By: Trevor Chartrand An adaptation of the stage play Pornography (written by Jeff Kober), Lie Exposed explores a series of relationships on the edge of ending, following each couple’s attendance at a controversial art installation. The art in question features tintype photographs of vaginas, which for most of the couples sparks a conversation about their own sex lives as well as the objectification of the female form. Thematically, the film explores the definition of art…
Run This Town, writer/director Ricky Tollman’s exceptional and intelligent feature-length debut, isn’t just about Rob Ford and and his public busts. It’s not just about Ford’s team of “special assistants”, or the eager journalists who want a big break and be the first to report breaking news. Run This Town is a magnetically contemplative film about the ethical decisions within these careers that jeopardize the integrity of these people.
What role does the precarity of labour play in young people choosing to take on dangerous jobs? In the #MeToo era, how does one go about separating an artist’s actions from their work? Is anonymity possible in the 21st century? What is the difference between violence and a simulation of violence? If unethical acts lead to brilliant art, is it ethical to consume the art? What do these questions have in common? Well, for one, they…
Biopics don’t get more standard than Seberg. The film is watchable and efficient to an extent, but it also feels manufactured by a faulty machine.
At the same time John Turturro’s Big Lewbowski spin-off The Jesus Rolls bowls into theatres, a more faithful adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ style and wit is released – Albert Shin’s Disappearance at Clifton Hill.
The Jesus Rolls, a semi-spiritual sequel to 1998’s cult classic The Big Lebowski, is a film for those who watched the original Coen Brothers comedy and became enamoured by John Turturro’s character. It’s hard not to be distracted by the sheer weirdness of Jesus Quintana, infamous sex offender and intimidating bowler. Turturro played the role curiously in a way that made audiences wonder “outside of the bowling alley, what’s life like for The Jesus?”
Ordinary Love is a superb drama with slight notes of ice-breaking wit. It’s orchestrated along the same lines as 2017 Oscar nominee The Big Sick or last year’s Netflix sleeper Paddleton (both of which, funnily enough, co-star Ray Romano but I digress), only the premise of a middle-aged married couple coming to terms with an alarming cancer diagnosis is played, as expected, a bit more sullen.
The Lodge thinks its rooted in gothic horror when its misery might actually be post-emo. Suicide is predominant in this macabre thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and while it seems to be a topic used to explore the mourning identities of the film’s characters, it’s mostly in existence to add moody atmospheric chills. Surface-level stuff, but very effective.
Jojo Rabbit, written and directed by Taika Waititi, is a risqué movie that reminded me of classic comedies made by the legendary Mel Brooks. The film risks being offensive to lampoon racism, including its different perspectives by persecuting followers, and to draw parallels to current arrogant behaviour thrusted upon minorities. Waititi solves the puzzle to make his satire work, but also doesn’t distill the severity of past hate crimes in this period piece.
Standing Up, Falling Down is a really nice dramedy about people finding and relating to each other. It’s funny, touching, performed well, and directed with fluency by newcomer Matt Ratner. As far as movies go about characters leaning on comedy as a crutch to hide their true emotions, the film is the best of its kind since Judd Apatow’s Funny People.