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Far From the Madding Crowd: A Verdant, Ripe Adaptation

by Sandra Olmsted

Reversals of fortunes and marriage proposals abound in director Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowds. Yet, the film is not a Victorian romantic comedy.

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The Woman in Gold: A True Account

by Sandra Olmsted

Memory and melodrama seem to go hand in hand, and The Woman in Gold is no exception; however, director Simon Curtis uses both to share the suspense the real life people experienced in this true story. This film made for the older audience also evokes a classic Hollywood studio style.

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Home: A Message Road Trip Movie for the Kids!

by Sandra Olmsted

Although some of the messages are a little simplistic and less than subtle, director Tim Johnson’s Home has a good heart. When the Boov, aliens whose own home world has been taken over by the evil Gorg, arrive on earth, they deport all the humans to brightly colored “ghettos” in Australia and take over the human homes and cities.

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3 Action Films for Spring Open

By Sandra Olmsted

Besides Cinderella, which had another great weekend at the box office, the other film that did well last weekend was another film with a woman in lead role, and this one was the action flick The Divergent Series: Insurgent. The box office take for the two other action films, The Gunman and Run All Night, both with male leads, have been disappointing, to say the least, but only one of these deserves to be ignored by action flick fans.

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Cinderella: Seriously Retold

By Sandra Olmsted

Director Kenneth Branagh returns to Charles Perrault’s original story and treats it with the dignity according serious literature in this new version of Cinderella, scripted by Chris Weitz. The result is a moving, if slightly melodramatic, version of what is often written off as merely a fairy tale for and about girls. Branagh show his gentle touch with the talented cast and get just the right performance from each.

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Actually Defies Its Name

By Sandra Olmsted

Returning director John Madden brings life to this sequel of the 2011 surprise hit, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and does it well because the characters, who came to India to die, have found new ways to live and new chances at love and meaning. Although originally not conceived as a franchise, the original and this sequel succeed because the audience likes the characters played by a cast of renowned talents from Britain, India, and now America. With this stellar cast, it barely needs to be said that the acting is fabulous. Also, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel doesn’t merely repeat the plot of its successful prequel, Madden and screenwriter Ol Parker extend the theme of living life to the fullest and give their characters meaningful dilemmas.

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