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Articles by Diana Beechener

They’re not old, they’re classics

Beecham House is a nursing home with a twist. Billed as a community for retired musicians, Beecham is a haven for symphony and opera stars awaiting their final curtain call. Instead of bingo, they perform arias and celebrate the birth of Verdi with an annual gala performance that brings them back to the stage.
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The former governor of California gets serious about border control

Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Expendables 2) left a life of action as a Los Angeles cop to police a small border town in Arizona.
    Small town life gets a lot more exciting when Mexican cartel kingpin Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega: Una Pistola en Cada Mano) escapes from FBI custody. He jumps in a souped-up Corvette, takes a hostage and speeds toward freedom. The only thing standing in his way are the local yokels of Sommerton....

How far would you go to catch a terrorist?

After the September 11, 2001, attacks that murdered 3,000 Americans, Osama bin Laden became the world’s most-hunted man. Ten years later, the search continued.
    For CIA agent Mya (Jessica Chastain: Lawless), the search for bin Laden is an obsession. She takes a position in the Pakistan bureau and spends every waking hour tracking obscure leads and interrogating detainees.
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Matt Damon teaches the simple folk about the environment

Slick salesman Steve Butler (Matt Damon: We Bought a Zoo) rolls into a Pennsylvania farming town with a plan. The agricultural community is dying, and Steve has the solution: Lease your land to a natural gas company. Global Natural Gas wants to frack for gas pockets beneath the land, and the desperately poor community will get a percentage of the take.
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White people’s problems

A British family’s 2004 Christmas on a Thai beach paradise is spoiled when a massive tsunami devastates Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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An epic musical with a few sour notes

Life hasn’t turned out well for Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman: Rise of the Guardians). After stealing bread to feed his nephew and sister, he’s arrested and given 20 years hard labor. Branded a dangerous man, Valjean must wander the countryside looking for work and finding nothing but cruelty.
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Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.
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A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.
    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.
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The Master of Suspense would have made a ­better movie …

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins: 360) was a great filmmaker with a lot of issues. He ate too much. He was pathetically dependent on his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren: The Door). Though their marriage was devoid of passion, he obsessed over the nubile blondes he directed. And, if Hitchcock is to be believed, he identified fully and had imaginary conversations with serial killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott: A Lonely Place for Dying).
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Thank your lucky stars that your friends and family don’t resemble the people in

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper: Hit and Run) is going through a rough patch. An undiagnosed manic-depressive most of his life, Pat got his diagnosis when he nearly beat the life out of his cheating wife’s lover.
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