Getting Read

Have you ever started reading a book and within the first few pages you figured out everything you need to know about the characters as well as how it will end? That’s a fair description of the predictable and mildly amusing Book Club (Paramount). It’s the kind of “women of a certain age” flick that Nancy Meyers writes and direct (It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give) with some degree of success. In this case, writer and co-director Bill Holderman is out of his league. Four friends – Diane (Diane Keaton), Sharon (Candice Bergen), Carol (Mary Steenburgen), and Vivian (Jane Fonda) […]

A Real Wonder Woman

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio (the acclaimed 2013 movie “Gloria”) is having quite a run. His latest film, the lesbian-themed Disobedience is now playing in theaters, just as his Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) is being released on Blu-ray. Notable for the way it depicts a few days in the life of a trans woman in Santiago, A Fantastic Woman is at turns fabulous and heartbreaking. Marina (trans actress Daniela Vega) is a waitress at a restaurant in an amusement park and arcade in Santiago. Her real ambition is to be a singer and when […]

The ‘Boys of Fairy Town’

In the 1920s, gay men became visible – not just in gay clubs. but in the best nightspots of the time. Then in the 1930s, they disappeared. Think about Historic Chicago. Images of the Great Fire, the World’s Fair (and its lunatic serial killer), Al Capone, and the setting of a fabulous Fosse musical come to mind. These stories are part of the mainstream cultural narrative of Chicago, but there are more stories to be uncovered and subcultures to understand. Author Jim Elledge explores the lives of the queer men who lived in Chicago during the 1930s and 40s in […]

(Un)planned Parenthood

There are some movies that, if possible, need to be seen within the first week of opening. Often, they are movies with unexpected twists and surprises that are difficult to keep secret. The Crying Game, from 1992, was one of the best examples of that. Tully (Focus), which reunites Juno’s director Jason Reitman and Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody with their “Young Adult” star Charlize Theron, is another such movie. Pregnant Marlo (Theron) is nearing the end of her rope. Days away from her due date, she looks like her belly could burst at any moment. A mother of two school-aged […]