Rocky’s Review
Avatar / Beauty / Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg has spent much of his 50-year directing career mining the fable of his own family, but it has been typically delivered in crowd-pleasing genre films like CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and E.T. "I started seriously thinking, if I had to make one movie I haven't made yet, something on a very personal level, what would that be?" Spielberg says. "And there was only one story I really wanted to tell."

     That movie, THE FABELMANS, is the story of Spielberg's childhood. And it is Spielberg's most vulnerable movie. Written by the director and his frequent collaborator Tony Kushner (MUNICH, LINCOLN, WEST SIDE STORY) THE FABELMANS is Spielberg's origin story as a filmmaker, but the heart of the story belongs to Michelle Williams, who gives an astonishing, larger-than-life performance as Spielberg's mother Mitzi. Williams was nominated this week for a Golden Globe award as Best Actress in a Drama. The movie also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. It opens in the Starlight Friday. "Bring out the Oscars for the year's best movie." -ABC News. "Here is a film that is touched with the madness of love." -New Yorker

     With the highest (AVATAR) and third highest (TITANIC) grossing films of all time, one should never bet against James Cameron. And if the reviews are any indication, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER - opening Friday in the Rose - is another winner. "Cameron has done it again...a state of the art exercise that rekindles that sense of wonder and demands to be seen by anyone with lingering interest in watching movies in theaters." -CNN.com

     I'm pleased to be presenting ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED. I've had my eye on this film for months. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR) has created an epic and emotional story about artist and activist Nan Golden. But it's not a biodoc in any standard sense. Instead it is an incandescent work that examines Golden's personal life, her evolution as an artist, and her later turn towards advocacy, and understands them to be part of the same journey. "This is an overwhelming film." -IndieWire. "A sublime and gritty knockout." -Hollywood Reporter.

Cinematically Yours,
Rocky