The Wind Will Carry Us (1999)

This review was written as a summary for the Arts and Faith Top 100 Films List. - The Wind Will Carry Us is often hailed as the masterpiece of Iran’s most celebrated filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami.Apparently lost, some men who claim to be treasure hunters drive their jeep through rugged country in what seems like Middle Of Nowhere, Iran. It’s actually a Kurdish province, and a polite young boy guides the driver — a man called the Engineer (Behzad Dourani) — into the town of Siah Dareh.In f … [Read more...]

Tokyo Story (1953)

A review written as a summary for the Arts and Faith Top 100 Films List.- Until very late in Yasujiro Ozu’s film Tokyo Story, there is no crisis more dramatic than some uncomfortable silences. So what is it that makes this film one of the most revered dramas ever crafted?It’s the simplest of stories: An elderly couple — Shukichi and Tomi — drop in on their adult children in Tokyo, only to find that time and change have increased the cultural gap between generations.The death of their … [Read more...]

The Green Mile (1999)

Stephen King's long episodic novel The Green Mile about a series of strange and mystical occurrences on death row was an entertaining read, mostly because of the process in which King created and released it. He wrote a new chapter, published it, wrote a new chapter, published it.... It was interesting to see the way he choreographed the many characters and differing plots into a cohesive whole, even if the story was rather formulaic, predictable, and crowd-pleasing.Frank Darabont, who … [Read more...]

Emma (1996)

It's almost impossible to talk about any of the new films based on Jane Austen novels without comparing them. Emma is the most colorful, the simplest, the most fun of the three. While Sense and Sensibility loves subtlety, silence, and space, and Persuasion loves realism, repression, and understatement, Emma loves its star Gwyneth Paltrow and all the colorful scenes she inhabits. … [Read more...]

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...]