OPHELIA

“You may think you know my story,” Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) tells us. And for most of us, we think we do. She is Ophelia, daughter of Polonius (Dominic Mafham), brother of Laertes (Tom Felton), and girlfriend to Hamlet (George MacKay). But, as her ominous line suggests, we do not know the whole story. Ophelia, based on the novel by Lisa Klein, recasts Shakespeare’s mad adolescent as one of the more cunning characters in a play populated by madness. Here, Ophelia is the favorite maiden of the Queen (Naomi Watts in a dual role) and Hamlet’s secret bride. Deceit is rampant, … Continue reading OPHELIA

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Quite simply, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is magnificent. It’s no masterpiece and certainly not without a few flaws, but writer/director Rian Johnson is given plenty of room to continue the Star Wars saga, answer questions posed in previous installments, and create a world entirely his own. And that he does so without coloring outside the lines George Lucas drew all those years ago makes it all the more impressive. First, a short spoiler-free description of the plot: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is hiding on a remote planet. Hiding from what? A moment of shame. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has been … Continue reading STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

STAR WARS AT 40

A space opera in eight films, five directors, and two studios. A long time ago — May 25, 1977, to be precise — in a Hollywood far, far away, Star Wars took cinematic hearts and minds by storm. Later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars was a ragtag space opera about a young farmer and two mercenaries trying to rescue a captured princess from the evil clutches of the Empire and return her to the Rebel base so she could deliver the stolen plan necessary to destroy the armored base. The backstory was sparse, the plot points were standard, and the characters were archetypal. … Continue reading STAR WARS AT 40

ONLY YESTERDAY

“I didn’t intend to bring my 5th grade self along with me on this trip, but clearly she was along for the ride.” [Long pause] “She was always around.” That pause reveals more about the main character’s inner turmoil that a page of dialogue ever could. Only Yesterday is a movie about that turmoil, the turmoil of not just growing up, but of letting go. We may be through with the past but that doesn’t mean the past is through with us. She is Taeko, a 27 year-old living in Tokyo but needing something different. Taeko heads back to the … Continue reading ONLY YESTERDAY