Everybody Knows (2018)

What the Spanish family drama/suspense thriller “Everybody Knows” may lack in twists and intrigue, it makes up for in performances and appeal from the three principal actors, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darin. This is not to say, the  ...

The Cakemaker (2018)

In the novel, “Smilla’s Sense of Snow,” we learn that Eskimos have more than one hundred words for what is wet, white, and falls from the sky in cold weather. The current-day Avant Garde among sex scholars can barely contain its enthusiasm for the  ...

Fighting With My Family (2019)

Two kids wrestle for the T.V. remote. A young boy wishes to watch his idol Dwayne Johnson, back when he had a surplus of hair and was the sans pareil of the wrestling world. The sister, a fighting spirit herself,  ...

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

There's an adage that goes something like this: 'teamwork makes the dream work.' You've heard it before. It makes sense that it has become the unofficial motto for DreamWorks Animation, whose success is predicated on filling the screen with as many cute and flashy characters  ...

Familiar

A modern bride desires to start married life by honoring an ancient tradition of her African forebearers. But when an elder from Zimbabwe arrives to perform the ceremony it stirs up a hornet’s nest in “Familiar” on stage at The  ...

In Space and Time

A fair test of a company’s salience is how well it dances Harald Lander’s seminal work, “Etudes.” Some of the best companies don’t even make the attempt. San Francisco Ballet proved its mettle not only  ...

Shoplifters (2018)

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018, spends much of its screen time inside a cramped Tokyo hovel where three generations of castoffs and grifters--headed by a matriarch known only as Grandma (the great Kirin Kiki)--carve a precarious existence out of shoplifting, menial labor,  ...

Metamorphoses

With vivid and fond remembrances of Berkeley Rep’s extraordinary 1999 production of acclaimed writer and director Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses” (produced at UC’s Zellerbach Playhouse), I wondered whether a re-do could ever live up to my memories of the original. Happily, this  ...

Tiny Beautiful Things

Letters are such a great narrative device. Think of the notes between Abigail and John Adams in 1776 or the chats by the far-flung addicts in Water by the Spoonful or the personal ads from lonely truck drivers in The Few. There’s a vulnerability that’s  ...