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'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

MOVIE REVIEW
Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

This Day in Pop Culture for May 26

John Wayne was born on May 26, 1907.

John Wayne is Born

On this day in 1907, Marion Michael Morrison, better known as the western actor John Wayne, was born. Wayne hadn’t always wanted to be an actor. He wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, but he was rejected. However, he did accept a full scholarship to play football for the University of Southern California. During the summer of 1926, one of Wayne’s football coaches found him a job working as an assistant prop man for director John Ford.  Ford took a liking to him and started him out as an extra here and there and eventually gave Wayne a starring role in The Big Trail in 1930. The film did poorly and it wasn’t until 1939 that Wayne got another chance to star in a movie. This time it was Stagecoach, which did so well, that Wayne didn’t have any trouble getting new roles for some time. It is said that audiences got tired of Wayne by the late 1960’s (he did tend to play the same role over and over again) but surprised people when he played the “bad guy” in True Grit in 1969 and won an Oscar for his efforts. His last film was The Shootest which came out in 1976. He died three years later of cancer. 

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