HENRY’S CRIME (Malcolm Venville, 2010)

Keanu Reeves is a student of Russian literature; presumably, he is one of the producers of Henry’s Crime, and its star, for the opportunity it gives him, as Henry Torne, to play scenes as Yermolai Lopakhin in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Reeves’s casting also provides an in-joke; Reeves is a Method actor, and The Cherry […]

LITTLE BUDDHA (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1993)

“The whole world is dreaming.” — Siddhartha      Given Kon Ichikawa’s sensitive, beauteous The Burmese Harp (1956), based on Michio Takeyama’s novel aimed at introducing the tenets of Buddhism to children, there really was no need for Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha. However, Bertolucci needed to conclude his trilogy which The Last Emperor (1987) brilliantly launched and […]

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is the basis for two outstanding films, both from Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), about which I have already written, and Hans W. Geissendörffer’s Jonathan (1970). Tod Browning’s 1931 Hollywood Dracula and, like Jonathan, from West Germany, Werner Herzog’s 1978 Nosferatu are of some substance, and star, respectively, Bela […]


The other times I’ve seen her I have found Robin Wright a morose and monotonous actress, but she is wonderful—wonderful—in the title role of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, a very funny, quirky comedy that writer-director Rebecca Miller has adapted from her own novel. Miller presumably deserves considerable credit for Wright’s richness in this […]