Review: And While We Were Here

And While We Were Here is set on the Italian island of Ischia. It’s full of picture postcard views and gorgeous scenery. The film stars Kate Bosworth as Jane, Iddo Goldberg as her viola playing husband, and Jamie Blackley as a young American slacker Jane meets while in Italy.

Kate Bosworth and Jamie Blackley in And While We Were Here
Kate Bosworth and Jamie Blackley in And While We Were Here

Overall, And While We Were Here is subdued and reflective. Even the “fun” escapades Jane has with her young American are muted. The story, seemingly about a love affair, is really about loss and the letting go of loss.

Jane and her husband are in Italy for his work as a musician. She’s writing a book about her grandmother’s experiences in World War II and listens to recorded conversations with her grandmother a great deal of the time. (The grandmother is voiced by Claire Bloom.) This couple have suffered several miscarriages. They are still hanging in, still care for each other, but the marriage isn’t working.

The young American lover is merely a way for Jane to accept the inevitable consequences of her losses and move on with her life. He’s a way to unlock from the past and move toward the future.

As the film ended, I decided I would give the film a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, meaning it was worth watching but not fabulous. Then the credits rolled and Jennifer Warnes starting singing “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the whole story suddenly made sense. It was a movie version of “Famous Blue Raincoat.” I looked the film up and, indeed, the writer and director Kat Coiro was quoted as saying that she was inspired by the Leonard Cohen song. This knowledge doesn’t make we want to improve my rating, but it certainly puts the film into context and deepens my understanding.

If you enjoy introspective films that unfold slowly and deal with human efforts to “go clear,” you will enjoy this film.

Here’s the trailer.

The film was released in 2012. I found it on Netflix, so I’m sure it’s available on other streaming services as well.

Watch This: Teaser Trailer for Tammy

Melissa McCarthy is coming our way again in July in Tammy. The teaser trailer is here now. Not only is McCarthy the star, she’s the writer.

Also starring in this extravaganza of funny are Susan Sarandon, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. What a cast!

Ben Falcone directs. He’s Melissa McCarthy’s husband.

What do you think? I think it looks fabulous!

Watch This: Trailer for Frankie & Alice

Frankie & Alice stars Halle Berry, Phylicia Rashad, and Stellan Skarsgard. It’s been finished since 2011 and is just now being released in the U.S. It will appear in theaters on April 4.

The film is based on a true story. Halle Berry plays a woman with multiple personality disorder. One of her personalities is racist.

The performance we see in this brief preview looks masterful and worthy of award nominations. This film looks like an exciting showcase for Halle Berry to show once again what a powerful actress she is. I’m not sure why it took so long to be released in the U.S., but it’s coming soon and it looks good.

Image credit of Halle Berry in Frankie & Alice © 2010 – Freestyle Releasing

Watch This: Unbroken Olympics Preview

Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, is based on the true story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini. The movie isn’t due out until December, but this preview emphasizes Zamperini’s Olympic career and was released during the Olympics.

I read the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, on which the movie is based, and found it an inspiring and amazing story of courage, determination and survival. I’m looking forward to the movie.

Watch This: Orange is the New Black Season 2 Teaser

It’s a mere 30 second teaser, but it came with the announcement that all 13 episodes of season 2 of Orange is the New Black will be released on June 6 on Netflix.

I’m ready right now.

TV Equals Likes 7 Upcoming Shows. I Don’t.

7 New Shows Premiering Soon That I’ll Be Watching at the website TV Equals by P.T. Jackson got my attention.

Go take a look at the shows mentioned in the article. Notice the photographs.

I’m certainly not criticizing P.T.’s taste in TV shows. But, personally, I have a problem getting excited about most of the shows mentioned in the article on TV Equals.

Why?

The photographs tell the story. Gender imbalance.

  • Star Crossed: the image shows one unidentified male, one unidentified female in a love story. What about all the supporting characters?
  • Mind Games: 4 men, 2 women
  • Sirens: 3 men, no women
  • Resurrection: 5 men, 3 women, 1 boy
  • Believe: 1 man, one girl
  • The 100: 2 men, 2 women but no indication about the other 96 people in the cast
  • Turn: 2 men, no women

TV is definitely doing better than the movies in finding stories that feature women in leading roles, but this particular crop of upcoming shows is a big disappointment.

I admit some hope for Resurrection. Here’s the trailer for it. Themes explored in this one look irresistible.

What’s your attitude toward this crop of shows? Does the gender imbalance make any difference to you?

I have mentioned one upcoming show I’m looking forward to: Cosmos. Granted, I see the irony in the fact that Cosmos is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, but the science looks too fascinating to miss.

The irony of inconsistency aside, the point is we need to make more progress in bringing 51% of the population into a position of 51% of the visibility.

Watch This: Trailer for Cosmos

Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a continuation of the old Carl Sagan series, COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey. The new 13-part series premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9/8c on FOX. It will also appear on the National Geographic channel.

Set your DVR. This ought to be good!

Watch This: Trailer for the Short Film One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising is an event organized by Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues. The film is a short about the event in 2013. Another event is planned for Valentine’s Day 2014.