman, Director of the Year (Pablo Larrain) and Visually Striking Film of the Year. ‘La La Land,’ which recently won 7 Golden Globe Awards, besides Film of the Year is also nominated for Director and Screenplay of the Year (for Damien Chazelle), Film Performance of the Year – Male – Ryan Gosling and Female – Emma Stone, as well as Visually Striking Film of the Year. Gay film director and fashion designer Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ was all but ignored by the Gay and Lesbian critics, yet they found a spot for it in the Campy Film of the Year category.

In addition to film and television awards, the group also nominates individuals for their overall achievements. The Timeless Star Award will be automatically presented to John Waters. The Wilde Wit of the Year, honoring a performer, writer or commenetator whose observations both challenge and amuse, includes the late Carrie Fisher amongst it’s nominees.

The Dorian winners will be announced Jan. 26. The group’s annual Winners Toast, honoring a select group of the 2016-17 winners, will be held Feb. 18, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Here is a complete list of the nominees:

Film of the Year
Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
Moonlight (A24)
20th Century Women (A24)

Director of the Year
(Film or Television)
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)
Pablo Larraín, Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
Park Chan-wook, The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)
Damien Chazelle, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)

Film Performance of the Year — Actress
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (A24)
Viola Davis, Fences (Paramount)
Isabelle Huppert, Elle (Sony Classics)
Emma Stone, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
Natalie Portman, Jackie (Fox Searchlight)

Film Performance of the Year — Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (A24)
Ryan Gosling, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight (A24)
Denzel Washington, Fences (Paramount)

LGBTQ Film of the Year
Being 17 (Strand)
Closet Monster (Strand)
Moonlight (A24)
Other People (Vertical)
The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

Foreign Language Film of the Year
Elle (Sony Classics)
Neruda (The Orchard)
The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)
Things to Come (Sundance Selects)
Toni Erdmann (Sony Pictures Classics)

Screenplay of the Year
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)
Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster (A24)
Damien Chazelle, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (A24)

Documentary of the Year
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia)
O.J. Made in America (ESPN Films)
13th (Netflix)
Tickled (Magnolia)
Weiner (Netflix)

Visually Striking Film of the Year
Arrival (Paramount)
Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
La La Land (Lionsgate)
Moonlight (A24)
The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

Unsung Film of the Year
American Honey (A24)
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street)
Christine (The Orchard)
Other People (Vertical)
Sing Street (The Weinstein Company)

Campy Film of the Year
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Fox Searchlight)
King Cobra (IFC Midnight)
Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features)
The Dressmaker (Broadgreen/Amazon Studios)
The Neon Demon (Broadgreen/Amazon Studios)

TV Drama of the Year
Black Mirror (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
The Crown (Netflix)
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
Westworld (HBO)

TV Comedy of the Year
Atlanta (FX)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
Insecure (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Veep (FX)

TV Performance of the Year — Actor
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of (HBO)
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)

TV Performance of the Year — Actress
Claire Foy, The Crown (Netflix)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things (Netflix)

TV Current Affairs Show of the Year
Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

TV Musical Performance of the Year
Beyonce, “Lemonade,” MTV Video Music Awards (MTV)
Kelly Clarkson, “Piece by Piece,” American Idol (Fox)
Lady Gaga – “Til It Happens to You,” The 88th Academy Awards (ABC)
Jennifer Hudson, “I Know Where I’ve Been,” Hairspray Live! (NBC)
Kate McKinnon “Hallelujah,” Saturday Night Live (NBC)

LGBTQ TV Show of the Year
Looking: The Movie (HBO)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)
The Real O’Neals (ABC)
Transparent (Amazon)

Unsung TV Show of the Year
Fleabag (Amazon)
Lady Dynamite (Netflix)
London Spy (BBC America)
Please Like Me (Pivot)
The Real O’Neals (ABC)

Campy TV Show of the Year
Finding Prince Charming (Logo)
Fuller House (Netflix)
Hairspray Live! (NBC)
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)
Scream Queens (Fox)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox)

We’re Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year
Millie Bobby Brown
Lucas Hedges
Connor Jessup
Ruth Negga
Trevante Rhodes

Wilde Wit of the Year
(honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
Samantha Bee
Carrie Fisher
Bill Maher
Kate McKinnon
John Oliver

Wilde Artist of the Year
(honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)
Viola Davis
Barry Jenkins
Kate McKinnon
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Timeless Star
(to an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit)
John Waters

14th Jan2017

Manchester by the Sea (Film)

by timbaros

manCasey Affleck gives a devastating performance in Manchester by the Sea.

