REVIEW: True History of the Kelly Gang [2020]

I know what it is to be raised on lies and silences. Famed bushranger and Australian folk hero Ned Kelly (George MacKay) doesn’t want anyone else to tell his story because he knows how these things can be warped by hearsay and selective truths. Because he doesn’t know whether he’s going to survive the night, now might be the last chance to ensure his unborn son will learn what really happened during his brief time on Earth (twenty-five years). So Ned writes as he and his gang of men awaits…

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REVIEW: 1917 [2019]

It’s easier not to go back at all. While it appeared the Germans retreated, they were really just gathering their strength at the easier-to-defend Hindenburg Line as part of Operation Alberich in northern France. With British forces fooled and following closely behind to mount what they believed would be an offensive, their opponents were primed to turn the tables via ambush instead. After consulting aerial photographs of the Germans’ new position, General Erinmore (Colin Firth) realized 1,600 of Colonel Mackenzie’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) men would be slaughtered without his intervention. So…

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REVIEW: Ophelia [2019]

Why do the hens peck at you? A lover distraught and driven to madness after her father’s murder at the hand of the man she loves, himself destined to die by order of his uncle: Denmark’s unjust and power-hungry king. This is Ophelia’s fate within William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a woman used to mourn and incite violence amongst men ruled by grief, ego, and righteousness. Why wouldn’t someone choose to therefore reimagine her legacy away from such abuse in text with nothing but death in her future? Novelist Lisa Klein does…

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TIFF18 REVIEW: Where Hands Touch [2018]

I want her to be like everyone else: unremarkable. Now is not the time to make a film romanticizing Nazism or allowing anyone who donned the swastika during World War II a modicum of sympathy. I’d argue there could never be such a time—at least not for those who say they felt bad but still did nothing to stop the nightmare they helped usher into creation. Their cooperation in a genocidal extermination cannot be given a footnote for remorse. They cannot skate by on some notion that they participated unwillingly…

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REVIEW: Captain Fantastic [2016]

“Your mother is dead” When you look at the poster for Captain Fantastic—especially the bright red suit worn by Cash family patriarch Ben (Viggo Mortensen)—you can’t help conjure twee thoughts of Wes Anderson quirk and yet Matt Ross‘ sophomore feature is anything but. This film is instead rooted in a very strong sense of reality. Just because it may not be your reality doesn’t lessen the events occurring or decisions made. If anything they’re strengthened because you notice the choices your parents made and you’ve made as parents in this…

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REVIEW: Pride [2014]

“Oh good. I haven’t spoken 1950s in ages.” If you’re going to make a film with a sprawling ensemble of characters equally unique and important to the point where your only true lead is a message of solidarity and comradery itself, it’s a good move to look towards the theater. Pride is the screenwriting debut of actor/playwright Stephen Beresford and only the second film from Broadway director Matthew Warchus with fifteen-years in between and yet it feels like they’ve both been working in the industry for ages. They have wrangled…

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