CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (Robert Siodmak, 1944)

Last night, I took in for the first time in over 40 years what surely must be Robert Siodmak’s worst film: Christmas Holiday—Universal’s first attempt to turn songbird/cash cow Deanna Durbin into a dramatic actress. Durbin is inept, whether lugubriously singing Berlin’s “Always” or heavily emoting in lieu of acting. (What makes some non-talents think […]

SINNER COME HOME (Blake Eckard, 2007)

Writer-director Blake Eckard’s Sinner Come Home captures a range of twentysomething anxiety, discontent, loneliness and libido in the doldrums of small-town life in the midwestern flatlands. It’s wonderful.      The protagonist is Eddie (Ryan Harper Gray, superb), whose boring job is also demeaning because of his boss, but whose homelife oozes contentment. As winter approaches, he […]