"...A work personifiying at least two of the aforemention festival trends -- a lesbian film whose story unfolds around a typical social gathering -- Sharon Pollack's Everything Relative, isa touching drama set in and around New York City. Described as the "lesbian Big Chill," Everything Relative explores the lives of eight women, seven of whom are lesbians, who reunite to celebrate the birth of Daniel, the son of Katie and Victoria..."
"...In this ironically titled film, Schrader casts his austere gaze on sensuality, seduction, repulsion, and desire. With a script by Harold Pinter, adapted from a novella by Ian McEwan, the story is a perverse little sado-masochistic drama..."
"...It's hard to classify a movie like Weekend. Can it be romantic and depict what amounts to a two-night stand? Can it be a coming-out story when the characters have technically exited the closet? Like the analogous Before Sunrise, Weekend manages to ride the line between character study, comedy, drama, and a host of other genres without feeling cramped..."
"...Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue, Deirdre O’Connell and Ryan Donowho. Whether or not you write off this dysfunctional family drama as Ordinary People-lite will depend largely on how many hidden revelations you can stand before saying "enough’s enough." Directed by 24-year-old X2: X-Men United scribe Harris, this is heady stuff that, in the end, suffers from just too many subplots, shocking discoveries, and quasi-nihilistic thematic offshoots..."
"...Much like local contemporary Alpha Rev, Sounds Under Radio elevates sincere melodrama to grandiose realms best suited to network television and film soundtracks, evidenced here by the American Idol-copped lead single "Sing" and overreaching piano ballad "Fire Escape." WMCHMMCM takes chances (lo-fi plea "Surrender") and skews favorably toward the angst of modern alt-radio with "The Arsonist" and "Effigy." F for FakeNew Hieroglyphic..."
"...It’s nice to see Stephen Frears – the director of High Fidelity, The Queen, and The Grifters back on firmer dramatic ground with Philomena, following the general disappointment that greeted his recent features like Tamara Drewe and Chéri. Philomena’s pleasures derive mostly from the study in contrasts between the film’s two central characters, who are played by Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jeff Pope and has a producing credit on the movie)..."
"...Is this how it was with Federico García Lorca? Before he penned the dramas for which he is known – The House of Bernarda Alba, Yerma, Blood Wedding – the Spanish poet/playwright attempted a theatrical work in a much more experimental vein, one that lit a fuse under the well-made play and exploded it in a shower of surrealism, that took aim at bourgeois tastes and blasted them between the eyes, that took homosexuality out of the closet and set it in a spotlight. García Lorca started this play, El Público, years before the Spanish Civil War began but never finished it..."
"...It could have been an idyllic summer weekend in the countryside: Anna and boyfriend Stefan meet her ex and his new partner Marc. But old guilt and differing thoughts on relationship upset the tranquillity and create an atmospheric balancing act between a mystery film and an erotic chamber drama...."
"...Before the police knocked on her family’s door, Sarah Starzynski locked her little brother in a closet to keep him safe, never suspecting that the family wouldn’t return. Her journey through the ravages of the Holocaust is a gut-wrenching drama, especially in comparison with Julia’s contemporary crisis..."
"...Or so you would think. Krabbé instead enlivens his otherwise dour drama with ample dollops of good humor, most of which arrive in the form of little Simcha, who, with his curly red locks and omnipresent furrowed brow, looks like a little scholar waiting for the right time to emerge from his shell..."
"...First-time writer-director Theresa Connelly's Polish Wedding is a shotgun affair. This scattershot movie mixes drama and comedy into an uneasy blend that muddles the honesty of each perspective and leaves behind a messy taste..."
"...Lastly, I call upon the pop-culture genius of R. Kelly to take us to a land where drama reigns..."
"...In The Cockfighter, Frank Manley has crafted a Southern coming-of-age drama that, although short, is still too long. The Cockfighter centers around a day plus change in the life of 12-year-old Sonny Cantrell, a boy who is trying to shake a bit of his latent childhood sensitivity to become less like his (ever-sufferin', Bible-quotin', stereotypical) ma Lily and more like his (whiskey-drinkin', mother-cussin', stereotypical) pa Jake, a chapped-hands cockfighter who is as lively in the birdpits as he is in the bleachers chattin' up the good ol' gals..."
"...MY FATHER IS A HEROD: Corey Yuen-kwai; with Jet Li Lien-jie, Anita Mui Yim-fong, Tse Mui, Yu Rong-guang, Ken Lo Wai-kwong. Veteran action director Corey Yuen-kwai and martial arts icon Jet Li Lien-jie, the team who brought you the dynamite The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk, join forces yet again for this new, modern-day adventure that, despite some haphazard plotting and over-reliance on soap-opera melodramatics, should prove to be a good time for action fans. Li stars as a kung-fu fighting mainland cop who has been ordered to infiltrate a gang of nasty Hong Kong criminals and bring them down..."
"...The UPN offers an equally easygoing evening with Moesha, The Parkers, The Grown Ups, and Malcolm & Eddie. It's family night on the WB with 7th Heaven and a new family drama, Safe Harbor..."
"...Last season, the Zachary Scott Theatre Center produced Millennium Approaches, the first installment in Kushner's 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, and it brought the company not only a bevy of Theatre Critics Table and B. Iden Payne awards, but also the distinction of being the theatre's most successful drama ever..."
"...BULLETPROOF HEARTD: Mark Malone; with Anthony LaPaglia, Mimi Rogers, Matt Craven, Peter Boyle, Monika Schnarre, Joseph Maher. Director Mark Malone makes an impressive debut with this modern film noir about a hit man who falls in love with his victim. This cold-blooded drama stares unflinchingly into the face of death..."
"...THE TEARDROP PEARLD: Tran Vu and Nguyen Huu Phan; with Ha Thu, Thu Ha, Quyen Linh, Hong Son, Trinh Thinh. An unapologetically sappy melodrama from Vietnam, The Teardrop Pearl has a wonderfully teasing atmosphere that, at its best, pulses with the common rhythms of daily life and, at its worst, offers up a sluggish narrative that wastes much precious time before moving to the next angst-filled dip on its emotional roller coaster. Luckily, much of the picture is genuinely affecting, making the slower moments unfortunate, but forgivable, blemishes in an otherwise poignant love story..."
"...After seeing all four productions in the current outing of UT New Theatre in the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance, this I can happily report. That rust-stained emblem of 20th century domestic drama and the onstage realism to which it stayed bolted like a fixture to a wall has not been installed in any of the 21st century theatrical structures erected here..."
"...It's an approach that rewards the viewer with a deeply personal theatrical experience, one that moves you beyond the traditional boundaries of the stage and into the performance, where your connections to the story being told and the emotions shared are heightened, where other levels of mystery and beauty within the world of the play open to you. It gives you a role in the drama and shows you the adventure that theatre can be...."