Edge of TomorrowEdge of Tomorrow

Using the same plot device as Harold Ramis’s temporal breakthrough script Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow gives a more plausible rationale for a person living the same day over and over again, but couches the story in a science fiction action adventure format.

An Education - MulliganAn Education

An Education is both a very scary and ultimately very satisfying movie.  Any film that balances tension in such an evocative way deserves attention and this one more than most.  Fortunately, it got it in the form of three Academy Award nominations in 2010, for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress.


If ever there was a candidate for a movie that needed a Second Look, it is the 2005 Cameron Crowe romantic comedy-drama, Elizabethtown.  Crowe wrote and directed the film, which features music by his wife, Nancy Wilson, one-half of the musical duo Heart.  As romantic comedies go, this is a very smart one, always entertaining, and deeper than it probably should be. 

amy-adams encxhantedEnchanted

Walt Disney Pictures has given us a most enchanting film in this entertaining blend of animation, CGI, and live action.  Released in 2007, Enchanted was written by Bill Kelly and directed by Kevin Lima with an eye toward both parody and reverence toward the Disney classic animated movies.  It contains wonderful songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and sparkles with good humor.

English PatientThe English Patient

The English Patient is a highly overblown World War II romance. Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, the movie was adapted and directed by Anthony Minghella.  It tells a rather choppy story that uses lots of flashbacks to flesh out (literally) the illicit romance between cartographer Count László de Almásy and the wife of his benefactor, Katherine Clifton.

The First Annual Amy Adams Film Festival

When I finished the fifth draft of my novel Walk Against Time, I was suffering a bit of post-partum depression and decided to fill the void with Amy Adams movies, so I decided to create the First Annual Amy Adams Film Festival. Okay, it was a low-key affair, just me and a bowl of popcorn, but it was great fun.

I must confess right from the beginning that I love Amy Adams unconditionally.

There, it’s out in the open. A friend recently asked me what I love about Amy and I’ve got to confess that it’s pretty much the whole package.  Red hair, green eyes, a cute little pixie nose.  What’s not to love?  She’s not emaciated, but not overweight, either (okay, maybe just a tiny hint of baby fat).  Inside that perfect shell, there is a personality that just radiates optimism.  Don’t blame her, she can’t help it.  It’s how she is.  She’s like the Tom Hanks of female actors.  There’s just something that will never, ever give up on humanity and our potential.  Finally, you crinkle in a moderate dash of vulnerability that brings tears to my eyes.  Please, Amy, DON’T CRY!  I admit it freely.  I am besotted.

The film list below contains links to my reviews for each of the movies.  Just click on the name or photo to read the full review.

The First Annual Amy Adams Film Festival

Day 1

Leap Year

amy-adams-leap-yearAmy plays an Irish-American girl who travels to the auld country to propose to her sweetie on February 29th, when she believes he can’t refuse. Along the way, she meets an Irish pub owner that just might change her mind.  This is easily the worst of all the films in the festival.  It is a romantic comedy that is not entirely successful.  Read the review to find out why.  It’s a good film to begin the festival with because every movie will get better from now on.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

amy adams miss-pettigrewOne of Amy’s most adorable roles as nightclub singer Delysia Lafosse, a flibbertygibbet who is bouncing between three men. It takes a wonderful performance by Frances McDormand to help her realize her true love and find happiness.  A wonderful comedy!

American Hustle

amy_adams american hustleAmy does some real acting in this hilarious comedy about two con artists in the 1970’s who get into something over their heads. Christian Bale is unbelievably good in this movie and frankly he steals the show, but Amy is great, too.  In fact, everyone is good.



amy-adams encxhanted

This is an amazing Disney film containing both animation and live action with great music and some incredible songs. Yes, Amy sings again!  She is at her delightful best as Princess Giselle who is thrown out of her cartoon kingdom into downtown Manhattan by the evil queen Narissa, played by Susan Sarandon.  It’s joyful and funny and one of the best Amy Adams films ever.  A personal favorite.


Day 2

Sunshine Cleaning

amy adams emily blunt sunshine cleaningThis is kind of a dark comedy about two down and out Albuquerque sisters, played by Amy and Emily Blunt, who start a business cleaning up crime scenes. It is both funny and touching and features a great performance by Blunt.  Alan Arkin appears as their father.

 The Fighter

amy_adams the fighter

A great film on so many levels! Again, Christian Bale is over the top good and won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role as Dicky Eckland, the older brother of Amy’s love interest, Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahberg. Amy plays a smart bartender who helps Micky to escape his family’s bungling of his boxing career. She’s really good in this movie and creates a real regular girl-type character (except that she’s like totally gorgeous, as usual). This is a must-see movie!


