REVIEW: Motherless Brooklyn [2019]

I’m chasing his footsteps. Frank Minna (Bruce Willis) was more than a boss to Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton). This man plucked him out of an orphanage wherein the nuns beat him because they believed his Tourette syndrome was a sign of wavering faith. Frank taught Lionel that anyone using God’s name to harm a child isn’t someone worth listening to, took him under his wing, and hired him (along with three other orphans in Bobby Cannavale‘s Tony, Dallas Roberts‘ Danny, and Ethan Suplee‘s Gilbert) as a gumshoe for his private…

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REVIEW: The Party [2017]

Another announcement. Good God. I admire what Sally Potter is trying to do with her black comedy The Party as experiment. She’s placed a group of friends with different political, economic, and romantic views into a single room, hanging a secret(s) over their heads with the potential to destroy their individual and communal identities. They’re provided the opportunity to come clean and be true to who they are despite what it might do to those around them, each embracing a desire to let their consistently over-inflated egos decide. Unfortunately that…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: I Saw the Light [2016]

“Remember: they can kill you, but they can’t eat you” The opening to Marc Abraham‘s I Saw the Light holds a lot of intrigue. Based on Colin Escott‘s biography about hillbilly legend Hank Williams, the start goes from a faux black and white newsreel interview with producer Fred Rose (Bradley Whitford) recounting how one-of-a-kind the singer was to a magically lit performance by Tom Hiddleston as Williams (the actor sings every note and the actors playing his band pluck every string). He’s sitting on a stool with a hazy spotlight…

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REVIEW: New Year’s Eve [2011]

“Did he just snap me in a maternity ward?” So many questions I never knew I had were answered last night during a packed house screening of New Year’s Eve. A spiritual sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall, writer Katherine Fugate, and at least three actors playing different characters return. Besides learning the general masses savor broad-stroked comedy when it’s spoon-fed to them, I also discovered trite generic love to be their fantasy dream-come-true of choice. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since this film received…

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REVIEW: The Beaver [2011]

“Look at you—stone-drunk and flattened by a television” We hear it all the time and we know it’s a lie: Everything will be okay. No it won’t; it’s impossible and anyone who thinks different is deluded. There will always be missteps, depression, tragedy, guilt, remorse—they are unavoidable. But those instances of darkness should never become who we are. And just because we are all misunderstood doesn’t mean we are invisible. Yes, we all go through the same rotten system of life’s lesser gifts, but we are still unique creatures. What…

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REVIEW: Mother and Child [2010]

“Sometimes when you fall, it’s hard to get up” The women inhabiting the ensemble drama Mother and Child from HBO veteran Rodrigo García are connected by blood, psyche, emotion, and, above all else, motherhood. The title is no coincidence; it succinctly encapsulates the subject matter. Beginning with a young boy and girl’s first sexual encounter, they are way too young to fully realize the ramifications and possibility of pregnancy afterwards. It was the 70s and Karen was fourteen, not old enough to make her own decision and willingly consensual to…

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