In a role that will win him the Academy Award for Best Actor, Affleck is Lee Chandler, a man stricken with grief, so much grief that gets worse when he gets word that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler in flashbacks) suddenly passes away in their hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. Joe leaves behind teenage son Patrick (newcomer Lucas Hedges) and so it’s left to Lee to be Patrick’s guardian.

But Lee just doesn’t have the energy, or the passion, to take in his nephew. Now a handyman, he moved to Boston after a tragic event that took the lives of his three children, a tragic event that could’ve been prevented, and a tragedy that caused the breakdown of his marriage to Randi (Michelle Williams). So he’s really quite unsure and struggles with what to do with Patrick. Lee can’t send Patrick to his mother, who he is not close to, as she is pretty much out of the picture. And Patrick doesn’t want to move to Boston to live with Lee. But everyday Lee struggles, struggling with guilt over the death of his children, and guilt that is very evident in his face and posture, and grief that will more than likely will never go away. But it is up to Lee to make sure his nephew is taken care of.

There is so much darkness in Manchester by the Sea that it’s hard to leave the film without feeling depressed and sodden. Yet it’s Affleck’s acting that propels this film to must see and award-worthy status. Affleck, who is Ben Affleck’s younger brother, gives the best performance of his career. His Lee is quite unlike any character you’ve seen all year – and Affleck plays him amazingly. Williams is also very good as Lee’s wife who eventually moves on and starts a new life, and BAFTA Rising Star nominee Hedges is a real find and perfect as the rebellious teenager. In a film produced by Matt Damon, who was originally going to star as Lee, and with excellent writing and directing by Kenneth Lonergan (2000’s You Can Count on me), who cements himself to A-list status of Hollywood filmmakers with this film, Manchester by the Sea is one of this year’s few must-see films.

10th Jan2017

BAFTA Nominations (Film)

by timbaros

4bb5171efc9007ebe8559a7cca130d1aThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced the nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2017.

La La Land is nominated in 11 categories. Arrival and Nocturnal Animals both receive nine nominations and Manchester by the Sea has six. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hacksaw Ridge, Lion and I, Daniel Blake receive five nominations each. Moonlight and Florence Foster Jenkins have both been nominated four times.

La La Land is nominated for Best Film, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and Sound. Damien Chazelle is nominated for both Director and Original Screenplay and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for Leading Actor and Leading Actress.

Arrival receives nominations for Best Film, Adapted Screenplay, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Special Visual Effects, as well as Director for Denis Villeneuve and Leading Actress for Amy Adams.

Nocturnal Animals is nominated for Leading Actor for Jake Gyllenhaal, and for Supporting Actor for Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The film is also nominated for Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design and Make Up & Hair. Tom Ford is nominated for both Director and Adapted Screenplay.

Manchester by the Sea is nominated for Best Film and Editing. Kenneth Lonergan is nominated for both Director and Original Screenplay. Casey Affleck is nominated for Leading Actor and Michelle Williams for Supporting Actress.

Ken Loach is nominated for Director for I, Daniel Blake, which is also nominated for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress for Hayley Squires.

Moonlight is nominated for Best Film and Original Screenplay with two further nominations for Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris who are nominated for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress respectively.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is nominated for Outstanding British Film, Production Design, Costume Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Andrew Garfield is nominated for Leading Actor for Hacksaw Ridge, which is also nominated for Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Make Up & Hair and Sound.

Lion is nominated for Adapted Screenplay, Original Music and Cinematography. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are nominated for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress respectively.

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant are nominated for Leading Actress and Supporting Actor for their roles in Florence Foster Jenkins. The film is also nominated for Costume Design and Make Up & Hair.

Jeff Bridges is nominated for Supporting Actor for Hell or High Water, which is also nominated for Original Screenplay and Cinematography. Natalie Portman is nominated for Leading Actress for Jackie, which is also nominated for Original Music and Costume Design.

Also receiving acting nominations are: Viggo Mortensen for Leading Actor for Captain Fantastic; Emily Blunt for Leading Actress for The Girl on the Train; and Viola Davis for Supporting Actress for Fences.

The four films nominated for Animated Film are Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana and Zootropolis. The nominations for Film Not in the English Language are Dheepan, Julieta, Mustang, Son of Saul and Toni Erdmann.

