TIFF20 REVIEW: Pieces of a Woman [2020]

There will be consequences. Every bit of promotional material I’ve read about director Kornél Mundruczó and writer Kata Wéber‘s Pieces of a Woman (kudos to their shared “a film by” credit) has billed the work as a look into the emotional grieving process of a woman who just lost her newborn child. Even the title highlights her experience above all others because she’s the one who gave birth. She’s the one who everyone is turning to for his/her own cues as to how to act. She’s the one whose body…

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REVIEW: Madeline’s Madeline [2018]

This is just a metaphor. One of the worst things you can be told as a child is how brilliant you are. Parents and mentors love to throw this sort of blanket praise out with promises that everything will work out for you without thinking about the ramifications of what such a falsely optimistic indoctrination devoid of realism can wield. How do you cope when failure occurs? How do you handle a response from those you trust similar to: “They’re going to regret their mistake because you are perfect?” Oftentimes…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: American Pastoral [2016]

“You told her to bring the war home” If my limited experience with Philip Roth adaptations is any indication, his novels deal in emotion. There are existential crises concerning identity involved, each a character study about life’s impact beyond the surface experiences propelling them forward. This isn’t something easily translated from page to screen when so much consists of internalized motivation. You must really look into the text, ignoring plot to find the core reactionary cause for everything occurring. If a daughter’s disappearance indelibly changes every second of her parents’…

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REVIEW: The 9th Life of Louis Drax [2016]

“More than all the fish in the sea” Ten years after Anthony Minghella optioned Liz Jensen‘s The 9th Life of Louis Drax to develop cinematically, it was his son Max who saw it begin production. The younger Minghella’s first credited screenplay, probably brought to director Alexandre Aja on set of their previous collaboration Horns, it would ultimately take another two for the finished film’s release. If I were to wager a guess as to why I’d say the distributors found themselves painted in a corner unable to figure out how…

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