December 18, 2012 Michael Haneke's Amour follows an elderly couple as the wife's (Emmanuelle Riva) health deteriorates. Critic Ella Taylor says the film gives candid, heart-wrenching insight into a struggle that many if not most of us will face: watching someone you love fade away in front of you. (Recommended)
December 13, 2012 Any Day Now, set against the backdrop of the 1970s, tells the story of a gay couple's fight to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome. Director Travis Fine's film lacks technical polish, but critic Ella Taylor says the story's heart makes up for most of its faults.
December 13, 2012 Lizzy Caplan stars in the romantic comedy Save the Date, which despite a solid supporting performance from Alison Brie, is too dull to be a star vehicle for an outstanding actress whose body of work hasn't brought her the limelight she deserves.
December 6, 2012 Written by an American and directed by a Brit, Hyde Park on Hudson reflects the relationship between the two countries in both plot and production. Critic Ella Taylor says Bill Murray makes a fine FDR, and the film does justice to history's little details. (Recommended)
December 4, 2012 Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut centers on a retirement community for aging opera musicians and the relationships that have carried into their golden years. Critic Ella Taylor says a prestige cast of British actors and actual retired opera stars calls forth the sense of nostalgia the movie aims for.
November 29, 2012 Robert Carlyle (Heroes, Once Upon a Time) plays a past-his-prime guitarist whose dissolution deepens when a DUI arrest raises the possibility of deportation. Critic Ella Taylor says it's a modest but satisfying story of self-destruction and redemption.
November 22, 2012 Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock contemplates the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, during the making of Psycho. Critic Ella Taylor says Anthony Hopkins' turn as the famous director falls flat, while the film adds little new insight into the story.
November 15, 2012 Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina is both visually stunning and lacquered with a thick coat of theatricality. Critic Ella Taylor says a lackluster performance by Keira Knightley is balanced by a fully committed performance by Jude Law as Anna's husband.
November 8, 2012 This year's foreign-film Oscar entry from Denmark is visually stunning and thematically timely; as critic Ella Taylor explains, the film shows that the road to autocracy is often paved with betrayal, scandal and gamesmanship. (Recommended)
November 1, 2012 Yaron Zilberman's A Late Quartet, which follows the internal collapse of a string quartet, goes down the all-too-familiar path of a work-family drama. But critic Ella Taylor praises the quiet performances from the film's seasoned stars, including Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
October 25, 2012 In The Other Son, two families — one Jewish, the other Palestinian — discover that their sons were switched at birth, raising questions of identity and familial bonds. As Ella Taylor explains, the film evokes the burden and intensity of its sometimes violent, always strained surroundings.
October 18, 2012 The Sessions is based on the story of Mark O'Brien, a disabled man who used a sex surrogate to achieve intimacy for the first time. Director Ben Lewin's own experience with a disabling disease informs a sensitive look at the issues at hand. (Recommended)
October 11, 2012 Simon and the Oaks is a Swedish drama with the Holocaust lurking in the background. Christophe Barratier's family film War of the Buttons plays out in Vichy France. Critic Ella Taylor considers two stories that acknowledge Nazi complicity but don't quite come to terms with it.
October 9, 2012 Filmmaker Andrea Arnold has seen no lack of accolades for her previous work, especially her 2006 directorial debut, Red Road. She discussed the challenges and rewards of her latest undertaking, a new adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
October 4, 2012 Julian Farino's dramedy The Oranges is another riff on the cataclysmic holiday weekend — but critic Ella Taylor says the film's ensemble cast and its lack of cynicism bring freshness to a genre that can feel as stale as a fruitcake. (Recommended)