Midnight In Paris (2011)

The content and opinions expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the Rice Lake Public Library.

What to Watch.

Rated PG-13

In this comedy, directed by Woody Allen, he focuses on a young engaged couple as they travel to Paris for business. What they experience there makes them question their life together. Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kurt Fuller, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody

I think this film will surprise many. It surprised me. I’m not a big Woody Allen fan. I’ve only seen a few of his films and nothing has struck me as much as this one. Maybe because I’m at an age that these characters are, or maybe it’s cause I’m a dreamer and often think that living a different life would be better. Allen’s script just flows into the story and makes us all think about life and our dreams. What do what out of life? Where do we expect our life to go? Allen shows us that…

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Arthur Laurents

 

1917-2011

Arthur Laurents was a famed play and screen writer for 66 years. Arthur passed away on May 5th from complications of pheumonia. He was 93 years old.  He wrote a number of popular plays and movies, some of which are listed below.

Anastasia (1956) Rated NR

An expatriate White Russian general sets in motion a grand hoax after he meets a destitute woman on the banks of the Seine River in Paris. He is amazed at her resemblance to Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas of Russia, rumored to have somehow survived the Bolsheviks’ execution of the Romanoff family in 1918. He trains her to impersonate the missing princess but soon begins to feel she may be the real Anastasia. Ultimately, the truth can only be decided by one person–Anastasia’s grandmother, the Dowager Empress.

Gypsy (1962) Rated NR

The story of burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, her rise to stardom from vaudeville and her volatile relationship with her ambitious mother.

Turning Point (1977) Rated PG

Two friends who started in ballet are reunited after many years; one is now a star ballerina, the other a Midwestern housewife/dance teacher whose daughter is embarking on her own ballet career.

Way We Were (1973) Rated PG

The romance and marriage of opposites– the love that binds them together and the differences that tear them apart. A love story from college to Hollywood in the thirties, forties, and fifties.

West Side Story (1961) Rated NR

This musical sets the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of the rivalry of two street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, in New York of the 1950s. A young woman who is sister to the Sharks leader has her first taste of love with the former head of the Jets.

Arthur Laurents also wrote a book on directing musicals.

Mainly on Directing

Celebrity Deaths

This week we have had a couple of Celebrity deaths. Jane Russell, an actress,  died on February 28th due to a respiratory-related illness and Gary Winick, a director, passed away on February 27th from  pneumonia after battle brain cancer. To honor them here is a list of their films.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Rated NR

A musical comedy about the adventures of two beautiful showgirls–an apparently stupid blonde gold digger and her provocative brunette friend–during a voyage from New York to Paris.

His Kind of Woman! (1951) Rated NR

Hard-luck gambler Dan Milner is in sudden luck. He’ll get $50,000 to hang out at a posh Mexican resort. $5,000 now and the big payoff when the reason he’s been sent there is revealed. Of course, the gangsters making the offer don’t expect him to live long enough to collect.

The Outlaw (1943) Rated NR

One of the most controversial movies of its time. The thrilling tale of Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid and their feud over a fiery woman named Rio.

The Paleface (1948) Rated NR

A timid frontier dentist finds himself gunslinging alongside the fearless Calamity Jane as she fights off outlaws and Indians.

The Tall Men (1955) Rated NR

The Allison brothers, Ben and Clint, are ex-Confederate soldiers now trying their hands at robbery. But one attempt to get rich quick leads them into the company of Nathan Stark, a Texas cattle baron with a huge herd to get to market. Along the dangerous journey both bullets and fists are flying as these rough and ready cowpokes take on anything standing in their way, while Ben and Nathan compete for Nella’s affection.

In 1986, Jane Russell wrote an autobiography My Path and My Detours. You might want to check that out.

13 Going on 30 (2004) Rated PG-13

Jenna makes a wish on her 13th birthday to be 30 and grown up. When she wakes up the next day she finds herself, miraculously, just weeks away from her 30th birthday. The new, older Jenna is a successful magazine editor with friends in high places and a lion’s share of potential suitors. The problem is that her mind hasn’t matured with her body and Jenna finds it a little more terrifying than cool to be living on her own.

Bride Wars (2009) Rated PG

Lifelong best friends Liv and Emma have shared a dream since childhood. Each yearns for the perfect June wedding at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City. Both find themselves engaged at the same time and go to a wedding coordinator to set up the perfect wedding. A clerical error puts them both down for nuptials on the same day at the same time. One of them will have to switch the date. More than the bouquet goes flying when these desperate brides-to-be fight it out for matrimonial supremacy.

Charlotte’s Web (2006) Rated G

Fern is a young farm girl who rescues the runt, Wilbur. Wilbur the pig is saved from certain death and Fern visits him every day at her Uncle Homer’s farm. But it’s Wilbur’s friendship with Charlotte the spider that ultimately saves him from the “smoke house.” Charlotte’s talent for weaving praiseworthy words about Wilbur into her web turns the Zuckerman farm into a tourist attraction.

Letters to Juliet (2010)  Rated PG

“In Verona, Italy – the beautiful city where Romeo first met Juliet – there is a place where the heartbroken leave notes asking Juliet for her help. It’s there that aspiring writer Sophie finds a 50-year-old letter that will change her life forever. As she sets off on a romantic journey of the heart with the letter’s author, Claire, now a grandmother, and her handsome grandson, all three will discover that sometimes the greatest love story ever told is your own”

Starting Out In the Evening (2007) Rated PG-13

Battling illness and unable to finish a novel that has taken him ten years to write, aging novelist Leonard Schiller is slipping into literary obscurity. At one time a famous author, Schiller has been all but forgotten by the readers, colleagues and critics who once praised his works. When Heather Wolfe, an ambitious graduate student, convinces Schiller that her thesis could reintroduce his writing to the world, the reclusive writer is forced to confront his past regrets.

Blake Edwards

Blake Edwards passed away on Dec. 15th, 2010 due to complications from pneumonia. We will all remember his films for the joy and laughter that he brought to them.

Blind Date (1987) Rated PG-13

Workaholic Walter Davis invites beautiful southern belle Nadia Gates to a corporate dinner, expecting to impress his associates with this dazzling beauty. But all hell breaks loose when Nadia has “one too many” and reduces the evening to a shambles.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) Rated NR

Holly Golightly is an eccentric New York City playgirl determined to marry a Brazilian millionaire. Her next-door neighbor, the writer Paul, is himself “sponsored” by a wealthy woman.

Operation Petticoat (1959) Rated NR

The U.S.S. Sea Tiger is forced out to sea prematurely by any enemy air attack. The sub leaks, and limps along its path. Five stranded Army nurses board it and initiate their own renovations–and the sub ends up a blushing pink, making it a target for both Japanese and American forces.

The Pink Panther (1964) Rated NR

A bumbling, disaster-prone inspector invades a Swiss ski resort and becomes obsessed with capturing a jewel thief hoping to lift the legendary ‘Pink Panther’ diamond.

Victor/Victoria (1982) Rated NR

A poverty-stricken singer in 1930s Paris becomes convinced that the only way she can earn a living on the nightclub circuit is to masquerade as a man who impersonates women. Then she meets the man of her dreams.