Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie



It’s a well-known fact that any movie Meryl Streep touches turns to cinematic gold. So it is fitting that she lifts the light, good-hearted Florence Foster Jenkins — about the famed singer who couldn’t sing a damned note — away from cruel satire to droll biopic. Wealthy Jenkins has no talent but is driven to perform, enabled by her husband, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), who offers his own nuanced take on delusional celebrity as he promotes her career. The woman was ridiculed in her lifetime, but this movie takes a kinder approach to her devotion to her (lack of) craft. And it’s a testament to Streep’s talent that she’s so good at acting like she has none.

Opens Aug. 12 in wide release



Abandoned by their parents and left to fend for themselves, three sisters discover at their father’s funeral a fourth, and invite her to live with them in their little house in Kamakura, Japan. A viewer unfamiliar with director Hirokazu Koreeda might think these circumstances could lead to tense family drama. They would be wrong. Instead, he presents a lengthy, slow film about the four sisters making their way, smoothing out these oh-so-slight wrinkles and living quiet, normal lives. Youngest sister Suzu starts school and makes new friends. Eldest sister Sachi learns to relax and be kinder. It’s beautiful, introspective and peaceful. But exciting? Sadly, not at all.

Opens Aug. 12 at Kahala Theatre



Tom Hanks is a gloomy, down-on-his-luck salesman burdened with the task of selling a holographic communication to the king of Saudi Arabia. He’s thrust into a world so unfamiliar that it borders on absurd. The short, jaunty movie offers some compelling visuals (especially early on), mostly manages to steer away from yet another manifestation of white savior complex, and is buoyed by the stalwart Hanks, but it also feels a tad discombobulated — like a bunch of scenes got stitched together with the seams showing and the cotton leaking out. What’s the point, you might ask by the end. And the answer remains as insubstantial as a hologram.

Plays at 11 a.m., 2:15, 4, 5:45 and 9 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Movie Museum