The French really know how to do depressing.
They also have a way of finding that silver lining in the most cloudy of lives and circumstances. Essentially, the French romanticize pain.
"Rust and Bone" ("De rouille et d'os"), directed by French film-maker Jacques Audiard, is inspiring, despite the tragedy that befalls its protagonist, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard).
"Zero Dark Thirty," an Oscar picrtue nominee and an American Film Institute movie of the year, is an intense cinema-going experience.
"Zero Dark Thirty" is nothing less than an account of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon and bin Laden's killing by United States Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.
Stephanie Gardner wrote her way into film-making.
Gardner, an Emmaus High School, Class of '04, graduate living in New York City, screens seven of her short films, 3 p.m. Jan. 26, The Barrister's Club, 1114 W. Walnut St., Allentown.
The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be taken for the production of Gardner's next short, "Paris in Winter," set to lens next month in Montreal, Canada. "It's meant to be the antithesis of the typical Paris love story," Gardner says.
"Silver Linings Playbook" is amazing, entertaining and profound.
Writer-Director David O. Russell draws from life experience to create a compassionate, funny and charming portrayal of Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a young man with mental health problems who is trying to get his life back together.
He's released into the care of his Philadelphia area parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Pat Jr. only wants to get back with his estranged wife, Nikki. However, Pat Jr. meets a young woman, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow who has her own problems.
Property owners in Northampton Area School District face a 3.14-percent tax hike, based on the preliminary 2013-14 general fund NASD budget unveiled at Monday night's school board meeting.
Based on the NASD average assessment of $57,376.49, property owners would see their school tax bill rise from $2,676.61 to $2,767.84. This represents an increase of $91.23, annually; $7.60, monthly, and $1.75, weekly.
The 2013-14 NASD general fund budget calls for expenditures of $89,287,609 and revenues of $84,974,699, with a deficit of $4,312,910.
"Les Miserables" is an astounding movie, rivaling the best movie musicals ever.
The Top 10 all-time movie musicals, according to an American Film Institute list from 2006, are: 1. "Singing in the Rain" (1952), 2. "West Side Story" (1961), 3. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), 4. "The Sound of Music" (1965), 5. "Cabaret" (1972), 6. "Mary Poppins" (1964), 7. "A Star Is Born" (1954), 8. "My Fair Lady" (1964), 9. "An American in Paris" (1951), and 10. "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944).
While even a list as prestigious as that of AFI is debatable, put "Les Miserables" on your must-see list.
If you're ever invited to the Apatows, you may want to politely decline.
That's because, based on writer-director Judd Apatow's "This Is 40," filmed in and around his Four Season hotel interior decor-styled Los Angeles area home, you will be subjected to a barrage of rude, lewd and crude invective, diatribes and behavior.
"This Is 40" is an often desperate attempt at comedy. I found the movie mostly insufferable. "This is 40" is Judd Apatow's home movie.
Despite its title, there's not too much that's unexpected in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
There are goblins, wizards, trolls, rock monsters and, of course, dwarfs.
This should please fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973) novels, on which "The Hobbit" is based, as it did my son, Elias, who accompanied me to a 3D screening of "Unexpected Journey."
It was the second time Elias saw "The Hobbit" movie. The first time he saw it was in the regular format. Elias said the 3D version enhanced some scenes, but it's not necessary to see "The Hobbit" in 3D.
A pause for a prayer for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims and their families, a diving board for the middle school project, movement on the long-stalled district solar energy project and a new five-year contract with the district superintendent.
These topics were among those at Monday night's Northampton Area School Board meeting the week before Christmas, a meeting muted by a tragedy that has resonated with educators, parents and students across the nation.
Every Christmas play and movie tells a story.
Allentown Public Theatre (APT)'s production of "Every Christmas Story Every Told (And Then Some!)," through Dec. 23, the Salemme Foundation, Allentown, manages to tell nearly all of them.
The comedy with music, written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alverez, premiered in 2003 at Cape May Stage, Cape May, N.J.