TIFF17 REVIEW: Porcupine Lake [2017]

“Never ever squeal. That’s a rule.” Teenage Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) is in desperate need of an escape from her mundane, isolated life. We can assume Toronto’s big city living isn’t yet something she’s embraced due to her tendency for fainting spells whenever anxiety grows. Mom (Delphine Roussel‘s Ally) therefore keeps a tight leash, protecting her […]

FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Sequence Break [2017]

“Let the void look into you” Introversion and high anxiety are real and can be triggered by the tiniest of things or the lack thereof. Oz (Chase Williamson) has struggled with both his entire life, that insecurity in social situations driving him towards the world of videogames. The joy of solitude playing them and being […]

REVIEW: A Ghost Story [2017]

“I don’t remember” **SPOILERS** There’s a character (Will Oldham‘s ‘Prognosticator’) in David Lowery‘s A Ghost Story—a sparse meditation on life, love, grief, and death—who delivers a dissertation of that very film. Or at least what pedantically pretentious windbags such as he would think the film means in order to minimize art’s infinite power to profoundly […]

REVIEW: The Big Sick [2017]

“Always with the comedy” A lot of romantic comedies release each year—a lot. And they’re generally all the same with characters built from stereotypes rather than a writer’s personal experience. The ones that stick out are therefore those that arrive from the heart with something true to say. They’re the few possessing the honesty to […]

REVIEW: לעבור את הקיר [Laavor et hakir] [The Wedding Plan] [2016]

“It’s a small task for God to find me a groom by the end of Hanukkah” Michal (Noa Koler) doesn’t want to get married. What she truly wants is to no longer be alone. She’s sick of being the person invited to get-togethers rather than the one doing the inviting so she enlists any matchmaker […]

REVIEW: Everything, Everything [2017]

“When I talk to him it feels like I’m outside” I was with Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything for its first three-quarters. While it’s just as implausibly overwrought as The Space Between Us—another YA love story mired by a high-concept contrivance that literally places a character’s life in jeopardy so he/she may experience what living free […]

REVIEW: Yella [2007]

“I want you to love me again” There’s a glimmer of hope in Yella Fichte’s (Nina Hoss) eye when things finally seem to be going in the right direction. She’s earned a new job starting the day after tomorrow, one that should fill her empty bank account and lead her towards prosperity. But before she […]

REVIEW: Secretary [2002]

“I like dull work” I had read that Secretary the film was very different from its source material (a short story in Mary Gaitskill’s book Bad Behavior). Even so, I wasn’t prepared for the difference being tone rather than content. Besides a drastically altered ending, everything that happens in text is included almost verbatim. But […]

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better […]

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [1991]

“There may be something there that wasn’t there before” The fairy tale Beauty and the Beast is so perfectly suited for the Disney princess treatment that it’s shocking they didn’t do one until 1991. Crafted to provide young girls a metaphor for the arranged marriages many of them would inevitably be a part of in […]

REVIEW: Julieta [2016]

“Remember, you don’t like goodbyes” It began as many things: an adaptation of Nobel Prize winning Canadian writer Alice Munro‘s three connected short stories from her book Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”), Pedro Almodóvar‘s English-language debut with its venue switching from Vancouver to New York, and a starring vehicle for Meryl Streep. But Julieta eventually […]