Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce

Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Jack Lacy

No one examines repressive society better than director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce). Working here from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, Haynes looks at the affair (in 1952 New York City) between a young department store clerk named Therese (Mara) and a well-off married woman named Carol (Blanchett). Carol is in the process of divorcing her husband (Chandler), who can’t accept her sexual preference. Even as Carol and Therese flirt and fall in love, Carol’s husband threatens her about custody of their daughter. Therese’s boyfriend (Lacy), meanwhile, wants to marry her. Restrained, full of longing and emotionally devastating moments, this unusual love story is certain to earn Mara an Oscar nod and Blanchett potentially her third Academy Award.

You’ll find it tragic, romantic and hopeful.

Verdict Stars B Story By the fourth film in any series, it’s hard to imagine someone buying a ticket who hasn’t seen the first three movies. Yet even for fans, this fourth film will feel anticlimactic and that’s with more than one climax. Working for resistance president Coin (Moore), Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) bristles at being used as a propaganda tool. So she goes AWOL with the intention of killing President Snow (Sutherland). But is Coin really pulling the strings the whole time? While some of the action is tense, too much filler makes an already long movie even longer. With every new sequence, your willingness to believe will shrink further. This is one sequel too many.

Is there no stopping Eddie Redmayne? His new film, The Danish Girl, based on the first male-to-femalesex change, will be released on Nov. 27…and its already getting Oscarbuzz.

Here’s yet another cog in the ever-expanding Marvel entertainment machine. Krysten Ritter (above, right) plays the title character, a former superhero who has given up that line of work to become a private eye in New York City. she takes on the case of a missing girl, which pulls her into the orbit of the supervillain Kilgrave (David Tennant), who once used his mind-control ability to make Jones his slave. It takes a couple of episodes for the plot to reveal itself, and there’s lots of filler. What you get is Ritter (Don’t Trust the B in Apartment23) spinning fairly tame wisecracks for a presumably strictly Comic-Con audience.

Comedy is always subjective; one person laughs, another cringes. That was certainly the case with the cult sketch-comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David. Now Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and David Cross (Arrested Development) have reteamed for four new episodes and its a welcome return. They edgily spoof all kinds of TV; cooking competition shows in Shark Kitchen and race relations (as seen from the Caucasian point of view) in another sketch. The strong supporting cast includes Brian Posehn and comedian Paul F. Tompkins. Warning: You’ll either laugh yourself silly or reach for the remote.

Far From Heaven, Mildred Pierce Photo Gallery

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