Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wind River: Movie Review


Thoughtful, compelling and distressing.
Wind River starts with the end of a life of a Native American woman. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say murder mystery, but it does feel like that is a cheap description. This film is a drama, a tightly wound drama at times, while on its way to avenging a murder (either through legal justice or revenge) it gives some thoughtful pause to racial tensions between Native Americans and their white neighbours, and the universality of grief. 2017

Directed by: Taylor Sheridan

Screenplay by: Taylor Sheridan

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lemon: Movie Review


Not a good crazy.
There’s a scene in Lemon where Michael Cera’s character says to Brett Gelman’s character, “I knew you were crazy, but I thought it was a good crazy. I liked it. I liked it a lot; I thought it was fun. Now I know you’re bad crazy; you’re unstable.” The quote also works as a good description of the film. A film that is very clearly crazy, but is it good crazy or bad crazy? Could it be a fun and likable kind of crazy? The answer to the latter question is “no.” 2017

Directed by: Janicza Bravo

Screenplay by: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman

Starring: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Landline: Movie Review


Witty, genuine and authentic.
Landline is set in the 90s. The filmmakers definitely make that point clear, but at the same time the references are mostly kept in the background. The film is so much more than outdated fashion and culture jokes. It’s a very enjoyable treatise on love – family love and commitment to yourself and commitment to another you’ve professed to love. It hits that remarkable balance between witty silliness and relatable drama of real life. 2017

Directed by: Gillian Robespierre

Screenplay by: Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre

Starring: Jenny Slate, Abby Quinn, Edie Falco, John Turturro and Jay Duplass

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lady Macbeth: Movie Review


A dark and twisted tale of love and murder.
Lady Macbeth is a film deserving of its namesake, in that there are no likable characters. This is a film filled with sociopathic people completely devoid of empathy – and yet there is something compelling about the murderess protagonist. The film itself is based on the Russian novella "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" (which of course borrows its title from the Shakespearean character), although veers significantly from the original material. 2016

Directed by: William Oldroyd

Screenplay by: Alice Birch
Based on the novel by Nikolai Leskov

Starring: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Little Hours: Movie Review


A nun sex comedy goes crazy and sometimes funny.
The Little Hours is a medieval satirical farce, a sex romp through a nunnery and its countryside. The movie looks exactly like it could have been a Monty Python sketch. An idea that probably should have remained just that, but writer and director Jeff Baena and the cast with a background in sitcoms were able to stretch it out with enough laughs to keep the audience’s attention. 2017

Directed by: Jeff Baena

Screenplay by: Jeff Baena

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilly

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Ghost Story: Movie Review


Creative exploration of life and loss with a uniquely engaging ghost.
A Ghost Story is an incredibly unique and odd experience and although I have no desire to describe it in overly philosophical and broad terms, describing how it accomplishes what it accomplishes is going to be a challenge. First, writer and director David Lowery has chosen a box-like 1.33:1 aspect ratio with rounded corners. Similar to photographs you’ve seen in your grandparents’ albums. It gives the film a worn-out but familiar atmosphere, like this moving story of a ghost’s life is a family photograph held onto and cherished through the years. 2017

Directed by: David Lowery

Screenplay by: David Lowery

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Detroit: Movie Review


Powerful foray into America’s race riots.
Detroit opens with a cartoon detailing a brief synopsis of the racial history of the early to mid 1900s, that leads into Detroit in the 1960s with African Americans milling about on the streets, many out of work, most just going on with their lives despite the unrest, racist cops sputtering their racist ideas, black politicians being the voice for the brewing civil unrest and black cops not wanting to be the voice for every African American in the country. Tensions boil over, race riots ensue. 2017

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenplay by: Mark Boal

Starring: Will Poulter, Algee Smith, John Boyega, Anthony Mackie