Plot: Gloria (Julianne Moore) has a full life. With a job and two grown children, divorced and free, she likes to spend her nights in the local bars, dancing and meeting people her age. One night she meets Arnold (John Turturro). He is also divorced, but not as long as Gloria, and the two of them hit it off. But when they start dating, things don’t go quite as smoothly as that first night.
Apart from it handling fatness very questionably, I very much enjoyed Gloria Bell that stands out from most films because it tells a story that might as well happen to your neighbor, and that centers a middle-aged woman.
Lorraine (Charlize Theron) is a secret agent for MI6 who is sent to Cold War Berlin after the death of a colleague. She’s supposed to recover a list of MI6 agents that went missing. But the situation in Berlin is unclear, starting with the questionable trustworthiness of her contact David (James McAvoy). As Elaine tries to navigate the intricacies of a city at a (political) boiling point, things get more complicated with every step.
Atomic Blonde was a disappointment in pretty much every regard. It’s stupid and boring and I very much hated almost everything about it.
Nick (James Gandolfini) and Kitty (Susan Sarandon) have been married many years and have managed to build a very middle-class existence. When Kitty finds out that Nick has been having an affair, she’s outraged. Her three daughters Baby (Mandy Moore), Constance (Mary-Louise Parker) and Rosebud (Aida Turturro) are firmly on Kitty’s side, but also have their own issues to deal with. And Nick will have to figure out whether he wants to fight for his marriage or start a new life with the other woman, Tula (Kate Winslet).
Romance & Cigarettes is a very idiosyncratic film. A musical in that setting and with those costumes and an off-beat sense of humor, it’s funny and manages to entertain, but it’s also unfortunately steeped in sexism.
Plot: Stefan Zweig (Josef Hader) is a successful writer of wide renown. As an Austrian Jew, he decided to leave Europe behind after Hitler’s rise to power and now lives in Brazil with his wife Lotte (Aenne Schwarz). But the political situation in Europe follows him even into his exile, as people all seem to expect something of him, a statement, taking position, outright help – and Zweig really doesn’t know how to handle this pressure as his attempts to distance himself from everything continue to fail.
Vor der Morgenröte captures an awkward, uncomfortable atmosphere perfectly and tells a World War 2 story from a perspective that is unusual, and definitely fascinating.
Sophie (Katja Riemann) has a difficult relationship with her bossy father Paul (Matthias Habich) and ever since the death of her mother, things haven’t gotten any easier. But when Paul stumbles upon a photo of famous opera singer Caterina (Barbara Sukowa) who looks a lot like his deceased wife, he asks Sophie to fly to New York to meet her and figure out the connection between them. And Sophie consents, almost despite herself. But getting in touch with Caterina isn’t easy as she’s abrasive and not interested in dragging up the past.
Die abhandene Welt has many strengths, but unfortunately also one stumbling stone that pushed me out of the film more than once. Still, there was more than enough good stuff there to make the film very much worthwhile.
Plot: Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa) is a successful political theorist, writer and professor. She used to be a student of Heidegger (Klaus Pohl), but had to leave Germany during WW2 and fled to the USA. When she hears of the abduction/arrest of nazi Adolf Eichmann by Israel, she decides to go there to cover the trial. But once there, she is astonished by how utterly normal, and not evil, Eichmann seems to be. This leads to her writing Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. But the notion that nazis might not be the complete monsters doesn’t bring her any friends, and in fact makes her lose some.
I’ve been meaning to read about Hannah Arendt/her work for a while, but I didn’t get around to it yet. So when I heard about the movie, I was very happy at the chance to at least get some information into me that way. And as a first primer, the movie is really excellent.