Posts Tagged ‘Chris Cooper’

Marriage, money and inequality haunt the four March sisters of Greta Gerwig’s strangely delightful ‘Little Women’

December 30, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 30, 2019

Little Women, Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel, is a charming chronicle of a Massachusetts family, particularly the challenges faced by the four young daughters.

Alcott’s book, published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, was based on her own life. In reality, her family was beset by poverty and hardship, and the writing of the novel for which she became famous was strictly undertaken for cash. “I plod away although I don’t enjoy this sort of things,” The Sun reports her as having (ungrammatically) confessed in her diary.

Gerwig, here making her third directorial outing, and her second as writer-director after Lady Bird, casts proceedings in a decidedly more glamorous light. The costumes are glorious; the March family’s home is handsome and spacious, if a bit blandly decorated; and writer stand-in Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) is fiercely proud of her story, which she sells to a mercenary publisher named Dashwood (Tracy Letts) in the movie’s final act. (She also begins writing it on her own initiative, unlike in real life.)

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Spy vs. spy: An aging veteran tangos with a canny but green rookie in understated character study ‘Breach’

February 5, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 5, 2014

In late 2000, veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen was posted to the bureau’s headquarters and put in charge of a new division, the Information Assurance Section. Hanssen, a devout Catholic, had an abrasive, brook-no-B.S. approach to his job that had won him many enemies. He also had an impressive intellect that had earned him a great deal of respect, however begrudging, from his peers.

Over a two-month period, probationary agent Eric O’Neill would come to know Hanssen intimately. As shown in the 2007 film Breach, which is based on actual events, O’Neill was pulled from surveillance duty and made Hanssen’s assistant. His secret assignment: Win the trust of his crusty, acerbic boss — and figure out how to catch Hanssen in the act of betraying his employer and nation.

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