Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) is just the sort of professor I would've had a crush on at college. Louche, dishevelled, highly-intelligent and dismissive of his conquests as a ladies' man, he even has the temerity to describe the subject he teaches - philosophy - as "pure bulls---" to the new students who hang on his every 20-letter word.
In the week leading up to her 45th wedding anniversary, Kate (Charlotte Rampling) is as busy as any hostess organising a party would be. Granted any Jewish hostess would be confused (hysterical) at the fact she has left confirming the function room, menu and buying her dress until a few days before. But smoked salmon starters and matching accessories are not an issue for Kate.
I'm a bit slow with this review as Absolutely Anything opened last week. But August is the silly season and this is a film that truly fits the bill as it is spectacularly silly, a tad saucy and yet suitable for the whole family to giggle at together.
Last month, we saw an Israeli documentary film that raised more than a few eyebrows when its screening was announced. Called Censored Voices it was a continuation of Siach Lochamim (The Seventh Day in its English edition), a book produced just after the 1967 Six-Day War by a group of left-wing, secular kibbutzniks.
I was rather hoping the press notes for The Gift would contain an embargo preventing reviewers from revealing the twist in the tale. A lot of critics have a laissez-faire attitude to spoilers and the extended trailers in cinemas give away far more than they should, which deprives audiences of experiencing movies as they happen.
The name Iris Apfel won't mean a lot to you unless you sit in the front row during Fashion Week, but once you set eyes on her in the late Albert Maysles' documentary, you'll be reluctant to let her go.
Like the late, great Joan Rivers, Iris is another fabulous New York Jewess with no filter, though it is couture not comedy that occupies the life of this eccentric 89-year-old who rose to fame in
Super-pumped and six-packed Jewish actor Jake Gyllenhaal sweats testosterone in Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw and could probably floor heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko with all the training he did to play boxer Billy "The Great" Hope. The rule of thumb (or fist) for boxing movies is to build a tale of triumph over tragedy around a likeable, but not infallible fighter and the template works.
Films about elderly people moving house because they can't handle the stairs don't come along very often. It's a tough concept to pitch to a studio executive. But silver surfers searching for an apartment with a lift clearly rang true for somebody as it is the story of Ruth & Alex - and I know a lot of people who will really enjoy it.