Currently Browsing: Films/DVDs

THE PEOPLE VS FRITZ BAUER

Basically true story of a German Jew who played a major role in the capture of Adolf Eichmann & the subsequent Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials. A prior German film which also circled around these same topics was, indeed, a “labyrinth of lies.” (JLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner What does a superhero look like? The main character in […]

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A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

A Tale of Love and Darkness is Natalie Portman’s adaptation of the memoir Amos Oz published in 2004. I consider this film a masterpiece… but you probably won’t hear many other film critics say that. This is no doubt the consequence of two major decisions Portman made as a first-time filmmaker. First, she decided to focus […]

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THE TENTH MAN

When his father expressly requests a visit, a Jewish man from Buenos Aires returns home after decades abroad. Daniel Burman’s new film The Tenth Man opens in NYC and LA this Friday (August 12th). This wonderful news will likely be received differently depending on whether or not you have seen any of Burman’s prior films. Since I myself have seen […]

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INDIGNATION (2016)

Based on the novel by Philip Roth, Indignation explores the complexities of a young man’s coming of age journey as he attempts to reconcile his place in the world. Despite glimpses of our protagonist challenging the establishment, the film falls short of delivering on its most basic promise, indignation. (EML: 3.5/5)  Review by FF2 Associate […]

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July JUFB: Oh My :-(

Lions & Tigers & Bears! Oh, My! Speaking out on 3 new Metro Chicago Releases 🙁 Three new films of potential interest to Jewish cinefiles open in Metro Chicago today. The first is Woody Allen’s new pastiche,Café Society. The second is Wiener-Dog, the latest “dark comedy” from Todd Solondz. The third is The Witness (a […]

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CAFE SOCIETY

Woody Allen’s latest disappointment is pure pastiche, a film supposedly set “in the late 30s,” but which actually takes place in the mind of someone who has long since ceased to care about anything except his ability to ride his own reputation to the very end. (JLH: 3/5) Rant by FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner How many […]

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THE WITNESS

Fifty-two years after the murder of Kitty Genovese comes a documentary that plays out like a TV movie. Kitty’s youngest brother is a Colombo-esque presence as he gently prods people who might provide clues to what really happened. Missing is any appreciation for context therefore any sense of why this murder might have triggered these […]

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THE KIND WORDS (2015)

Only after Yona is dead does her daughter Dorona begin to learn about the secrets of her lifetime. Israeli filmmaker Shemi Zarin’s new film (the fourth to be released in the USA) continues his brilliant run of domestic dramas “laden with happiness and tears.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (JLH: 4.5.5) Top Photo: Dorona, her two brothers, and her […]

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TIKKUN (2015)

An ascetic Haredi student living with his parents in Jerusalem devotes himself to ritual, until God Himself literally strikes him down in a freak accident. The Hebrew word “Tikkun” means improvement or rectification. Jewish Americans usually combine it to create “Tikkun Olam” (repair the word) as an injunction for social justice. But in this case, the filmmaker’s theme is […]

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DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (2015)

Director Benoît Jacquot’s new adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel (co-written Hélène Zimmer) is likely the most faithful to date, but that doesn’t make it much fun to watch. Although Mirbeau’s fin de siècle concerns are highly applicable to today’s economic inequality and the global disarray in the wake of the Great Recession, Jacquot and Zimmer fail to achieve […]

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