The Truffle Hunters ostensibly is a documentary about several (very) old men who look for the rare white truffle in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Every scene is framed and captured with the skill of Italian Master. The movie is not your typical documentary, however. It does not explain why truffles grow where they do, or how the truffle hunters find them. Those are trade secrets that the hunters will take with them to the grave. Instead, the movie is an affectionate character study of the men whose profession remains untouched by time or technological progress. And if you love dogs, this movie is a must-see. Highly recommended.
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Things Heard & Seen is an unwieldy amalgamation of two genres: disintegrating marriage and haunted house. While both elements of this surf-and-turf narrative are mildly interesting on their own, the combination of the two ultimately is not rewarding, with one cheapening the impact of the other. Further confusing things is the ending, which applies a #MeTo, “sisterhood of the ghosts” resolution as a way of justifying the misery that compromises almost all of the movie’s runtime. The ending is as bizarre as it sounds, and must be seen to be believed. In spite of all that, and the fact that I don’t recommend watching this movie, I can’t entirely dismiss it, either.
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The story of four middle-aged men in Denmark who decide to engage in a psychological experiment: to see whether living life slightly tipsy makes them better teachers. Their teaching actually improves, and they confirm that having a drink (or two) helps to put one’s troubles aside temporarily and live and in the moment (surprise, surprise). Their personal lives take some unexpected turns, however. Just like with car performance, your life on alcohol may vary. For the characters in this movie, it’s a choice between soberly dealing with depression and regret on a daily basis, or letting yourself be free enough to let loose and dance. Highly recommended (unless you’re a teetotaler).
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A modern take on the classic western, featuring an honest portrayal of Texas after the Civil War and an understated performance by Tom Hanks, a combination that results in modest entertainment. The performances by actors in supporting roles, along with the amazing cinematography of the Texas countryside, keep the movie watchable. Slightly recommended.
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