REVIEW: Banderas is consistently marvelous in ‘Pain and Glory’

Director and writer Pedro Almodovar took inspiration from his own life to craft this impassioned piece of cinema.

Antonio Banderas plays the main character, Salvador Mallo, in “Pain and Glory.” Mallo is an aging filmmaker who’s well known for his talents, but hasn’t made a hit in some time. As he’s become older, both his career and body have slowed down, with the latter causing him back pains.

Additionally, Mallo has become addicted to drugs. His most recent troubles coincides with his meeting again with past colleagues and reflecting deeply on his own past.

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REVIEW: ‘Cold War’ is a captivating romantic drama

“Cold War” is a movie about trying to escape, but it’s certainly not escapist entertainment.

The picture tells the story of a singer, Zula (Joanna Kulig), and a composer, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot). Zula and Wiktor find themselves as part of a government funded music group in Poland, which is tasked with giving pro-Stalin performances.

The two soon find themselves in a romance, but they’re also in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, making things difficult. As a result, the two consider fleeing Poland. However, the power of the government and life in general throw a lot of issues at the couple.

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REVIEW: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ burns bright with quality

Like the very paintings featured in this movie, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a true work of art.

Noemie Merlant portrays Marianne in this film, a young woman who arrives in a secluded area of France to work on a portrait for a family. Marianne soon learns that a woman, (played by Valeria Golino and only known as The Countess), her employer, wants a portrait of her daughter Heloise (Adele Haenel), who’s arranged to be married.

Heloise, though, has no interest in going through with the marriage and refuses to pose for a portrait. In an effort to connect with her, Marianne begins to take walks in the scenic coastal areas of France with Heloise and the two begin to connect. From there, the relationship only grows as the two understand each other more and a romance blossoms.

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REVIEW: ‘Parasite’ is a twisted, terrific film

“Parasite” is a heartwarming story about a close-knit family of four, who just happen to start a con on another family.

A South Korean film, “Parasite” follows the story of a family including the father Kim Ki-Taek (Song Kang-ho), wife Kim Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin), their son Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) and daughter Kim Ki-jeong (Park So-dam). The family lives in a small, below ground level apartment and get by with low paying jobs.

Through a reference by one of his friends, though, Kim Ki-woo stumbles upon a tutoring job for a very wealthy family. Relying on quick thinking and street smarts, Kim Ki-woo ends up forcing out other staff who work for the wealthy family, the Parks, and gets jobs for his three other family members. Their con work gets off to a good start and the family becomes more comfortable, but as the movie wears on, a shocking discovery is made.

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