Saturday movie review: The Hollars

I have a soft spot for movies about messed up families. If dysfunctional families were a film sub-category, you know, like coming-of-age is, I'd have to say it's one of my favorites.

I don't simply have a thing for dysfunctional families. I come from a dysfunctional family. And, trust me, if a film were made called The Aukemas (my maiden name) and based on the Aukemas (my family of origin), it would not make for enjoyable viewing.

THE HOLLARS, though, is enjoyable to watch. Trust me on that, too. The dramedy puts fun in dysfunction and proved a pleasurable hour and a half with the Mom, Dad, and two adult brothers who make up the fictional Hollar clan.

the hollars on DVD

I give (most of) the credit for that fun and pleasure to John Krasinski. Sure, he played the youngest Hollar brother to perfection, but his acting takes a backseat here to his directing (he also produced it).

His first time in the director chair, Krasinski — working with a stellar screenplay...

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Saturday movie review: A Family Affair

The documentary A FAMILY AFFAIR is one of those films I'm glad I watched but certainly wouldn't say I enjoyed it. Or liked it. In fact, I didn't like the subject — a grandmother, no less — one single bit.

A Family Affair movie

Yet I couldn't stop watching this film by Danish documentarian Tom Fassaert, who filmed a fascinating attempt to figure out his grandmother, a famous model in the '50s. Primarily, Fassaert hoped to...

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Saturday movie review: 'August: Osage County'

Let me just say upfront that I didn't enjoy watching AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. Which stinks, because I thought for sure I'd love it. But despite the fabulous, award-worthy acting on the part of every single person in it — Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale and more — I did not like it.

Reason being: It cut too close to home, felt too much like my family of origin and how we all relate to one another. Which is in a far from warm and cozy manner. And this is a far from warm and cozy film.

August: Osage County


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Water under the bridge

For reasons unclear, reasons never honestly shared with me, my younger brother hasn't spoken to me in more than eight years.

This past Wednesday, thanks to my mom and my sister—my brother's twin—my brother and I had no choice but to have lunch together.

Which turned out to be a good thing.

Sometimes the reasons people do the things they do make no sense.

And sometimes, after a while, those reasons no longer matter.

Perhaps what does matter is forgiveness.

And watching the water continue on its course beneath the bridge.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

Though we've not spoken in years, I'd love to reconnect with _____________.