TIFF19 REVIEW: Blackbird [2020]

To wonderful life. It’s not everyday that an international remake retains the same screenwriter, but that’s the case with Christian Torpe and his script for the Danish film Silent Heart moving to director Roger Michell‘s hands as Blackbird. I haven’t seen the original, but the subject’s universality has me thinking very little besides cultural changes were necessary in the translation. Assisted suicide is a hot-button issue in many countries and a family’s ability to get on-board a member’s decision to go through with one is tough no matter where they…

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REVIEW: Tea with the Dames [2018]

It’s alright, you can still swear. Friends for over fifty years, Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith join together for Nothing Like a Dame [Tea with the Dames] as they often have. This time, however, comes at the behest of director Roger Michell. And while it’s structured to appear like any other get-together this quartet has enjoyed at Plowright’s estate, there’s no effort to hide the production’s artifice under false pretenses of fly-on-the-wall intent. We see clapboards, listen to Smith good-naturedly call out a photographer off-camera, and…

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REVIEW: Le Week-End [2013]

“That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth” Children are our legacy—our immortality. We sacrifice everything to raise them in our image, hoping for the best until they’re set free as fully formed adults ready to continue the cycle. And through our rosy-colored glasses of optimism we assume the journey ends happily in a successful second act for them and a well-earned third unencumbered by anything but love and adventure for us. Sadly, however, such broad ideas often prove little more than fantasy as decades spent in the…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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REVIEW: Hyde Park on Hudson [2012]

“I’ll have another!” Franklin Delano Roosevelt was much more than the President of the United States to Margaret “Daisy” Suckley—she was also his sixth cousin. The two knew each other in brief snapshots from family gatherings in upstate New York where the wheelchair-bound leader of America found his old home a refuge from the political chaos of Washington, DC. If he could run the country from Hyde Park on Hudson, he would. The land gave him peace of mind through long drives along winding roads and atop fields of tall…

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REVIEW: Morning Glory [2010]

“The anchors of the show are, ah, difficult and … semi-talented” Director Roger Michell is a sleeper. Do you recognize the name? It rang a bell with me, but I couldn’t quite place where it was attached in the past. His newest work, Morning Glory, is much the same. All the promotional material used producer J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot shingle as selling points, leaving the director’s identity far in the distance as something of worthwhile mention. Also, if you ask five people on the street that have heard…

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