REVIEW: Passengers [2008]

“Better now than later” An explosion, crash, confused man, and burning plane: this is the sequence of images as Rodrigo García‘s Passengers commences. It’s a pretty straightforward visual set-up for the incident everything else will surround before his lead (Anne Hathaway‘s Dr. Claire Summers) is introduced during the next scene. She’s a trauma counselor enlisted […]

REVIEW: Becoming Jane [2007]

“Are there no other women in Hampshire?” I had never seen Julian Jarrold‘s Becoming Jane before today and yet my constantly being hit with a sense of familiarity while watching made me question that truth. The reason stems from the fact that screenwriters Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams crafted their tale of young Jane Austen […]

REVIEW: Havoc [2005]

“There is a monetary zone of geography which we’re not allowed to pass” I can’t help wondering what Havoc might have been if Jessica Kaplan had the means to make it herself in the 90s like today’s aspiring filmmakers can thanks to affordable technology. She was seventeen when she sold her script “The Powers That […]

REVIEW: A Star Is Born [2018]

“I love the way she sees them” It began with Hollywood as William A. Wellman and Robert Carson won an Oscar for their story about a young actress dreaming of super stardom in 1937. From there it went the way of the movie musical thanks to Judy Garland taking the lead before earning six nominations […]

REVIEW: Miller’s Crossing [1990]

“I’ll think about it” The mob is a business like any other. Leadership must be strong and decisive, employees must be loyal to a fault, and every once in a while you have to cut someone you like loose in order to not anger someone you might like less but definitely need more. Despite everything […]

REVIEW: Blaze [2018]

“Never stand in the way of true love” You have to respect the way Ethan Hawke approached his latest film Blaze and its central character Blaze Foley. He’d never heard the artist’s name or music until being stopped in his tracks upon listening to John Prine cover “Clay Pigeons.” That sparked an interest for research […]

REVIEW: Smallfoot [2018]

“True your aim” Would it be hyperbolic to call Smallfoot the most dangerous film of the year? Definitely … and yet it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Yes there’s a wholesome message at the back of what Karey Kirkpatrick (who co-directed with Jason Reisig and co-wrote with Clare Sera from a previous script that itself was […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Retrospekt [2018]

“Every Wednesday and … coffee” I can’t think of a better term to describe Esther Rots‘ Retrospekt than her own: “sensory cinema.” We get a feeling for what this means during the opening scene as Dan Geesin‘s score and Bas Kuijlenburg’s boomingly operatic baritone drowns out the action onscreen with English lyrics telling a story […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Hjertelandet [Heartbound] [2018]

“I can sell my body if it helps my family” A film ten years in the making, anthropologist Sine Plambech and her director husband Janus Metz‘s open a door with Hjertelandet [Heartbound] onto an intriguing humanist story dealing with the complexities of life, love, and survival that spans almost nine thousand kilometers from Thailand to […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: The Third Wife [2018]

“One day you’ll like it for real” It’s 19th century Vietnam and fourteen-year old May (Nguyen Phuong Tra My) has just been married to a wealthy landowner named Hung (Long Le Vu). She wears a genuine smile on her face, this next chapter in life as hopeful as it is scary. She has two other […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Las niñas bien [The Good Girls] [2018]

“So happy. We’re so happy.” Sofía Hernandez (Ilse Salas) has everything: three children she can ignore, servants and maids to take care of her every whim, and a husband (Flavio Medina‘s Fernando) who inherited his wealth from his father and still has yet to really work for it thanks to Uncle Javier (Diego Jáuregui) managing […]