Menu

THE FAVOURITE—AND NO WONDER

The Favourite tells a story that is universal and essentially timeless. By approaching this 18th century drama in a modern manner, iconoclastic filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) has made his most accessible film to date and cast it to perfection with three great talents: Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman. Here is the tale of a rivalry between two wily, headstrong women who vie for the attention and approval of Queen Anne, a doddering, mercurial leader who contends with a variety of ailments and a notable lack of self-esteem. Rachel Weisz is the power behind the throne, a woman who shows no mercy as she wields her control over everyone who must deal with the monarch. Emma Stone…

READ MORE >

NEW AND NOTABLE FILM BOOKS – December

As always, there are more film books being published than there is time to read them, but I hope this annotated list of current titles will be helpful, especially during gift-giving season. I promise at least one more installment in the month ahead, including a look at a handful of brand-new books related to Walt Disney.   HOW DID LUBITSCH DO IT? by Joseph McBride (Columbia University Press) McBride has devoted his life to crafting massive tomes on John Ford, Orson Welles, and Frank Capra, among others. Here he explores the career of a man they (and most of their contemporaries) admired, Ernst Lubitsch. I’ve only read 200 pages so far but I’m ready to call this a brilliant study, not only for its impressive…

READ MORE >

‘ROMA’ UNLEASHES A FLOOD OF EMOTIONS

Roma is a stunning, often heartbreaking film, but it requires patience to realize where writer-director Alfonso Cuarón is taking us. If you surrender to him, as I did, you will be amply rewarded. It’s a memory piece inspired by the filmmaker’s youth, circa 1970, in a neighborhood of Mexico City called Roma. Cuarón wrote, directed, edited, produced and even photographed the picture. Everything we see is a replica of things as he remembers them: his family home, the furniture and artwork on the walls, the cars parked on the street. Even the neighbors were cast to resemble the people he recalls. It’s akin to Italian neorealism: a slice of life abut a middle-class family with a loving mother, grandmother, and four young, unruly children. They…

READ MORE >

WIDOWS: REVENGE IS BITTERSWEET

Widows gets your attention right away with something that’s still rare and provocative: a passionate love scene filmed in close-up between an interracial couple, Viola Davis and Liam Neeson. It’s followed by visceral scenes of action and violence in the execution of a high-stakes robbery that kills all of its participants, including Neeson. When Davis realizes she is alone in the world with no money of her own, she recruits the other women whose partners and spouses have been cut down. Her daring plan: to pull off a heist of their own. Her motivations include survival, revenge, and an outlet for her overwhelming anger.   The leading lady is a tower of strength, although when she breaks down we’re reminded that no one cries onscreen quite…

READ MORE >

GREEN BOOK: ONE OF THE YEAR’S BEST

Green Book is the kind of movie that leaves you with a feeling of elation. That doesn’t happen enough, and when it does, it is often accompanied by a heavy dose of sentiment. Not this time. This is pure entertainment. We’ve all grown tired of seeing the legend “inspired by a true story,” but in this case the co-screenwriter is the son of the man depicted by Viggo Mortensen. He grew up listening to his father’s stories and recorded interviews with him before his passing in 2013. I’m sure dramatic license has been utilized, but the fundamentals are true. The year is 1962. Mahershala Ali plays the brilliant pianist Don Shirley, who is about to embark on a tour of the South. As a highly…

READ MORE >

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

If hearing “We Will Rock You” or “Another One Bites the Dust” gets your juices flowing, this movie will likely do the same, in spite of its shortcomings. I never knew much about Freddie Mercury, but Rami Malek’s stunning performance won me over to Bohemian Rhapsody. The music of Queen is enduringly popular for a good reason, and the soundtrack is expertly produced by his longtime bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor.  Mercury was a misfit who defied his old-world family and adopted a flamboyant look and lifestyle, even abandoning his surname Bulsara after previously changing his first name from Farrokh. (He didn’t yet realize, or acknowledge, that he was gay.) After helping to form Queen in 1970, he enjoyed enormous success but ignited conflicts…

READ MORE >

Mid90s IS REAL AND RAW

Mid90s is a raw, intimate look at kids in L.A. during the 1990s.The protagonist is a sweet, good-hearted kid (Sunny Suljic) who doesn’t get along with his big brother (a scowling Lucas Hedges) and craves attention from his busy but well-meaning mother (Katherine Waterston). She doesn’t realize how alienated her 13-year-old feels right now. Not surprisingly, he finds a surrogate family of skateboarders on the street. They’re all older than him and completely divorced from reality. They get drunk, get high, get into trouble, and have no ambition whatsoever. One of them harbored dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder, but his best friend, who shared that goal, abandoned it and is now a goofy drunk. The boy tries to pretend he’s more worldly than he…

READ MORE >

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

MERCH

Maltin tee on teepublic

PODCAST

Maltin On Movies

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

Leonard Maltin Appearances & Bookings

CALENDAR

December 2018
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031