REVIEW: Eternal Beauty [2020]

I’m in my oils. You cannot just watch part of Craig Roberts‘ latest film Eternal Beauty. You might think you could since it’s seemingly as schizophrenic as its lead character Jane (Sally Hawkins), but that chaos is premeditated so that it can find tonal and thematic sense by the end. I was about twenty minutes in when “hate” started to solidify as a reaction to what I saw because it felt like Roberts was poking fun at the disease—purely using Hawkins’ monotone delivery and erratic actions for laughs. If I…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: The Personal History of David Copperfield [2020]

Digs for joy, that boy. Finds it too. David Copperfield (Dev Patel) has a story to tell. It begins with his cute, precocious little self (Jairaj Varsani) making Mom laugh and nanny Mrs. Peggotty (Daisy May Cooper) laugh even harder. He’s a headstrong boy with dreams of joy thanks to the overflowing love shown to him by everyone but his aunt (Tilda Swinton‘s Betsey Trotwood) … for now. Like most widowed women of thirty with an estate in the Victorian Era, however, remarrying is a foregone conclusion for Ms. Copperfield.…

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REVIEW: The Man Who Invented Christmas [2017]

Why throw everything away for a minor holiday? As Les Standiford‘s book would tell it, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) found himself in somewhat of a creative rut after a lengthy and expensive tour of America post-Oliver Twist. He had published three flops since buying a new London home in need of wholesale remodeling and began watching his pocketbook dwindle along with his confidence. It was as though the autumn of 1843 presented him a make or break moment wherein he wasn’t certain he would ever write again. And then inspiration…

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REVIEW: Love & Friendship [2016]

“We don’t live. We visit.” We should all be thanking whomever recommended Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey to Whit Stillman because the edition he read just happened to include the author’s novella “Lady Susan”—a short epistolary romance subverted to conjure the filmmaker’s own specific tone. If we didn’t know the Austen connection we’d think Stillman created this period comedy alone, that’s how perfectly suited to his oeuvre it proves. His trademarked acerbic wit is already present atop haughty characters deluded by their own egos with dialogue colored by an almost lyrical…

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