Notes on Blindness is nominated for Documentary and Outstanding British Film. The film also receives a nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Pete Middleton (Writer/Director/Producer), James Spinney (Writer/Director), and Jo-Jo Ellison (Producer).

The other nominations in the Documentary category are 13th, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, The Eagle Huntress and Weiner.

Under the Shadow receives a nomination for Outstanding British Film, as well as for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Babak Anvari (Writer/Director) alongside the film’s producers Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill and Lucan Toh.

The other nominations for Outstanding British Film are American Honey and Denial.

The remaining nominations for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer are The Girl With All the Gifts (Mike Carey, Writer, Camille Gatin, Producer), The Hard Stop (George Amponsah, Writer/Director/Producer, Dionne Walker, Writer/Producer) and The Pass (John Donnelly, Writer, Ben Williams, Director).

Doctor Strange receives nominations for Production Design, Make Up & Hair and Special Visual Effects. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is nominated for Make Up & Hair and Special Visual Effects.

Five other feature films receive one nomination each: Hidden Figures for Adapted Screenplay; Hail, Caesar! for Production Design; Allied for Costume Design; Deepwater Horizon for Sound and The Jungle Book for Special Visual Effects.

The British Short Animation nominees are The Alan Dimension, A Love Story and Tough. The five nominations for British Short Film are Consumed, Home, Mouth of Hell, The Party and Standby.

The nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, announced last week, are Anya Taylor-Joy, Laia Costa, Lucas Hedges, Ruth Negga and Tom Holland. This audience award is voted for by the British public and presented to an actress or actor who has demonstrated exceptional talent and has begun to capture the imagination of the UK public.

The nominations were announced this morning by Dominic Cooper and Sophie Turner at BAFTA’s London headquarters, 195 Piccadilly.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 12 February at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

ARRIVAL Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Aaron Ryder
I, DANIEL BLAKE Rebecca O’Brien
LA LA LAND Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward,
Kevin J. Walsh
MOONLIGHT Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

AMERICAN HONEY Andrea Arnold, Lars Knudsen, Pouya Shahbazian, Jay Van Hoy
DENIAL Mick Jackson, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, David Hare
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM David Yates, J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison
UNDER THE SHADOW Babak Anvari, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh

The Girl With All the Gifts: MIKE CAREY (Writer), CAMILLE GATIN (Producer)
The Hard Stop: GEORGE AMPONSAH (Writer/Director/Producer), DIONNE WALKER (Writer/Producer)
Notes on Blindness: PETER MIDDLETON (Writer/Director/Producer), JAMES SPINNEY (Writer/Director), JO-JO ELLISON (Producer)
The Pass: JOHN DONNELLY (Writer), BEN A. WILLIAMS (Director)
Under the Shadow: BABAK ANVARI (Writer/Director), EMILY LEO, OLIVER ROSKILL, LUCAN TOH (Producers)

DHEEPAN Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
JULIETA Pedro Almodóvar
MUSTANG Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Charles Gillibert
SON OF SAUL László Nemes, Gábor Sipos
TONI ERDMANN Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski

13th Ava DuVernay
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS Otto Bell, Stacey Reiss
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney
WEINER Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

FINDING DORY Andrew Stanton
MOANA Ron Clements, John Musker
ZOOTROPOLIS Byron Howard, Rich Moore

ARRIVAL Denis Villeneuve
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle

HELL OR HIGH WATER Taylor Sheridan
I, DANIEL BLAKE Paul Laverty
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle
MOONLIGHT Barry Jenkins

ARRIVAL Eric Heisserer
HACKSAW RIDGE Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
HIDDEN FIGURES Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
LION Luke Davies

CASEY AFFLECK Manchester by the Sea
JAKE GYLLENHAAL Nocturnal Animals
VIGGO MORTENSEN Captain Fantastic

EMILY BLUNT The Girl on the Train
MERYL STREEP Florence Foster Jenkins

HUGH GRANT Florence Foster Jenkins
JEFF BRIDGES Hell or High Water

MICHELLE WILLIAMS Manchester by the Sea

ARRIVAL Jóhann Jóhannsson
JACKIE Mica Levi
LA LA LAND Justin Hurwitz
LION Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka

ARRIVAL Bradford Young
LA LA LAND Linus Sandgren
LION Greig Fraser

ARRIVAL Joe Walker
LA LA LAND Tom Cross

DOCTOR STRANGE John Bush, Charles Wood
HAIL, CAESAR! Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
LA LA LAND Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Shane Valentino, Meg Everist

