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L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco)

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maleficent is magnificent, June 1 2014
I must admit I was looking forward to this movie with more anticipation than I have felt in a long time. What sold me was how visually stunning Angelina Jolie looked in the trailer, the essential ambiguity of the character, and that it would be an entirely different take on a classic story. With a name like Maleficent you know she's got to be bad, and when Angelina Jolie is good she's very good. When she's bad she's better.

And the movie based peripherally on the Perrault fairy-tale, fulfilled it's promise for me and develops the story of a character from the previous Disney movie. Yes I could gape at Angelina for two hours and be quite happy but I wanted more. I did not want the tale of sleeping beauty retold but I did want a great story, a great visual experience, and Disney delivered all three, and a rather complex character who is both good and bad, at times the hero, at times the victim, the destroyer and savior.

As a young girl she leads an idyllic life in a visually beautiful and not quite real world, not quite an animated world. She meets a young boy and falls in love. The boy is a thief, and ambitious, she a fairy from the wrong side of the moors, he an overreaching boy who lives close to the castle. They come from different worlds. He from a world that threatens her world. She knows all this and loves him anyway. He is her first human experience and her first love experience. Yes she has hair-horns, but she is a good girl, and she has wonderful powerful wings and can soar to the heavens, like an angel. She also has unusually large cheekbones which only add to her mystique.

An ambitious King threatens to invade her land, and she uses her magical powers to thwart them. Then something terrible happens which would destroy most people let alone a fairy, and she seeks what you know of as her revenge on an innocent baby. There is no moral equivalence between what happened and what she does which is simply awful. But then fairy tales are all about the dark side, and this is where we understand but do not agree that she uses her power for a dark purpose.

Still we have hope for her that although the girl she once was is lost, that there may be redemption for her, and that redemption may inhabit the form of an innocent onto whom she wrongly displaced the emotion of hate, but she has cast an unbreakable and fatal spell which can only be slightly changed by a good fairy. Will her character come full circle and she become good again, or will she be forever damaged. Can the tragic spell be broken? Can the broken girl be fixed?

We have an interesting character, a raven which she saves, who she transforms into a human form, which is quite interesting. Elle Fanning was fine as Sleeping Beauty, but I found myself wishing the character was more developed. She does however play a pivotal role, and undoubtedly this will raise her profile as an actress. The one thing I thought did not work very well was the comic relief provided by the fairies. Perhaps Maleficent should have cast a spell and actually made them funny, but visually the movie was a treat. I particularly liked a bit where she flew out through a window, I though it was an iconic image.

It's very clear that much care and thought has gone into the movie as visual art. The look of Maleficent is perfect, the story is great, the look of fairyland is great and I have a sneaking suspicion that with the success of this movie which did a mind boggling $70 million on its opening weekend, we will have more of a mixture of hero villain characters reflecting the full human duality flying to a theater near you.

I really enjoyed this movie and am so tempted to go back and see it in 3D. After watching reboots of Spider Man, Superman, Robocop and Xmen recently it's refreshing to see something this fresh and invigorating, and with some star power.

Whether this is suitable for children I cannot say, someone aged 8 and above would probably be fine, but some younger children could find it scary. It certainly appealed to me as an adult.

I think most people will love it, and I hope this was helpful.

The Other Woman (Bilingual)
The Other Woman (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Cameron Diaz
Price: CDN$ 9.85
8 used & new from CDN$ 3.48

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If the revenge is this bad, the love must have been good., May 24 2014
This review is from: The Other Woman (Bilingual) (DVD)
At first blush this movie appears to be a jilted wife/ mistress triangle movie which has been explored many times in the movies, and on the Lifetime Channel, or as I like to call it, the 'I hate Men' channel, so I was not overly enthused with the premise, and plunked down some money while scanning to see what movies might be starting slightly later, just in case.

Directed by Nick Cassavetes The Notebook (2004), and Alpha Dog (which he also wrote), son of actor and director John Cassavetes this movie has quite a pedigree. Screenwriter Melissa Stack has crafted a brilliant comedy.

Leslie Mann has gotten better every time I have seen her. When she starred in the Change Up with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, I thought she was the saving grace in a somewhat obnoxious comedy, and I thought her performance was brave, daring and endearing, and pushed boundaries.

