While the rest of the country was watching the Final Four of basketball, I watched my Final Four of the festival.
Three years in prison changed a lot of things. Enrique comes home to find that his wife of 17 years is pregnant with another man’s child and his teenage transgender son no longer shares dad’s interest in baseball. With a stellar cast that includes Esai Morales, Judy Reyes, and the amazing Harmony Santana as Michael/Vanessa, Rashaad Ernesto Green (director, producer, screenwriter) earned four stars—an A for “Gun Hill Road.”
I love Italian comedies and “Immature” was no exception. Twenty years after their high school graduation, a group of former classmates and friends learn that their final exams were flawed and they will have to take them over again. I hope this one will play locally in the next few months, so I’ll say no more. Go see it—it’s a winner (A).
Why does the richest country in the world have nearly 50 million people who are food insecure? That’s a new term to describe men, women, and children who don’t know where their next meal—if there is a next meal—is coming from. “Finding North” tackles that appalling issue. It is full of startling and disturbing information: food deserts are neighborhoods without a supermarket, with only convenience stores that sell soda, snack foods, and toilet paper; the government raises the funds for school lunches by a pittance while cutting access to food stamps; the government grants subsidies to agribusiness, but none for farmers who grow fruits and vegetables . . . and I could go on. This is a film every American should see, and then go out and vote! It’s an A.
Finally, there’s the French comedy—“The Art of Love” (A-)—that arrived without subtitles. Calls to France and the miracle of overnight delivery brought another copy, with (as Marcie Goodman might say: Thank God) subtitles. Worth the wait. This delicious bit of French pastry is about several couples looking for love, and/or suffering because of it. A great way for me to end CIFF 36.
A few thoughts before getting back to my real life: Every year for the past four, there’s been one movie that absolutely took my breath away. I didn’t see my WOW! movie this year. Maybe I missed it, but it wasn’t among the films I saw.
Kudos to everyone involved in producing the trailer. Loved it, though I didn’t think so on first viewing. It really grew on me in a very short time, and I find myself today trying to sing it even though I can’t carry a tune in a paper bag. High marks for the design, animation, tune, and lyrics—a winner! And the most wonderful thing about it is that after the first weekend some audiences applauded, sang along, or both.
Favorites this year: “Hot Line” best comedy; “Living Afterwards” best dramatic film; “Cape Spin” and “Finding North” tied for best documentary.
Same time, next year. You bet I’ll be there!