Flicks And Flak


By: Fran Marincola Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
At the time of this printing, the Academy Award winners won’t be announced, but I am confident that I will get at least five out of my six picks. Get last month’s paper for the picks. This month I’m going to go over a couple of old movies that I like.
The first one is House of Sand and Fog. The movie stars Ben Kingsley as an Iranian who left Iran because of the theocracy that took over from the Shah. He lives a double life. In his home it’s his old fine style living, but then he goes off to work, parks in a hotel garage and changes into work clothes and works on a garbage truck. He buys a house in the San Francisco Bay Area that was wrongly auctioned by the city. The house is still occupied by a young girl by the name of Jennifer Connelley. She’s basically kicked out and goes to legal aid to try to get the house back. All I can say is it is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Every minute it gets darker and darker. The film is so dark, yet you can’t take your eyes off the screen. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Score. It’s available on a couple of streaming sites.
The next movie is Infinitely Polar Bear starring Mark Ruffalo and, in my opinion, his best movie ever. Mark has come of age and is one of the real movie stars of the 21st century. Mark’s wife, Zoe Saldana, is working for her graduate degree and has to leave the family to go to Columbia University. Mark’s character is a bipolar dad who never takes his meds, comes from a rich family and, understandably, his wife is reluctant to leave the children alone with him for any length of time. The movie didn’t gross a lot and didn’t get much recognition, but it is without a doubt one of my favorite movies. The children are the producer’s daughters and they are excellent—the movie is excellent. Find it and see it.
My last suggestion is The Cooler starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello. It was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin) and it is a romantic drama film. The cooler is old school gambling parlance for an unlucky individual who can just show up at hot tables and cause them to go cool. Alec Baldwin, who is fantastic in his part as the casino owner and GM, hires Maria Bello’s character to keep an eye on the “cooler” (William H. Macy). The plan backfires, as they fall in love. Macy can’t believe it because he always thought of himself of a loser, but they truly fall in love and try to escape the rut they are in. I have gone far enough, but in my opinion, this movie has the greatest surprise ending of any movie I’ve ever seen in my life.
If you have any thoughts on my picks, feel free to write me.