Here her performance is off the charts brilliant, and I do not think it unreasonable to say no actress on the planet could have played the part better, and she is the single most compelling reason to see this movie.

She manages to be all things, funny, emotional, endearing, charming, sympathetic, easily matching the more experienced A list actress Cameron Diaz, comedically brilliant, and possessed of a marvellous feminity.

The Other Woman is a much better than expected comedy which worked on every level for me. Cameron Diaz plays an unmarried lawyer who has fished extensively in the dating pool, and been disappointed with her catches. Her secretary played by Nicki Minaj offers very dubious dating advice. Her new love turns out to be an already taken man, Leslie Mann his wife.

Wife and alleged mistress after initial awkwardness form an unlikely alliance to seek a witty revenge on a cheating husband. The movie produces a serious of scenes, some based on witty humor, much based on physical comedy. I found myself so wrapped up in the moment that I rarely thought ahead, and loved every moment, as did the audience around me many of whom were women. Kate Upton plays another...let's just say that this husband gets around, and this small but determined group seeks a means of justice.

I enjoyed Kate Upton. I don't know if acting is something she wishes to pursue as a career, but one had the sense of her authentic nature coming through, and she seems to be a sweet girl, who fit in easily and comfortably with her more accomplished acting colleagues.

There were a number of scenes where I had to cover my eyes, and the absurdity of the nature of revenge was absolutely delightful.

Though female energy drives the movie most men who see it will also enjoy and not simply dismiss as a 'chick flick.'
The Other woman gave me a much better than expected experience.

If you like this movie you will also probably like The First Wives Club with Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn.

I think most people will enjoy this movie and I hope this was helpful.

Life Extension FlorAssist Probiotic Liquid Vcapsules
Life Extension FlorAssist Probiotic Liquid Vcapsules
Offered by NordAmericanSuppléments
Price: CDN$ 29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars As your colon goes, so goes your health, May 21 2014
I have been taking probiotics for years, although in hindsight I tend be sproradic and go through phases where I don't take them at all. I used to think the Mercola probiotics were great, though once they split the same dose into two capsules, for some reason the two capsules did not seem to be as powerful as the previous single capsule.

So I went in search of something else. A few months ago, I had a dreadful gastric event, the symptoms of which match the Noro Virus, which you can read about at the CDC website. After this I needed to replenish my digestive tract with probiotics and I bought the strongest one I could find at GNC, which worked very well, then I tried Healthy Origins but did not notice much difference. According to Dr. Oz good poop does not smell so I use that as a test of effectiveness, which leads me to Flor Assist.

What I find particularly appealing about Flor Assist is that it is double encapsulated which means it has better than a snowball's chance in hell of surviving your stomach reaching your intestines intact and work to maximum effect. I can say that though the effect is subtle, it seems to be noticeably better than Healthy Origins, and supplements from Life Extension tend to be of a good quality. I have been buying their supplements for years. It does pass the smell test, and is good for if you sometimes feel gassy or bloated.

Doctors will tell you that as your colon goes so goes your health, so it literally is vitally important to get probiotics especially as the American diet is very starchy and sugary, which means that if you eat these types of foods you are feeding the bad bacteria, rather than stimulating the good.

I definitely will be buying FlorAssist again, but my advice to you is to experiment and shop around, and find some way of noticing what differences you experience with different brands. My blood sugar readings have been high of late and my cholesterol levels, so I will be using probiotics permanently now as an essential part of my health program, so I want the very best.

I find a good way of assessing the effectiveness of probiotics is to notice what notice eg less gassiness at both ends, less bloating, considerably less smell or almost no smell at the other end. What I am hoping for now that I am testing my blood glucose levels regularly is less glucose and less cholesterol.

If you're like me the best advice I can give is to try it, and shop around until you find what works best for you. Your good health demands it. I think you will like it.

This is 40 [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
This is 40 [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jason Segel
Price: CDN$ 14.93
7 used & new from CDN$ 7.66

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You may like, love it, or hate it, May 21 2014
I must admit the premise of this movie did not interest me, about a couple turning 40. I turned 40 myself once, and so what.
However I did like Leslie Mann's performance in the recent release The Other Woman, loved it in fact. And I heard some good comments about this movie, and Megan Fox is in it, which means at least there is someone well worth a good gawk.

