STAN & OLLIE – Review by Susan Granger

After fame and fortune left the world-famous vaudeville comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy far behind, they embarked on a career-concluding tour of Great Britain. Disgruntled but not discouraged, they turn to public relations stunts to sell tickets. In addition to Hardy’s persistent health problems, they’re constantly bickering, dredging up old grievances.

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WELCOME TO MARWEN – Review by Susan Granger

In recent years, visionary filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has become obsessed with experimental technology, particularly motion-capture animation. Now he turns his attention to the fantasyland created by an eccentric artist. Clumsily scripted by Zemeckis and Caroline Thompson, the film depicts Mark’s perverted perception of the world, superficially skimming over how he arrived at his point of view.

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THE SISTERS BROTHERS – Review by Susan Granger

Set in 1851 in the Northwest Territory between Oregon and California, French director Jacques Audiard’s first English-language film revives the sprawling Western for a new generation. Hot-tempered, hard-drinking Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and his shy, introspective older brother Eli (John C. Reilly) work as contract killers for a shadowy boss known as the Commodore (Rutger Hauer).

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THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS- Review by Susan Granger

If you threw a lasso at six 19th century Western mini-sketches and tied them together, like an old, clothbound anthology, they’d resemble Ethan and Joel Coen’s latest cinematic diversion. Superbly photographed in Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska by Bruno Delbonnel, Carter Burwell’s beautiful score ties everything together.

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THE FAVOURITE – Review by Susan Granger

Greek-born director Yorgos Lanthimos’ opulent costume drama relates scandalous rumors that have circulated for years about 18th century Queen Anne, the last of the Stuart monarchs, who reportedly indulged in lesbian liaisons with two of her closest sycophants.. After losing 17 children, portly, peevish, petulant Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is no longer interested in ruling England, which is waging war with France. Instead, she’d rather eat sweets, play with her pet rabbits and dawdle with pretty young ladies.

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MARY POPPINS RETURNS – Review by Susan Granger

If you’re looking for a jolly holiday gift that’s “practically perfect,” take everyone – kids and grandparents included – to see this enchanting, utterly delightful Disney sequel. It’s set in 1930s London, long after Mary Poppins original 1964 visit. Grown-up Michael Banks is now a widower, and his labor-activist sister Jane has come to help him with his three little children.

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