IVAN’S CHILDHOOD (Andrei Tarkovsky, Eduard Abalov, 1962)

Although it shared first prize at Venice (with Valerio Zurlini’s heartrending Family Diary), Andrei Tarkovsky’s first feature, perhaps because the script largely predated his involvement and another director started the project, poorly predicts his range of accomplishment. An antiwar film about a 12-year-old orphan who works as a spy for a Russian war attachment by […]

VERA DRAKE (Mike Leigh, 2004)

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, Vera Drake is a sincere, nongrandstanding film about a decent person bedeviled by the law in 1950 postwar London. Vera Drake is a busy woman. She cleans houses for a living, but it’s what she does for which she takes no remuneration that gets her into trouble. Vera tends […]