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Laura Leon

Laura Leon

Gray Areas

by Laura Leon February 5, 2015

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  Set in 1981 Manhattan, a time when crime in that city was at an all-time high, A Most Violent Year recalls the glory years of ’70s cinema, notably the films of Sydney Lumet and Alan ...

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Left Out in the Rain

by Laura Leon January 29, 2015

thumb_05cinemapicCAKE

  Jennifer Aniston’s quest to be taken seriously as a “real” actress continues with Cake, a movie about a profoundly scarred (both physically and emotionally) woman addicted to pain killers. I hate the use of air ...

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In Harm’s Way

by Laura Leon January 22, 2015

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  As I set out to write this review, the talking heads of the media are reveling in the war of words dispatched by Michael Moore, Seth Rogen and their ilk, re: the nature of anybody ...

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Survivor

by Laura Leon January 8, 2015

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  I was so enthralled with the story behind Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken when I read an excerpt from it a few years back in Vanity Fair that I immediately bought the book, read it cover to ...

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Year in Cinema 2014: Laura Clark Leon

by Laura Leon January 2, 2015

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  Best of 2014 1. Guardians of the Galaxy Quite simply, the best conceived, written, executed and acted movie of the year. A real matineer that reminded me of the excitement I felt the first time, and every ...

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Warped Dreams

by Laura Leon December 24, 2014

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  Bring a warm scarf to Foxcatcher regardless of which theater you see it in, because it’s impossible not to develop a deep chill watching this strange, intense elegy about the darkness of the soul and ...

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Celebrity Savvy

by Laura Leon December 18, 2014

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  Chris Rock is in fine, albeit Woody Allen, form in Top Five, which he wrote, stars in and directs. He plays André Allen, once an Eddie Murphy-type talent whose meteoric rise to the top has ...

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Unsettling

by Laura Leon December 11, 2014

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  The fabled stories of the how the West was won are populated with images of hardscrabble pioneers and undaunted bravery, but rarely, save in instances dealing with capture by Indians, do we come across the ...

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Funny Enough

by Laura Leon December 4, 2014

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  As somebody who has experienced multiple viewings of Madagascar and its sequel, I can verify that the penguins of Madagascar are, really, the reason to see either film. The flightless little creatures are known as ...

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Measure of Success

by Laura Leon November 20, 2014

thumb_47cinemapicBEYOND

  This weekend there was a lot of brouhaha about the Lifetime biopic of the late singer Aaliyah, as well as reference made to the fact that Solange Knowles and her fiancé played the movie Mahogany ...

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Spaced

by Laura Leon November 13, 2014

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  Anybody knows that with a Christopher Nolan movie, however much we might leave the theater thinking “Wow, that was amazing,” the inevitable feelings of “WTF was that?” begin encroaching on one’s feelings of amazement. Interstellar ...

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Action Man

by Laura Leon November 6, 2014

thumb_45cinpicWICK

  One might think that a movie starring Keanu Reeves and co-directed by his former stunt double, Chad Stahelski, might not be worth its weight in popcorn, but damn, if John Wick isn’t wildly entertaining. It’s ...

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My Hero

by Laura Leon October 30, 2014

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  Like so many films before it, St. Vincent takes the plot of curmudgeonly coot regaining his humanity through contact with an innocent, and gallops away with it. The, er, title character (Bill Murray) is an ...

The Battle Rages

by Laura Leon October 23, 2014

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  Shot in dim gradations of brown, gray and what can only be called “griege,” Fury depicts a World War II that is all but over, except for the furious, determined last-ditch efforts made by those ...

Cooking From the Heart

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014

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  I've come to realize over the past year that my style of cooking has changed a bit over time. There were the early days of trying new things and mastering techniques, followed by having my ...

Missing Pieces

by Laura Leon October 9, 2014

thumb_41cinemapicGONE

  Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl was a big hit among many of my friends (and millions of others). I read it over the course of a soccer game and wasn’t overly impressed with the ...

Follow You Down

by Laura Leon October 2, 2014

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  Somewhere in L.A., a despondent Milo (Bill Hader) slits his wrists to a blaring backdrop of Blondie. Across the country, his estranged twin Maggie (Kristin Wiig) contemplates swallowing a handful of pills. The symbiotic cord that ...

Are We Related?

by Laura Leon September 25, 2014

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  Based on the popular (or so I’m told) novel by screenwriter Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You is one of those movies whose preview has garnered a lot of buzz. I can’t tell ...

Minimal Rescue

by Laura Leon September 18, 2014

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  Soaking in the atmosphere of old bars where the leather seats are taped over and there are decades-old ghost vapors of thousands of cigarettes smoked, The Drop transports screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s usual milieu to Brooklyn, ...

The Thrill is Gone

by Laura Leon September 4, 2014

thumb_36cinemapicNOVEMBER

  I love thrillers in which you can’t tell who’s really the bad guy, and where there are suspenseful chase scenes, although, admittedly, my tastes kind of run the gamut from Charade to The Bank Job, ...

And Then We Grow Up

by Laura Leon August 21, 2014

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  By now, anybody with a modicum of interest in cinema knows that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed over the course of a few days every year for 12 years. What seems rather gimmicky on the ...

Without a Roadmap

by Laura Leon August 14, 2014

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While on a layover in Baltimore, I picked up a copy of Michael and Jane Stern's Roadfood, a coast-to-coast guide to off-the-beaten path places to eat. I had been speaking with a colleague from California ...

Starship Enterprise

by Laura Leon August 7, 2014

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  When the first Star Wars came out—and by that, I mean the real first one with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill—my sister and her then-boyfriend insisted that I see it. “You’ll love it,” they exclaimed. ...

Shadows Enthrall

by Laura Leon July 31, 2014

thumb_31cinemapicMOST

  Out of the roiling murk of a river in Hamburg emerges Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a bearded mess of Chechen humanity seeking asylum. Through the kindness of a Turkish family, he is put in touch with ...

Killers on the Road

by Laura Leon June 26, 2014

GUY PEARCE AND ROBERT PATTINSON,
STILL BY MATT NETTHEIM

  “Not everything has to be about something,” remarks Eric (Guy Pearce), a gaunt loner intent on recovering his stolen car amid the devastatingly bleak backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Australia. He’s speaking to Rey (Robert Pattinson), ...