Menu

‘ANOTHER ROUND’: ANOTHER GREAT ROLE FOR MADS MIKKELSEN

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has great charisma—and great taste, as he turns up in one exceptional film after another. Another Round reunites him with writer-director Thomas Vinterberg and co-writer Tobias Lindholm, who collaborated so memorably on The Hunt. Once again their combined efforts give us a provocative film about a subject many people can relate to: drinking. Mikkelsen plays a high school teacher whose life has become dull: he no longer communicates with his wife and bores his history students in school. Then he and three colleagues read about a scientific theory that man is born with a blood-alcohol deficiency. It posits that if one can maintain a 0.5% alcohol level one will function more “normally” and successfully. Because they are schoolteachers they decide to chart their progress, to…

READ MORE >

‘MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM’ IS FUELED BY GREAT PERFORMANCES

Two searing performances—by Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman—make Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom more than just a faithful adaptation of a great theater piece. Davis captures the matter-of-fact fury of blues singer Ma Rainey, who is willing to perform two numbers for her white agent/producer—but not before expressing her anger at feeling exploited. All of this comes hurtling at us while her band members try to contend with a trumpeter named Levee, who has his own ideas about how to perform one of Ma’s signature pieces. He also has big dreams about his budding career, unaware of just how easy it is for a white record producer to make him feel like two cents. It’s not pleasant spending an hour and a half in the company…

READ MORE >

LEONARD’S GIFT GUIDE

We thought it might be fun to come up with a short gift-giving guide for your favorite cinephiles. Please remember to support small businesses today and every day. Hope you enjoy. GROUCHO MARX FACE MASK Amuse your friends and family—at a safe distance, or on Zoom—by donning this officially licensed Groucho face mask, for just $12. Or choose from a zillion other items made with love by a genuine fan, Mauricio Alvarado, creator of Rockin’ Pins. Whether it’s embroidered patches of the Popeye cast of characters (Wimpy, Olive Oyl, Bluto) or an elaborately designed Cab Calloway t-shirt, you’ll find all the coolest pop culture icons of the past and present at this site. Just a warning: Mauricio’s online catalog is positively addictive.   OFFICIAL BUSTER…

READ MORE >

WORKING MAN: A NOT-SO-SIMPLE SLICE OF AMERICANA

Peter Gerety is a familiar character actor who’s appeared in Syriana, Public Enemies, Charlie Wilson’s War, and scores of other movies and TV shows, including Ray Donovan. Working Man offers him his first leading role (at age 80!), alongside Talia Shire and Billy Brown. It’s a modest indie film that starts out in a Frank Capra populist vein and then takes some surprising turns. I missed it when it opened this past spring and I’m glad I caught up with it now. The setting is an archetypal American town where Gerety follows a daily routine that never varies, walking to work at a nearby factory, carrying a lunch pail and thermos. When the facility abruptly shuts down without concern for its personnel, Gerety—who seldom speaks—refuses to change his…

READ MORE >

‘TIME’ WELL SPENT

A woman named Fox Rich is literally in our face as Time begins. She is addressing the camera, maintaining a video diary of her comings and goings. The cumulative effect only hits home as a major chapter in her life comes to a close in Garrett Bradley’s Time. This is one of the year’s best documentaries, and one of the most disarming. It already earned the filmmaker the Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize. Other accolades are still to come. Fox Rich exudes poise and self-assurance, but it’s a pose she strikes—not just for the camera, or her family, but for herself. She and her husband robbed a bank twenty years ago, and while she’s served twelve years…

READ MORE >

NOMADLAND: WORTH WAITING FOR

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao opens Nomadland on a tight closeup of Fern’s face—a woman we might chance to meet any day of the week.  Because she is played by Frances McDormand there is no better way to establish a connection between her and us in the audience. We know she is genuine; there is no artifice here. Fern is leaving a town so desolate (since the closing of a factory) that its zip code has been retired. She puts in time at the local Amazon warehouse, collects her pay and retreats to a modest van. She’s not homeless, she explains; she’s houseless, and there’s all the difference in the world. Fern has learned to survive on her own since the death of her husband. She keeps to herself…

READ MORE >

COLLECTIVE: A RIVETING DOCU-THRILLER

When a so-called documentary has you gasping at one moment and on the edge of your seat the next, you know it’s exceptional. Alexander Nanau’s Collective, from Romania, is just such a film. The title comes from the name of a nightclub that caught on fire in Bucharest one night, killing many people because there was only one exit. Even worse, many burn victims who might have been saved later perished because of bureaucratic issues within the country’s network of hospitals. Filmmaker Nanau chooses to follow one fearless investigative journalist whose determination forces the Romanian government to answer for its sins. By exposing deep-rooted corruption in his country’s health care system he puts his very life on the line.       Later in the film we meet…

READ MORE >

Subscribe to our newsletter

MERCH

Maltin tee on TeePublic

PODCAST

Maltin on Movies podcast

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

Past podcasts

PATREON

Maltin On Movies Patreon

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

Leonard Maltin appearances and booking

CALENDAR

January 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31