ALLIED Joanna Johnston
JACKIE Madeline Fontaine
LA LA LAND Mary Zophres

DOCTOR STRANGE Jeremy Woodhead
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS J. Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Donald Mowat, Yolanda Toussieng

ARRIVAL Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Sylvain Bellemare
DEEPWATER HORIZON Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar, Wylie Stateman, David Wyman
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Niv Adiri, Glenn Freemantle, Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Ian Tapp
HACKSAW RIDGE Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright
LA LA LAND Mildred Iatrou Morgan, Ai-Ling Lee, Steve A. Morrow, Andy Nelson

ARRIVAL Louis Morin
DOCTOR STRANGE Richard Bluff, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
THE JUNGLE BOOK Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, Mohen Leo, John Knoll, Nigel Sumner

THE ALAN DIMENSION Jac Clinch, Jonathan Harbottle, Millie Marsh
A LOVE STORY Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King
TOUGH Jennifer Zheng

CONSUMED Richard John Seymour
HOME Shpat Deda, Afolabi Kuti, Daniel Mulloy, Scott O’Donnell
MOUTH OF HELL Bart Gavigan, Samir Mehanovic, Ailie Smith, Michael Wilson
THE PARTY Farah Abushwesha, Emmet Fleming, Andrea Harkin, Conor MacNeill
STANDBY Charlotte Regan, Jack Hannon

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)

07th Jan2017

Golden Globe Winners (Film)

by timbaros

la-la-land-ryan-gosling-emma-stoneLa La Land dominated the night at The Golden Globe awards ceremony and won all 7 of it’s nominations. Moonlight was the underdog winner for Best Picture, Drama.


Best picture, drama: “Moonlight”

Best picture, comedy or musical: “La La Land”

Actress, drama: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Actor, drama: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Supporting actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Supporting actor: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”

Director: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Animated film: “Zootopia”

Foreign language film: “Elle” (France)

Original score: Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”

Original song: “City of Stars,” “La La Land”


18th Dec2016

Uncle Howard (Film)

by timbaros

th-8-936x703Who was Howard Brookner? He was an American film director and famous for his college thesis documentary on William S. Burroughs – the American novelist who was also a member of the beat generation. Brookner also wrote and directed the feature-length film Bloodhounds of Broadway – a period comedic ensemble that starred several big names including Matt Dillon, Jennifer Grey, Anita Morris, Julie Hagerty, Randy Quaid, and Madonna. Howard Brookner was three days shy of 35 when he died of AIDS in 1989.

But Brookner was more than just a film director – he was also an uncle, an uncle to Aaron Brookner. And Aaron has made a film about his uncle in a moving documentary simply titled <em>Uncle Howard.

Aaron, 35 years old, was inspired by his uncle to make movies. In the documentary we see home video footage of Howard hanging out with Aaron when he was a kid, with Howard parading Aaron around on his shoulders. These scenes are touching and sentimental because it sets the tone of the short relationship Aaron had with his uncle, an uncle who passed away when Aaron was only 8-years-old, an uncle who made such an impression on him that decades later Aaron would want to make a documentary about him. Aaron’s early memories of Uncle Howard included being on the set of Bloodhounds of Broadway, a film that turned out to be Howards only major studio film, and unfortunately, he passed away before its release.

Aaron wanted to seek out Howard’s original film footage for his Burroughs documentary, and found it in a place called The Bunker in lower Manhattan, the former home of Burroughs. There are scenes of Aaron watching the old tapes which are then inter-spliced with the actual film footage, which gives us, and Aaron, a glimpse of the early work of his uncle, an uncle with high doses of passion and talent. The old footage also includes glimpses of Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol, while both new and old footage shows Jim Jarmusch, with Howard in the 1980’s, and then with Aaron in the present day.

The writer Brad Gooch gives us a raw insight into his ten-year relationship with Howard, while discussing the loss of Howard and many friends during the height of the AIDS pandemic, scenes that are emotional, touching and sentimental. But what most pulls at the heartstrings is Aaron’s conversations with Howard’s mother, Elaine, who walks down memory lane with Aaron about the life of Howard and how he was taken from them at such a young age. Uncle Howard is a film with a personal touch, and Aaron has successfully delivered a fitting tribute to an uncle who died way too young.

I wish I had an Uncle Howard.