Trouble with the Curve

Amy-Adams-in-Trouble-with-the-Curve-What more could one possibly ask than to have Clint Eastwood as Amy’s crusty old baseball scout father? She’s at her most vulnerable here in a movie that combines some subtle comedy with a deep hurt that she suffered in her childhood.  She and Clint are dynamite together and when you add in Justin Timberlake as her love interest, you have a wonderful, feel-good movie that just can’t be resisted.  Wonderful!


Julie and Julia


amy adams julie and juliaThe festival ends, appropriately enough, with Julie and Julia.  The first time I actually remember seeing Amy Adams in anything, it was this and I fell for her really hard as Julie Powell, a talented wannabe writer in a post 9/11 world who decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s legendary cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Although they have no scenes together, Meryl Streep’s endearing performance as Julia Child is a perfect counterpoint to Amy’s vulnerable, lovable Julie.  This is a film that I can literally watch over and over and love more each time.  As a writer, two scenes touch me the most.  First, when Julia receives the first printed copy of her book, and second, when Julie gets a call that a publisher is interested in publishing her blog.  I’m still waiting for the magical moment in my own life, but these two women are wonderful in their own joy of publication.  LOVE—LOVE—LOVE this movie!



And so the festival ends. An empty bowl of popcorn.  A little wetness about my eyes.  And a hope that the Second Annual Amy Adams Film Festival will be just as enjoyable as the first.

I hope you all like my reviews, please feel free to subscribe to my web site to enjoy all of the reviews I write in the future.

Until then, as Julia Child would say, Bon Appetit


EnchantedWalt Disney Pictures has given us a most enchanting film in this entertaining blend of animation, CGI, and live action. Released in 2007, Enchanted was written by Bill Kelly and directed by Kevin Lima with an eye toward both parody and reverence toward the Disney classic animated movies.  It contains wonderful songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and sparkles with good humor.

It begins with animation in the make-believe world of Andalasia, where only good things happen. Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) lives alone in the forest communing with her little animal friends and pining for some hero to come sweep her off her feet. She has been constructing a mannequin to represent her true love, but can’t find lips.  Stepping to her window, she sings a little refrain that calls all the forest animals to help.  As she sings “True Love’s Kiss,” bunnies, fawns, birds, and other forest animals sing along with her.  Elsewhere in the forest, Prince Edward (James Marsden) also sings the song while looking for the love of his life and hunting trolls. He rescues Giselle from a troll, they fall in love and decide to get married the next day.

However, his wicked stepmother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) has other plans. If Edward gets married, it means she’ll have to give up the throne.  When Giselle shows up at the castle the next day, Narissa turns herself into an old hag and pushes Giselle into a deep well.  After plunging through water, she emerges in the sewers of Manhattan as a real live person, which is the first time we actually get to see Amy Adams.  As she wanders around New York City trying to get help, she her tiara stolen and gets drenched in rain.  At last she sees a casino decked out like a palace and tries to climb up to get in the door.  Along comes Robert (Patrick Dempsey), an attorney, with daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey) and the rescue the Princess and bring her back to their apartment.

Back in Andalasia, Giselle’s chipmunk friend, Pip alerts Prince Edward that his love has disappeared down the magic well, so he and Pip jump in to follow her and also end up as real beings in New York searching for the lost girl. Narissa sends her incompetent assistant Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) after them in an attempt to ensure that Giselle does not get rescued.  In the midst of this, as Robert and Morgan are falling in love with Giselle, Robert’s girlfriend Nancy (Idina Menzel) is fighting to keep him.

Seeing the state of Robert’s apartment, Giselle opens the window and sings her little refrain to call the forest animals, but she’s in New York, so she gets pigeons, rats and cockroaches who all dance and scrub happily away as she sings “Happy Working Song.” The combination here of live action and CGI mesh so well that one’s attention is strictly on the action and the song and it is SO SO funny!  Later, walking in Central Park with Robert, she sings a big production number, “That’s How You Know” that has a HUGE ensemble of dancers and moves seamlessly through the park.  It’s almost impossible not to walk away singing the song.

There is one other great song, but it is not sung by characters. At the end, Carrie Underwood sings behind live and animated action the song “Ever Ever After” that concludes the movie.

This is a truly creative, entertaining film, probably one of the best Disney films I’ve ever seen. The songs, sets, locations, costumes, photography, and animation are all first rate.  Amy Adams is really, really funny and her naïve naiveté is part of what makes the film succeed.  Anything less than real belief in Princess Giselle’s goodness and purity would have failed.  Susan Sarandon is wonderful as the arch villainess and all of the other actors do an excellent job.

A great movie for kids or adults!