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FLICKS: Ma Ma, Weiner & PBS Memorial Day Concert

Posted on 26 May 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With The Voice and Dancing with the Stars ending their respective seasons this week, only the NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey playoffs are providing reality television competition. Alice Through the Looking Glass and X-Men: Apocalypse will fill the big screens this weekend; however, two distinct and intimate movies are opening tomorrow with less promotion: the documentary Weiner and the Spanish movie Ma Ma.

Penelope Cruz gives a charismatic, truthful and fully naked performance as Magda, the protagonist of Ma Ma. In fact, the actress is seen topless receiving a routine breast examination. When the gynecologist (Asier Etxeandia ) orders more tests, we learn that Magda has cancer in her right breast.

Magda accepts the results with courage; she is busy dealing with the recent separation from her husband while taking her son, Dani (Teo Planell) to soccer matches. Between bus rides to her chemotherapy treatments, Magda meets Arturo (Luis Tosar), a man of constant sorrow.

With such a plot synopsis, Ma Ma might seem like a stereotypical Spanish melodrama. However, writer/director Julio Medem has created a movie that promotes the culture of life. These dark themes are offset by beautiful cinematography and Penelope Cruz’s life-affirming performance. This beautiful actress allows herself to look weather-beaten; yet, her eyes radiate a spiritual value beyond the physical.

Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner deserves no award, as witnessed in the documentary Weiner, which also opens tomorrow in local cinemas.

Anthony Weiner was disgraced when he Tweeted a sexually explicit photo of himself to an adult female Twitter follower. The Tweet went viral, scandal ensued and Weiner resigned from Congress.

Perhaps the scandal would have faded as a political footnote, but he decided to run for Mayor of New York. Inviting a documentary camera crew along with him, Weiner faces additional political bombshells as more is revealed about his repeated exhibitionist behavior. Weiner is a case study of political narcissism, with cameos from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

If today’s political climate is too depressing to watch, take time to watch the PBS National Memorial Day Concert hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise. It features entertainment provided by The Beach Boys, Trace Adkins and Renée Fleming, who gladly play second fiddle to the American Military Veterans. Thank a Veteran this Memorial Day Weekend!

 

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