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Friday, October 3, 2014

Atlantic City; Barney’s Version; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport; and Pan Tadeusz

Atlantic City   1980   104 minutes   I got this oldie because I wanted to see what Susan Sarandon looked like back then,  I’m always interested in seeing Burt Lancaster, and I wanted to know more about director Louis Malle.  Lancaster is an aging low level mobster, who seems to be supporting himself running numbers.  Sarandon is a wannabe trying to move up from food service to being a blackjack dealer.  Lancaster window peeps and falls for Sarandon.  Her estranged up husband Dave turns up with some cocaine he found in a phone booth in Philadelphia.  He plans to sell it to pay for the baby his pregnant girlfriend is carrying.  The hoods who were supposed to have picked up the drugs show up looking for Dave and eventually kill him, but Lancaster has the drugs.  It’s a long story, but Lancaster ends up with Sarandon, and then she takes the drug money and takes off.  See Wiki for a detailed plot summary.  The film was nominated for all sorts of Oscars.
Barney’s Version   2011  134 minutes   I don’t much like Paul Giamatti, and I liked him even less as Barney Panofsky, who produced a Canadian soap for 30 years.  At his wedding he takes off in pursuit of a woman, whom he sees across the room.  He finds her but she won’t have anything to do with him.  Some years later after his divorce she accepts him and marries him.  She’s happy and he’s happy, but there are conflicts about her career in radio.  While she’s away he’s unfaithful to her in a one-night stand, and she leaves and doesn’t come back.  Some years later when he’s drifting off into dementia, she comes back into his life as a friend.  The headliner in this film should be Rosamund Pike, who plays the woman he saw at his first wedding and later married.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier   2014   136 minutes  It’s all very confusing and is the last Marvel film I will see.
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport   2000   117 minutes   Mainly through interviews with the survivors, the film tells the story of how 10,000 Jewish children were rescued from the Nazis just before WW II.  Jewish parents sent their children to live with families in England.  Judi Dench narrates, but the real story is told by the children, now grown up and grown old.
Pan Tadeusz   1999   150 minutes   This is Andrzej Wajda’s retelling of Adam  Mickiewicz’s novel.  I’m not sure I like the way Wajda tells the story, but the film is beautiful to look at and, of course, Wajda is effective in representing the Poles devotion to their country during the 19th century when they were partitioned among Russia, Prussia and Austria.  Poland lived on in their minds and hearts.  It involves a multi-decade dispute between two families, the Horeszkos, who had a long history as nobles, and the Soplicas, who were on the rise from the upper middle class.

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