This week, we saw The Hollars and A Tale of Love and Darkness.
In The Hollars, an aspiring comic book artist (John Krasinski) returns to his hometown and a heap of family troubles when his mother is hospitalized with a brain tumor. Dad's plumbing business is on the verge of bankruptcy, Krasinski's resentful brother is stalking an ex-wife, the married ex-girlfriend who dumped Krasinski wants him back, and he's struggling with commitment to his rich, adorable, very pregnant girlfriend who loves and supports him unconditionally. The Hollars is a an imperfect but amusing and touching film, more of an audience pleaser than a critic pleaser. I do think it's worth a watch once it's on Cable/Netflix/Amazon/Hulu. My rating: 7.5/10.
Natalie Portman's directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, is a nuanced, poetic rendering of Amos Oz's 2011 memoir of the same name. Why on earth did this film garner only a 63% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes? There's much here for the film-goer with a mind and a heart. More in this NY Times review. My rating: 9/10