February 2017


Dark Night

After a tragedy, a countdown subtly begins as to when a filmmaker will try to document the event’s emotions and peril in a movie.  The act of making a movie about Aurora, Colorado’s massacre during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises never occurred to me.  Then again, I also didn’t expect Patriot’s Day, a film about the Boston Marathon bombing released four years after the attack.


The Red Maple Leaf

In Frank D’Angelo’s The Red Maple Leaf, special agent Alfonso Palermo (D’Angelo) asks potential suspects to “indulge him” during interrogations.  I’ve heard some describe D’Angelo’s filmmaking as indulgent, which is why I smirked whenever Palermo asked this.  Whether this was a cheeky wink toward critics is a mystery, and will probably remain unanswered.


A United Kingdom

By: Jessica Goddard A United Kingdom is a beautifully-made, sincere, and well-acted historical drama.  Director Amma Asante (Belle) knows what she’s doing with this story, and hits all the right notes to make this an inspiring and uplifting film that still feels truthful and grounded in reality.


Dying Laughing

Dying Laughing, a documentary about the ups and downs of careers in comedy, is chock full of talent.  Billy Connolly, Dave Attell, Amy Schumer, Rick Overton, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jerry Seinfeld, Jerry Lewis, Chris Rock, and the late Garry Shandling are just some of the famous faces interviewed.


The LEGO Batman Movie

The genius execution of 2014’s The LEGO Movie offered audiences a creative perspective on their childhood toy, and the financial success of the film practically greenlit any future spin-offs;  including this month’s The LEGO Batman Movie and late-Summer’s The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.  Batman’s ability to steal scenes in The LEGO Movie makes him the perfect candidate to have his own spin-off.  We shall see about the latter come September.


The Babymoon

The Babymoon is still admirable for its efforts despite its imperfections.  The premise is also surprisingly layered – another element that earns our respect.  When the movie slacks on convincing dialogue or it loses subtlety in the performances, writer/director Bailey Kobe isn’t afraid to send his audience into a feverous tailspin, making us wonder in amusement how our jilted characters wound up on this crazy adventure in the first place.


A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove, adapted from the novel by Frederik Backman, is a charming, yet slightly familiar dramedy about a grieving widow and his budding friendship with his new neighbours in a gated community.  Recently nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film and Best Makeup), Hannes Holm’s adaptation is a digestible and likeable, but hardly transcendent film.

Addio Commentary

Addio Commentary: Award Season Ambition

Award season is a long road.  It all starts out with hubbub about a film that sparked acclaim on the festival circuit, followed by increased word-of-mouth when the movie begins an “exclusive engagement” in a modest independent theatre.  The season is in full-effect when those indies start receiving showtimes in larger chains.