Freeze Frame: “The Glorias” (R), “The Boys in the Band” (R), “Herb Alpert Is” (Not rated), “A Call to Spy” (PG-13), “Eternal Beauty” (R)

The life of feminist icon Gloria Steinem is given the art house treatment in Julie Taymor’s overambitious biography, “The Glorias.” Four actresses play Steinem in various stages of her life, including Oscar winners Alicia Vikander and Julianne Moore. While it’s illuminating and relevant, the film skims the surface while indulging in some unnecessary and pretentious sequences of surrealism. Still, “The Glorias” is a modestly involving experiment.


“The Boys in the Band” is a Netflix adaptation of the famous 1968 Broadway play about a birthday party amongst a group of gay men that devolves into an ugly session of self-loathing and bickering. Jim Parsons leads a strong cast in this wicked comic drama that isn’t nearly as shocking as it would have been 50 years ago, but still packs a punch.


The documentary “Herb Alpert Is” provides a sweeping overview of the life of the phenomenally successful musician, artist, philanthropist and founder of A&M Records. For those unfamiliar with his work, it’s an involving primer. For those old enough to remember the heyday of the Tijuana Brass, it’s downright nostalgic.


“A Call to Spy” is a WWII drama about England’s spy agency that sent women to Nazi occupied France in an attempt to thwart the German war effort. Writer/producer Sarah Megan Thomas plays American Virginia Hall, one of the leaders of the mission. Although it’s earnest, well meaning and serves as a fitting tribute to those honorable women, “A Call to Spy” never generates the tension necessary to make it a memorable thriller.


An excellent performance by Sally Hawkins is the main attraction of the arty drama “Eternal Beauty,” the tale of a woman’s struggle with mental illness. The showy, self-conscious direction draws attention to itself and dilutes what might otherwise have been an absorbing narrative. At least “Eternal Beauty” it’s not the same old thing.


Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of  intriguing movie titles. More information is available at,, and

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