New Movies with Frances McDormand:
City by the Sea - I really liked Robert DeNiro in this one as a cop whose estranged addict son, James Franco, kills a drug dealer. McDormand plays his distant girlfriend who's ready to call it quits, but he needs her to get through the crisis. 3.5/5 stars/lambs
Johnny Skidmarks - No, this doesn't involve poo in underwear, but rather crime scene photography and creepy mysterious McDormand. She plays a not quite all there recovering alcoholic who befriends Peter Gallagher's Johnny. He thinks she's the one who put a head in his freezer, but it is much more complicated than that. Not good, but closing in on so bad it's good.
Primal Fear - This was one of those movies that I avoided because the title sounded scary. It's just a legal drama, and a damn good one with a pretty terrific twist. Richard Gere plays a defense attorney who is all about the money and being famous, but something about Edward Norton gets under his skin and he wants to defend the innocent. McDormand has a small role as the psychiatrist trying to figure out if Norton is crazy. Great movie. 4/5 stars/lambs
Paradise Road - This was one Netflix has been recommending for ages and ages. Makes me wonder what Netflix thinks of me. It's a very sad and depressing movie about women trying to survive the Japanese occupation during WWII. They go through very rough conditions, and McDormand plays a German Jewish doctor who escaped the Nazis but found the Japanese. Glenn Close and Jennifer Ehle also star. It's got lots of good moment of strength and optimism during war, but it's also determined to show the brutality of their captors which was hard to watch, even though it's based on a true story. 3/5 stars/lambs.