I think there is something in a Judd Apatow movie to offend everyone so you bring a guest at your peril. My somewhat conservative friends were unimpressed with the crudity and profanity of Superbad, even though they did laugh their way through it. Bit of a double standard I think.

I notice that some people were offended at the bad language in this movie, although I tend not to notice that so much. However this movie had something his other comedies seemed to lack. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann bring a certain authenticity as a married couple, they have a natural chemistry, and the conversations I found to be occasionally bantery yet realistic and natural as if drawn from real life. It's not like in Superbad or Knocked Up - insert crude joke or obnoxious comment here, although you cannot argue with the box office success of those movies.

I didn't have the belly laughs I sometimes get in a great comedy, and I won't say the humor was subtle by any means yet I did enjoy it. Leslie Mann has come into her own as an actress, and is there on merit at this point, not because she is married to the director. Likewise her two real life daughters Maude and Iris give great and quite natural performances in their roles.

As with great comic actors, they all get their 'bits' to do. I particularly liked the bits where both Paul Rudd and Leslie go off on a separate totally inappropriate vigilante rant with this 14 year old kid from their daughter's school. Really for me the best scene was the showdown in the principal's office with the boy's mother played by Melissa McCarthy taking her hilarious turn at a rant, and boy does she go dark. The best bit I thought was the outtake which rolled during the credits.

I also loved the scene where Jason Segel and Chris O' Dowd were trying to pick up on Megan Fox. I have the sense that some of these scenes developed organically with the actors going off script with their improvisations until they perfected it and retaining the best elements. This seems similar to what Larry David does in Curb Your Enthusiasm where he does not have a formal script, but gives the actors a scenario and sets them loose hoping to capture some gold within the spontaneity.

Basically the movie is about the struggles any middle aged couple might go through, and I think those who happen to be in or near that age group will relate. At times it crosses from comedy into drama. Much to my surprise I did find it quite likable, and I did quite admire Apatow's skill as a director at times particularly how some scenes were filmed, like the close up of the two guys in the pool about to follow Megan Fox, catching the facial expressions and the telepathic communication between our two love rivals. He also wrote the screenplay.

I certainly cannot guarantee you will like the movie, but I think it's definitely worth a rental at the very least, and I must admit I have some desire to buy it on Blu Ray, which seems to have some good extras which I was not able to see on the rental version.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Andrew Garfield
Price: CDN$ 39.19
10 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gwen Stacy syndrome, May 10 2014
I will always think of the original Spider Man 2 movie directed by Sam Raimi as the best, yet this one has several memorable moments, and I think delivers the most shocking and unexpected moment you are likely to see in any Spider Man movie.

Spider Man's world is mutant driven, it seems someone is always a careless slip away from becoming a mutant or being killed by one. In this case, a weird electric geek gets meets electric eels, while Spidey faces a blood donor dilemma for a friend.

Meanwhile things get complicated between Spider Man and his girlfriend, it's hard being a superhero balancing your superhero life with your romantic life, when a mutant emergency can call you away at a moment's notice. But our Spidey will always have these dilemmas. If only he did not date someone quite so intelligent, who may be able to get a scholarship to Oxford. Meanwhile, the mystery of what happened to Spidey's own parents continues to trouble him, and why were his fathers studies so dangerous that he had to disappear at a moment's notice leaving little pre Spidey to grow up without a father and troubled by abandonment issues.

If Spidey wanted to give it all up for love, would the mutants give up terrorizing New York City. Not for a New York minute. You see the difficulty, the work of a superhero never ends. Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in. Worse still is when your friends become mutants, with the added risk of suspecting or even guessing your identity, that can put you and your girlfriend Gwen in a whole stew of trouble. These are the dilemmas that occupy our web slinging friend. And what do you when your girlfriend has had enough, and tells you to sling it.

And another thing, some people think you are more of a nuisance than a public servant, unless there's a crisis, and then what. Then they know who their friend. People can be so fickle.

And when one crisis is contained another emerges which may make for an unlikely alliance.

You see Spider Man alone of all the mutants uses his new abilities for good, while others are simply insane, or have an agenda that brings them into direct confrontation with Spider Man. No one can doubt Spidey's courage or determination, but even a superhero has his limits.

