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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Starr’

Blythe Danner

Blythe Danner

“I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS” My rating: B

92 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

There’s no other way to put this…at age 72 Blythe Danner seems more beautiful, more luminous, and more talented than at any time in her life.

And “I’ll See You in My Dreams” is an ideal vehicle both for this terrific actress and for exploring issues of age.

Death is never far off in director Brett Haley’s dramedy (co-written with Marc Basch).  In the first scene septugenarian Carol Peterson (Danner) must put down her canine companion of 12 years. While the pooch was around she could always rely on its undivided devotion, but now this widow of 20 years is starting to feet mortality’s tug.

Oh, Carol has what looks like a fairly full life.  Money’s not a problem. She’s got a group of gal pals (Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, Mary Kay Place) with whom she shares bridge, golf and gossip (one of the film’s strong suits is its dialogue, which sounds like real people jabbing rather than the usual moviespeak).  Her friends would like Carol to move into the retirement community where they all live, but she relishes the independence — and perhaps the solitude — of the home she shared with her husband.

“I don’t like life all complicated,” she says. Funny how complications seem to find her.

Despite her misgivings, Carol senses that she’s in a retirement rut. That may be why she reluctantly allows herself to be talked into a round of geriatric speed dating, a hilarious/appalling experience that only convinces her that solitude is preferable to the the male pickings after 65.

 

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** and **...illicit love

Martin Starr and Dina Shihabi…illicit love

“AMIRA & SAM” My rating: B

90 minutes | No MPAA rating

Sean Mullin’s “Amira & Sam” is a low-keyed gem, a little movie with a big heart.

It’s an opposites-attract romance,  the lovers here being an American who has just completed several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and an Iraqi girl living illegally in the U.S. because life back home has become too dangerous.

After a decade as a Green Beret, Sam (Martin Starr) has been discharged from the U.S. Army and returned to his native New York City. After his long absence he knows almost nobody. Fortunately Bassam (Laith Nakli), who served as Sam’s unit’s translator in Iraq, now lives in Brooklyn.

On a visit Sam meets Bassam’s niece, Amira (Dina Shihabi), and it’s hate at first sight.  No retiring wallflower, Amira has nothing but ill will toward the American military after her brother was killed in a crossfire, and she exhibits pure contempt for her uncle’s friend.

She’s an interesting case… though she never goes out in public without the appropriate head covering, Amira will offset that traditional item of feminine modesty with a bit of cleavage and skin-tight jeans. Plus she likes to push her luck, peddling bootleg DVDs on Manhattan street corners.

When Amira runs afoul of the law and needs to hide out, Sam allows her to stay in his apartment. Little by little the two warm up to one another.

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