Summer Hours (2008)

This review was originally published at Image.-Olivier Assayas’ beautiful new movie Summer Hours begins as three successful, well-educated siblings reunite in the backyard of the rural French house where they grew up. They’re celebrating their mother’s birthday with a leisurely party on her beautiful property.And yet their mother Hélène (Edith Scob)—whose family history is full of art-making and art acquisition—is jumpy and distracted. She’s nearing the end of her life, and everyone i … [Read more...]

Babies (2010)

This review was originally published at Seattle Pacific University's Response magazine.-When we're introduced to the four stars of Babies, they’re still in the womb. … [Read more...]

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

This review was originally published at Filmwell.-Four pairs of eyes — or better, four gazes — create the frame in which a compelling, troubling drama plays out in The Secret in Their Eyes.There's the gaze of the dead woman, sprawled naked on the floor, her eyes staring blankly at the ceiling from a face bruised and bloodied.This shocks and traumatizes the investigator, Benjamin (Ricardo Darin), who sees her lying there. It pulls his gaze away from his work, and more importantly, … [Read more...]

MINE (2009)

This review was originally published at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image.-As I’m writing this, my magnificent mutt of a cat—Jonathan Mardukas—is purring like he’s never been happier.Mardukas (or “The Duke”) does this when he knows I’m not feeling well, or when he’s feeling neglected.This time, he’s climbed onto my chest so he can stand between me and my laptop. Big, black, and beautiful, he’s overpowering my protests.His timing is uncanny. I’m trying to write about a mov … [Read more...]

The Secret of the Grain (2008)

My review of The Secret of the Grain is posted at Good Letters, the blog at … [Read more...]

Two Lovers (2009)

My first impression of James Gray's film Two Lovers is posted at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

The Wolfman (2010)

My thoughts on The Wolfman have been published at Good Letters, the daily blog for Image. … [Read more...]

Police, Adjective (2010)

My review of Police, Adjective is posted at Image. Here's how it starts. … [Read more...]

Gommorah (2009)

Portions of this reviews were previously published at the Image blog Good Letters.-Martin Scorsese was so impressed by Matteo Garrone's film about the Italian mafia, Gommora, that he stamped his name on it to attract a larger American audience.And yet, it’s so very different from any gangster epic that he, Francis Ford Coppola, or any American filmmakers have made. This isn’t a story about how a nobody worked his way up to become a monster, or about some charismatic bad guys who are f … [Read more...]

Letters to Father Jacob (2009) – Guest Reviewer N.W. Douglas

[Note: This review was submitted by N.W Douglas, an undergraduate film student at Simon Fraser University. He's fired up about a film he recently discovered, and his enthusiasm has certainly put the title on my list of films to see in 2009. - Jeffrey]•A guest review by N.W. Douglas.•In the vein of Robert Bresson, Klaus Härö's Letters To Father Jacob is simple and staggering.Leila (Kaarina Hazard), an incarcerated criminal, receives an unexpected early pardon from her life se … [Read more...]