I enjoyed the performances in the movie. I thought Electro was an interesting villain, and I could even see how he might defeat Spidey, but in the end what I will remember most is that falling moment which seemed to go on forever. At one point I had a slight sense of vertigo as Spidey plunged from a tall building.

If there is anything we can learn from this movie it's that love is harder than you think, it takes work, sometimes love isn't enough and that it's dangerous to think you can control a mutant.

If you liked the previous Spider Man movies I think you will like this one.

Frozen (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]  (Bilingual)
Frozen (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kristen Bell
Price: CDN$ 30.78
37 used & new from CDN$ 15.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Experience the phenomenon, May 10 2014
When we experience a great story we relate to the characters, girls relate to princesses, sometimes captive or under a spell, or subject to envy or kidnapped, boys relate to the heroes who have to scale walls, fight dragons deal with evil magicians or impossible challenges. That is why stories are powerful, and why fairy tales in particular endure because they speak to us on a deeper level.

When you experience Frozen you experience the story of a girl with strange magical powers which she cannot control which pose a danger to all those around her, but it's really not her story, it's the story of someone with no powers at all except perhaps the power to love. When this creates a crisis with her younger sister, her parents who happen to be King and Queen, do what all parents do in such situations and seek the help of trolls.

The trolls offer sensible advice and give the young girl amnesia so she won't remember her sister's powers, and the older girl is isolated so she can learn to master her gifts. Anna the younger grows up never understanding why her older sister won't play with her and gives her the cold shoulder.

So desperate is she for love that she beautifully, memorably, and immediately falls in love with a visiting prince, twelfth in line to the throne of a neighboring kingdom and with little prospects of his own, not that her prospects are much better as she is second. The song they fall in love to is 'Love is an open door,' a brilliant song which has been extensively parodied on youtube.

If you're like me you may wonder if the older sister will ever truly control her powers, and what would happen if a crisis presents itself. We wonder how this might impact the younger sister. Anna is very loving while her sister fittingly is cold. Along the way we meet the usual elements of a fairy tale mixed with a Disney tale, so we have a silly snowman whose dream is to experience summer, a rough and tumble reindeer, a handsome stranger, a warm cabin in the cold woods, and we have an Academy Award winning song ,'Let it Go.' and you need to see the movie to understand how it relates to the story.

What can we draw from this story. Mythology has not been kind to women. Take the 'Armless Maiden' for example. Often women are represented as damsels in distress who need to be rescued by a prince from a dark tower, or that only the restoring power of a man's kiss can wake her from an eternal slumber.

Stories like Frozen present a more powerful female archetype based on self reliance, and a somewhat more equal footing between men and women. A parent may have to endlessly tell a teen the guy she dates is wrong, but in watching a movie like this one might learn that people are not what they appear to be, and that's not a bad thing is it?

When you experience Frozen, you experience a phenomenal animated movie that is the highest grossing animation movie ever, (if one doesn't count Avatar) grossing almost $1.2 billion worldwide, and the sixth highest grossing movie of all time.

If you're like me you might be piqued by the curiosity of a phenomenon and have to see it for yourself. For me it was well worth it. and like any good story has some memorable twists and turns.

Fading Gigolo [Blu-ray] [Import]
Fading Gigolo [Blu-ray] [Import]
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 17.27
17 used & new from CDN$ 17.25

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The healing power of professional love, May 10 2014
When I went to see this movie I admit I had little expectation of it, with the subject matter of a middle aged fellow played by John Turturro randomly becoming a gigolo at the prompting of his older friend played by Woody Allen.

I assumed incorrectly that it was a Woody Allen written and directed movie, an understandable mistake if you see the movie, though it was both written and directed by John Turturro.

What you may discover as you watch is a marvellous exposition of this story, with Sharon Stone, reminding us of how sexy she can be, and Sofia Vergara showing us how sexy she is, in flattering but not overly revealing lingerie. Oh well.

The story stems from a random conversation between Woody and a female friend who wants to be in a menage a trois, and you can imagine how it develops from there, but probably not how it actually develops in the movie. What impressed me was the subtlety of the piece, how well it was written, the understated performance of Turturro, who goes with the flow in every situation, it eschews comedy though it has its moments going for the more tender story at the heart.

