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Questions and Concerns

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Santiago Rivera
Santiago Rivera

Dark Cloud YIFY

"Cinderella Liberty" was obviously written and directed by men (in this case, the screenplay by Darryl Ponicsan, from his novel, and the direction by Mark Rydell). It features the kind of movie-hooker culled straight from the 1950s, one with a big heart, a fun-loving laugh and a dedication to her sailors--she just can't wait to get back to business. James Caan, probably the most sensitive movie tough-guy of this era, latches onto a Seattle whore (Marsha Mason) and her illegitimate, half-black pre-teen son; the three make a happy pair until Mason prematurely gives birth to the baby she's carrying. Rydell is a filmmaker who sees romance in welfare-marked squalor, and his sentiment is braced with a tough shell, yet nothing in the film makes sense. After a one-nighter with Mason, Caan meets up with her smart-aleck son by chance and instantly identifies him as her kid (there isn't a moment of recognition, just a decent man-to-man chat and the story moves on). Once Mason and Caan decide to get married, there's lots of talk regarding their union yet we never see it. The script is a connect-the-dots job, with unconvincing characters to match. Mason, despite an Oscar nod, isn't quite believable playing low-class, and every time she's uses the word "ain't" it rings false (her somewhat-chaste nudity is uncomfortable for her too, you can sense she cannot wait to cover up). Caan, frequently talking with a hick twang in his voice, plays decent and moral as if it were a dark cloud over him; he's an optimist but a hopeless one, and when he gets his ire up and fights back he is still shown getting nowhere. The picture is heavy on the bluesy Seattle night-life, but the sordid atmospherics never quite come through (this is pretty coy for an R-rated feature). Rydell and Ponicsan believe in the cliché so badly they have to conjure up a happy ending out of thin air. As for Mason, she has a quiet, reflective moment where she tells how sick she is of the mess her life has become--though in the very next scene, she's making herself up for a night on the town. You just can't keep a gold-plated lady-of-the-evening down, not even in Seattle. ** from ****

Dark Cloud YIFY

I lived in Northern Ireland for 10 years, I came from England. My knowledge of Northern Ireland amounted to orchestrated news stories and nothing more. This poetic documentary moved me entirely, and my wife who is native to Belfast. I shed more than one tear as did my wife. Helena Bereen's narrative is utterly moving. The use of iconic places interjected with historical facts make this documentary more a work of love than a determined exercise in Northern Irish divide. I have seen many documentaries and films concerning Northern Ireland, but I have never been moved so much by any. I Am Belfast is a visual poem, a testimony of the people of Belfast who once opened their doors to one another, sharing vibrancy and acceptance until a dark cloud moved over the waters and overshadowed everything in it's path. Even as I write this review I can still hear the voice of Belfast and I hope I continue to hear it long into my days.

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