Directed by William Olsson and written by Canadian author Catherine Hanrahan (adapting from her semi-autobiographical novel of the same name), Lost Girls and Love Hotels follows Margaret (Songbird’s Alexandra Daddario), an American with a steady job in Tokyo who fills in her loneliness with alcohol, one-night-stands, and kinky sex. One evening, she crosses paths and has a sincere connection with a stoic gentleman named Kazu (Takehiro Hira). Kazu doesn’t feel as enamoured as she does at first…
In Minari, a Korean family travels from California to build a new homestead in Arkansas; in hopes that they’ll be able to create a farm and make a decent living selling their culture’s food to local markets. This premise, however, is merely a clothesline for writer/director Lee Isaac Chung to hang up different moments in this family’s life that will, eventually, piece together their memories and future.
By: Jolie Featherstone Based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s best-selling memoir “Guantánamo Diary,” The Mauritanian details the harrowing true story of Slahi’s fight for freedom after being imprisoned without charge – or any solid evidence – by the US government in the wake of September 11.
By: Trevor Chartrand Falling is the incredibly strong directorial debut from Viggo Mortensen, featuring fully-realized characters in a well-constructed, grounded world. The film illustrates humanity at its most raw in this powerfully compelling and dramatic character study.
Written and directed by Victor Neumark, First Blush is the story of a young married couple, Nena (Rachel Alig) and Drew (Ryan Caraway), who decide to open up their relationship after they meet a beautiful young actress named Olivia (Kate Beecroft). For a feature film debut, First Blush is passable and hints at Neumark’s talent for exploring complex interpersonal dynamics. However, as a depiction of polyamory, it misses the mark.
By: Trevor Chartrand The second feature film from writer-director Lili Horvát, Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is a strange romantic drama that’s difficult to connect with. If that title seems long and complicated to you, wait until you see the movie. Even for a film that’s barely longer than 90 minutes, this picture is an absolute slog to sit through.
1982 is a thoughtful meditation on childhood, struggle, and community that is at once heart-wrenching and deeply optimistic.
Promising Young Woman is a provocative call to arms that’s both committed to its cause and impossibly funny. It’s one hell of a feature-length debut from writer/director Emerald Fennell, who has previously acted on the UK’s Call the Midwife and Netflix’s The Crown, as well as wrote for AMC’s Killing Eve.
It’s impossible for me not to write about Pieces of a Woman from my own experience with child loss. The movie is about a child’s death during delivery and her parents’ grieving process as they search for personal closure. As a father who has lost three babies with my sublime wife through miscarriages, Pieces of a Woman really hits close to home.
Stardust has a really good idea for a movie: the rise of an insecure musician who strives for fame but, at the same time, is scared of how his lack of identity will ruin him. If the movie was about an ambiguous celebrity, director Gabriel Range (Death of a President) could’ve had a lot of room to explore the anxieties of fame. Unfortunately, he’s desperate to crowbar these dilemmas into an unqualified and unauthorized biopic…