Fading gigolo takes on another dimension when Murray (Woody) persuades a grieving Rabbi's widow married into a particularly repressive sect, to get a massage from our lothario, which provides the pivotal moment in the movie, and a woman almost literally
frozen by her grief begins to.......and this introduces the central performance of the movie by French actress Vanessa Paradis who brings a certain French chicness to the role, accompanied by a soundtrack reminiscent of those French movies from the sixties. Really she steals the movie from everyone except Turturro with a simply brilliant and also subtle performance. Far more is conveyed by fleeting facial expression and the character she plays, than any words that are actually uttered.

Liev Shreiber plays a nosy neighborhood patrolman with a little too much interest in Murray's enterprises.

If it was not for the fact that it says written and directed by John Turturro in the credits, I would have assumed it is a Woody Allen movie, as it has all the hallmarks of the types of movies Allen made years ago, with him playing a central character, so I found it to be a remarkable homage to the actor, writer, director by someone doing exactly the same. Kudos for style, excellence, character, and story.

If you like Woody Allen movies you will certainly this Turturro one about a fading gigolo. Loved it.

The Way
The Way
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 5.90
6 used & new from CDN$ 5.90

5.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the destination, it's about the journey, May 3 2014
This review is from: The Way (DVD)
I have occasionally wondered about the heritage of the Sheens. I remember an Irish interview with Martin Sheen many years ago where he claimed Irish yet also Mexican descent, and one of his sons who we know is named Sheen the other one Emilio Estevez. How does a father have sons with two different names. Sheen is an Irish name which may be a variant of Sheehan.

The Way features a father son collaboration with Emilio who also briefly plays his son in the piece, and directs. While modest in its aspirations, and I imagine its budget, it is spectacular in its accomplishment, and it's simple story of an 800 mile walking pilgrimage, capturing the essence of both good storytelling, why people go remarkably long pilgrimages, and captures a spiritual dimension, even though people do the pilgrimage for non spiritual reasons.

Approximately, 100,000 people a year take this pilgrimage which goes through Pamplona, famous for the bulls, so the pilgrimage is very popular, and undoubtedly this movie will inspire many people. I admit I felt an urge to take the trip.

When Tom, an opthalmologist, learns his free spirited son has died suddenly on the the El Camino Santiago trail he goes to Spain, and decides to complete his son's journey. Along The Way he meets some annoying but ultimately interesting characters, and they have a few adventures, realistic adventures that anyone could have.

Tom seeks solitude, but this proves elusive, and despite his reclusive ways things take on a life of their own. This movie has struck a chord with people, and the time of writing has about 1,400 reviews on Amazon USA mostly glowing.

I was impressed with the scenery, the architecture, the shenanigans. I particularly liked the subtlety of Martin Sheen's understated performance. It must be strange emoting about the loss of a son when that same son is directing the movie.

If you have ever thought about taking a pilgrimage, this will either fuel the urge or cure the urge. I loved the movie, and I think it did manage to capture the spiritual element which could be so easily missed, and that added something to the experience for me.

I think most people will love it.

Lovelace (Bilingual)
Lovelace (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Amanda Seyfried
Price: CDN$ 11.00
12 used & new from CDN$ 5.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The true story of a woman with an infamous alter ego., April 6 2014
This review is from: Lovelace (Bilingual) (DVD)
Years ago I watched an interview with the person better known as Linda Lovelace who starred in a porn movie named Deep Throat 1972 for which she became very famous.

The name Deep Throat would take on a new life in 1974 when journalists Woodward and Bernstein used it as a name for their informant in the 1974 Watergate scandal, as described in their book All the President's Men, which in turn led to an Academy Award winning movie.

In the interview Linda Boreman claimed that she was an unwilling participant in the movie, and that she was beaten and abused by her husband who forced her at gunpoint to perform all the acts in the movie. When I leafed through her bestselling book in a bookstore several days later, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that she was supposedly hypnotized by her husband who somehow made her do all these things for which she became famous. She had some harsh things to say about Sammy Davis Jr, as I recall, and was quite explicit about her dreadful experiences.

Not that I have given this much thought over the years, but I know that every story has more than one side, and I did occasionally wonder what the truth was. She eventually became an activist against the pornographic industry that made her famous. Thus this character presents something of a paradox, on the one hand a seemingly willing participant who became famous through her work, who dressed up for premieres and smiled for the cameras, on the other an unwilling participant beaten, threatened at gunpoint, forced into really bad situations unawares and supposedly hypnotized and mind controlled by her husband Chuck Traynor, who went on to marry porn star Marilyn Chambers.

