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We Three Films...will make your viewing holidays brighter

Maestro        Netflix        A


Bradley Cooper co-writes, directs, and stars in this love letter biopic about the talented and charismatic composer Leonard Bernstein.  It is quite brilliant.  Stunning cinematography, lush performances and beautiful direction all make this a must-see film.  Cooper cements himself as one of the best actors of our time, but maybe more importantly he proves he’s got the chops to direct and to direct himself to an epic performance.  I would say the only thing better than his performance is Carey Mulligan’s performance.  She is perfection as Bernstein’s wife.  I have no words; you must see her performance and you must see Bradley Cooper conduct.  He is everything I needed to see from Cate Blanchett in Tar and DIDN’T.  I can’t imagine who could possibly steal the awards away from Cooper and Mulligan this season.  One more thought: the make-up in this film is an epic achievement.  I know there was controversy.  It must be seen to be believed.



The Holdovers     Available for Rent on Prime and Apple     A


This is a lovely, if sometimes sad, Christmas movie which stars Paul Giamatti as a cantankerous teacher at a boy’s boarding school stuck with the responsibility of taking care of any boys left behind for the Christmas season of 1970.  Giamatti is as fantastic as you would expect him to be, and then some.  His physical portrayal of this character had me worried about the actual actor.  It’s that good. Dominic Sessa delivers a solid performance in this break out role for him and Da’Vine Joy Rudolph gives a stellar performance as the school cook who has issues of her own this holiday season.  The script is poignant, thought provoking, funny, and devastating. The story telling is flawless.  This is not a happy, light-hearted film, but it does deliver.


The Bank of Dave       Netflix         A


If you are looking for a feel-good movie for the holiday season, this film is a perfect choice.  The movie is loosely based on the true story of a small community leader, Dave, who wants to create a small community bank to actually help the people in the community, instead of make money.  The main character in the film is the London Lawyer who has been tasked with explaining to Dave why he won’t be able to create “The Bank of Dave”.  Joel Fry, who I first loved in the film “Yesterday”,  does a great job as the nerdy barrister who can’t help but get sucked into the many charms of the tiny community in need of help. He’s quirky, self-conscious,  and lovable, everything a leading man should be.   I adored this beautiful little film and the powerful message it put forth.  The supporting cast is spectacular with Rory Kinnear as Dave and Hugh Bonneville as the villain.  We do love to hate Hugh!  There is also a really spectacular little homage to Def Leppard, because…well, watch the movie and you will see.

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