James Quillinan, known primarily for his expertise in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Conservatorships and related Litigation is also an avid movie-goer. His reviews started in the Law Office around 1998 when associates and clients began asking him about the movies he had seen. He began sending his reviews by email to a list of friends and movie fans which now has grown to include world-wide distribution.
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Monday, August 11, 2014
Calvary. An innocent Catholic Priest much beloved by his parishioners pays the price for priestly misconduct and calculated institutional indifference. Brendan Gleeson is Father James who tends to his flock with compassion and bravery knowing one of them is planning to kill him within the week. Quirky Irish village life is the background to this part mystery, part biblical tale of the ultimate sacrifice and forgiveness. The plight of a good priest who truly believes in his message and mission but can only see tragedy around him is even more dramatic against the beautiful Irish scenery and lilt of the Irish tongue. Gleeson’s performance is amazing and makes this film worthy. Rated R for sexual references, language, brief strong violence and some drug use.
The Hundred-Foot Journey. A light charmer that would be even better if we could smell and taste all of the wonderful dishes prepared throughout the film. The vagabond Kadam family has fled India and is in search of somewhere to set down roots and open an Indian restaurant. The land in a small town in the South of France and of course decide on a spot across the street from a One Star Michelin restaurant run by the haughty Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The culture clashes start immediately but great good is great food. Love of food soon triumphs over prejudice as Madame Mallory and the Kadams discovery they have much more in common than not. The gifted young chef Hassan Kadam brings his Indian creativity to French Cuisine and voila, there are more stars in everyone’s future. Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence, language and brief sensuality. It is a Peggy’s Pick.
Alive Inside. A must see documentary that follows the efforts of Dan Cohen, a volunteer in a nursing home who discovers that music is the key to waking up portions of the brains of dementia victims. Our music memories are strong and can be stimulated to revive brain function. It is remarkable and quite moving to see the response of dementia victims to tunes familiar to them. We all have our favorite tunes that stick with is through life. Dan Cohen has founded a nonprofit organization, Music & Memory, to try to fix our healthcare system by using music to combat memory loss and restore a sense of self to its victims. Search out this film; it is an eye opening experience. It is a Peggy’s Pick. Suitable for the whole family.
A Five Star Life. In Italian the film is known as Viaggo Sola, which means I travel alone. The film is about loneliness surrounded by luxury. The Italian title is more apt. Irene is in her forties and has a seemingly perfect job; she is a luxury hotel inspector and gets to visit marvelous locations such as Paris, Switzerland, Berlin and Morocco to indulge in extravagance and critique it. She has a well-paid job but her personal life is in shambles. She is single but has remained on good terms with her former inamorato but is not his spouse. She dotes on her young nieces but is not their mother. Irene can clearly see what is missing in her life but is unable to act until a chance meeting with a British woman in a Berlin spa. That brief relationship sends Irene on a mission that we know will lead her to happiness. The film is more about caricatures than characters. The film is mostly in Italian with English subtitles. Not rated but would be R for language and adult themes.