Archive for the ‘Stockard Channing’ Category

The Room Upstairs

25 Mar

The Room Upstairs –– directed by Stuart Margolin –– Hallmark Hall Of Fame comedy-drama in which a school teacher decides to start a boardinghouse in her family home –– 79 minutes color 1987.


Oi-vey. The most talented actors in America are subject to a badly written script whose lies are generally given to Stockard Channing and Linda Hunt to deliver –– in the phony relations of Channing to “getting through to” the dreadful teenagers Hunt’s agency cares for. Sam Waterston cleverly holds his own in this story, but neither he nor anyone else has the lines to justify our interest or respect. No actor, no matter how good, can survive such tripe proudly. However, one actor does fare well –– and, of course, it is the extraordinary Joan Allen, playing an Irish wife to a philandering bum. Her playing here, as it so often is elsewhere, is riveting. How she does it I don’t know, and maybe she doesn’t either, but boy is she worth watching. If you’re a Joan Allen fan, send for it. In her, at least, you will not be disappointed.



Red Mercury

25 Mar

Red Mercury — Directed by Roy Battersby — Terrorist Drama. All London hangs by a thread as a group of terrorists ambushed in a Greek restaurant bargain for world domination. 113 minutes Color 2005.

* * * *

Perfectly cast and performed, the story is lead by Juliet Stevenson, lead detective but with a troubled daughter, who plays a careful tracking game to gain leverage on the terrorists within. Immediately behind her, playing the head of police is Pete Postlethwaite, whose interests lie alongside hers but slightly to the right. Inside are the captors and captives. Ron Silver is lovely as a ritzy American lawyer with helpful ideas for the terrorists. And you will relish to your bones Stockard Channing as the owner and chief cook of the Greek restaurant. It’s a lushly written part, for she is outspoken, corrective, funny, and insinuating in achieving her goals. Watch how, as an actress, she is so firmly planted on her beautiful strong legs and feet. Whatever you may think of her as an actress, she is always there, always present. As to the film, not a bad way at all to spend a good movie hour or so.


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