Don Shanahan reviews “Te Ata” and “American Made” to close September on Every Movie Has a Lesson

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TE ATA

Not all actors and actresses are motivated by fame and profit.  Some are in it for the performance and chance to share culture through an artistic medium.  Before the hey-day of cinema, one such actress captured the fascination of an audience higher than any Hollywood premiere and did so as an ostracized minority.  Better yourself with a slice of history to learn about Mary Frances Thompson, or, as she was called on stage, Te Ata.

AMERICAN MADE

You know the drill of the typical “so unbelievable it has to be true” cinematic crime biography of a roguish anti-hero.  The self-narrated humble beginnings give way to the zeal of daring accomplishment leading to wealthy illegal success, a rise to power, a peak of over-inflation, and the long arm of the law catching up to cause a fall from grace and comeuppance.  However, the propeller that makes this jet-set ride swoop with showmanship is the dashing presence of Tom Cruise.

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