Characters on the Couch
Film & Television Blog

by Dr. Sandra Cohen

Fantasy Relationship 3.0

Spike Jonze is interested in loneliness. His new film, Her, is a semi-futuristic exploration of one lonely man’s struggle to learn what love is and what love is not. Here’s what we know about Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix). He has a broken heart. His marriage to Catherine has come to a devastatingly sad end. At,…

Read More about HERFantasy Relationship 3.0

Money or Love? What’s the Prize?

What does a son do when he feels his dad doesn’t love him? Either silently withdraw or take the road trip of his life to just spend a little time together. Director Alexander Payne has done it brilliantly again. Nebraska isn’t the road trip we took in Sideways. It’s a father-son road trip, and a touchingly redemptive ride…

Read More about NEBRASKAMoney or Love? What’s the Prize?

Triumph Over Shame

And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness … (T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets) Shame ravages. It eats away at you. It makes you collapse into yourself and live with secrets – seemingly too shameful to tell. Philomena Lee’s (Judi Dench) story is the story of…

Read More about PHILOMENATriumph Over Shame