I think you will enjoy the movie. The director seemed to share my sense of dichotomy about who Linda Lovelace was, and does a masterful thing in terms of telling the story in two ways, the way it appears to be from the fame, legend point of view, and then from the Linda POV.

I cannot tell you too much about the movie except that it is thought provoking. She came from a rather extremely conservative Christian family with a harsh unforgiving mother played by Sharon Stone, and only for meeting the wrong guy got taken on a completely different track than otherwise.

Her route to fame and legend was quick and she partied at the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner, and met with Sammy Davis Jr and others. In the movie she claims she spent 17 days in the porn industry, achieving more fame in that short span than actresses who spend 17 years in the business.

What I discovered from watching this movie is that I now believe Linda Boreman aka Lovelace. There is redemption for Linda. It's the story of a good girl gone bad who gets good again, who finds her real self, and despite these experiences gets some good out of life.

My research indicates that Linda has shuffled off this mortal coil. If she were alive and went to see this movie, I think she would be appalled by the first half, but by the end would consider that the movie represented her fairly. I think the movie allows you to decide for yourself what to believe, and I don't think we can ask for any more than that.

Amanda Seyfried does an excellent job in a role which many other mainstream actresses would not touch with a barge pole. Movies such as Chloe display her sexual nature, and I really enjoyed her performance in In Time, and the thriller Gone, yet she also has a great singing voice which she displayed in Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, and she acted the pants off the beautiful Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body.

And if you are like me you may come away from this movie with a different point of view.

Blue Jasmine [DVD + UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
Blue Jasmine [DVD + UltraViolet] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Bobby Cannavale
Offered by Okanagan Trading
Price: CDN$ 25.00
8 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best. Theatrical release review., April 6 2014
I bought a ticket to this movie knowing absolutely nothing about it, and almost immediately as it began I knew I was watching a Woody Allen movie.

I cannot say exactly why this is so. Perhaps it was the richness of the character study, and the fact that Allen writes so excellently for female characters. In any event, Cate Blanchett's character, and her brilliant performance of this down on her luck former socialite married to a conman husband played by Alec Baldwin, may be the best female character performance you will see on a movie screen this year, and Blanchett's performance is probably the most Oscar worthy I have seen so far.

Set in San Francisco in the present day it unfolds the complex relationship of two sisters, one upper class but fallen on hard times, and her working class sister who makes working class choices. Because it unfolds in a non linear fashion it appears to dip randomly into different events over a period of about 15 years or so, and we understand why the sister is working class.

One of the themes of the movie is honesty, and facing reality, and Jasmine makes choices that seem oblivious to it. She fibs and tells little lies, at one level self deceptive, and at another deceptive of others. We may not like her for this, but if you're like me, I felt tremendous compassion for her, even loved her in spite of everything, which is not often I feel that way about a character. She suffers from severe anxiety, and the events she has to undergo take a toll on her. One particular choice she makes has particularly severe repercussions, yet in the moment we fully understand it.

I think it is fair to say moving to Europe and making films there has been wonderful for Woody Allen. In an interview he said that his previous movies were critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful. Now he has made a series of outstanding movies, and written brilliant roles particularly for women.

I cannot claim to love all of them, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona was excellent and Penelope Cruz won an Oscar for her performance. Match Point is probably my personal favorite starring Scarlet Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about an upwardly mobile ambitious tennis coach, and what may be a perfect murder. Midnight in Paris was dreamy and sentimental, and won an Oscar for best screenplay. Woody Allen has been nominated a staggering 23 times for an Academy Award winning four times, three times for Best Original Screenplay, and once for Best Director of Annie Hall.

Actors who worked with him have also won Oscars. Remember Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Michael Caine for Hannah and Sisters.

As someone who lives in San Francisco, I can say that he makes it look almost better than the reality, and a beige BMW can do wonders to enliven the surroundings.

It seems to me that like a good wine, Woody just gets better with age, and easily maintains his excellence with this movie. One thing I discovered in researching the review is that Woody Allen is not his real name.

I originally posted this review on Amazon USA back in September last year, and as was widely expected Cate Blanchett won her second Academy Award for this performance.

I think most people will enjoy this movie, and I hope this was helpful.

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