The Shape of Water a film by Guillermo del Toro. With Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer. ****1/2 The Shape of Water is a tribute to movies from the fifties, men in suits and fedoras, women in dresses, the Red Menace hovering everywhere, monsters emerging from the deep. Two of its primary characters, … Continue reading Ain’t Got One
Tishomingo Blues from Four Later Novels by Elmore Leonard. Library of America. 961 pp. $40.00. No sooner do I complain about a problem in Elmore Leonard’s work—the fact that every novel seemed to feature a monstrous guy who killed people casually and unnecessarily, as if such people don’t need explaining—than it disappeared. Tishomingo Blues includes … Continue reading Problem Solved
Coco a film by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina. With Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach. ***** I went to this movie as an act of desperation. Every day I read in the New York Times about the marvelous movies that are arriving for the holiday season and the great reviews they’ve … Continue reading Who You Really Are (You Knew All Along)
Out of Sight from Four Later Novels by Elmore Leonard. Library of America. 961 pp. $40.00. I’m coming to the end of my Elmore Leonard period. I never thought, when I decided to look into his Detroit novels because my son now lives in Detroit and I’ve gotten to know the place a little, that … Continue reading My Elmore Leonard Problem
Seven Days of One Long Moment The question—which I’ve asked on this website before—is: what is the nameless dread that I feel before sesshin begins, the fear that periodically grips me in the pit of my stomach? What am I afraid of? I seemed to have less of it this year. I had uneasy moments, … Continue reading Nights of Terror
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Anchor Books. 340 pp. $16.00. ***** I’m aware as a writer that many people I read are more talented than I, but now and then I’m pulled up short by a writer who does something I couldn’t even aspire to. I felt that way about War … Continue reading Time is a What?