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Film Reviews, A. Spitznas
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Best of the Year
Film Reviews, A. Spitznas
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Film Reviews, S. Blevins
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September 15, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #8: Noble Failures from Paolo Sorrentino and Emilio Estevez
New films from these two directors are well-intentioned, but don’t scale the heights of their...
September 14, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #7: Mexican Womanhood, and an Outlandish Refugee Fable
Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”) returns home for an autobiographical film; Christian Petzold (“Phoenix”) transposes a WW2...
September 12, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #6: Colombian Tribal Conflict, Serbian Reckoning
An excellent new work by the creators of “Embrace of the Serpent,” plus a praiseworthy...
September 10, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #4: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Barry Jenkins, winner of 2017’s Best Picture Oscar for “Moonlight,” creates another beautiful work with...
September 09, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #3: Steve Bannon Dissected, in “American Dharma”
Errol Morris, director of “The Fog of War” and “The Thin Blue Line,” turns his...
September 09, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #2: Indian Liberation, Russian Nihilism
“The Wedding Guest” and “The Factory” take viewers around the world in vastly different tales...
September 08, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #1: “Beautiful Boy”
Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell excel in this story of a beloved son fallen into...
September 02, 2018
The Conversion Therapy of “Cameron Post”
I draw on my own history as a therapist and ex-fundamentalist to comment on this...
August 26, 2018
Bo Burnham Captures the Horror and Triumph of “Eighth Grade”
In his promising feature debut, comedian turned writer/director Bo Burnham is helped immeasurably by Elsie...
August 19, 2018
The Moral Urgency of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman”
This timely, weirder-than-fiction story of a black cop infiltrating the Klan reveals a director back...
July 29, 2018
“Leave No Trace” Deeply Impresses
Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”) offers another affecting tale of unsung Americans, this time of a...
July 15, 2018
Why Hal Ashby’s Movies Still Matter
Artful, enjoyable films like “Harold and Maude,” “Being There,” and “Coming Home” haven’t lost their...
July 08, 2018
“Hearts Beat Loud”: A Refreshing Story of Everyday Goodness
Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons head up this charmer about a music-loving father and daughter...
June 18, 2018
A Second Look at “First Reformed”: Tolling the Moral Death of U.S. Christianity
Further explorations of Paul Schrader’s masterpiece
June 10, 2018
“Hereditary”: The Horrifying Potential of Biological and Spiritual Inheritance
This debut feature from writer/director Ari Aster will be tough to top as the best...
June 03, 2018
“The Rider” Immerses Us in a Native American Cowboy’s Life
Gorgeously set in South Dakota’s Badlands, this close take on a Lakota cowboy’s life at...
May 20, 2018
“Sweet Country,” Subversive Australian Western
Aboriginal director Warwick Thornton illustrates the historical plight of his people in this captivating “based...
May 13, 2018
“Leaving My Father’s Faith”: A Famous Preacher Dad and His Humanist Son
Tony and Bart Campolo show how to relate honestly and respectfully across the godless/believing divide...
May 06, 2018
“Tully,” an Insightful Mary Poppins Tale of Contemporary Motherhood
Charlize Theron, director Jason Reitman, and writer Diablo Cody team up again for another strong...
April 22, 2018
“Isle of Dogs” Delights Visually, Even If It Falls Short of Wes Anderson’s Best Work
Wes Anderson’s return to stop-motion animation is a visual masterpiece, though its storytelling and characterizations...
April 15, 2018
Full Frame Dispatch #3: Black Women’s Lives, Illegal Deportations, and (Yes) Giant Rodents
My festival coverage concludes with three very good to excellent documentaries of present-day reckonings with...
April 07, 2018
Full Frame Dispatch #2: ISIS Dad, Hal Ashby, Russian Fake News, Atacama Skies
Day 2 and (part of) Day 3 brought a quartet of worthwhile documentaries to add...
April 06, 2018
Full Frame Documentary Festival, Dispatch #1: Yazidi Genocide, Extreme Domestic Violence, and RBG
Three fine films, all by women directors, offer a promising festival beginning.
April 01, 2018
I Wasn’t “Ready” for the Disappointment of Spielberg’s “Player One”
Spielberg’s latest failed entertainment adds to the case that he should stick to serious dramas.
March 25, 2018
“The Death of Stalin”: Pitch-Black Political Humor at Its Finest
From the creator of "Veep," this will be hard to top as the best comedy...
March 18, 2018
“A Fantastic Woman,” A Remarkable Portrait of a Transgender Woman’s Life
In this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Chilean director Sebastian Lelio and...
March 04, 2018
“Quest” Gives an Honest Ground’s-Eye View of Inner City America
With sweetness and goodness at its heart, this documentary follows a black Philly family for...
February 25, 2018
“Annihilation” Is a Satisfying Alchemy of the Uncanny and the Beautiful
Director Alex Garland, following 2014’s “Ex Machina,” takes us on another thoughtful, unsettling sci-fi journey.
February 18, 2018
“Icarus” Intriguingly Personalizes Russia’s Political and Sporting Culture
This Oscar-nominated documentary (now available for home viewing) illustrates the malevolence of the puppet masters...
February 11, 2018
Clint Eastwood and His Amateurish, Reprehensible “15:17 to Paris”
Robotic acting, dull characters, a weak script, and toxically timed subject matter make this Eastwood’s...
Related posts from
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #7: Mexican Womanhood, and an...
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #6: Colombian Tribal Conflict, Serbian...
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #4: “If Beale Street Could...
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #3: Steve Bannon Dissected, in...
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