By: Jessica Goddard Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel is colourful, melodramatic, deliciously tacky cinematic theatre driven by an intriguing premise and infused with refreshing nostalgia. It’s visually delightful, and the quirky setting and quirkier characters sustain curiosity even if those characters don’t feel totally real.
By: Jessica Goddard When you first hear the plot of Wexford Plaza, you think you’ve probably seen this movie before or know exactly what its angle will be. But you haven’t, and you don’t. This 80-minute-long film has everything: humour, relatability, great pacing, precise and controlled energy, and a thoughtful commentary on the reality of our times.
By: Jessica Goddard A Bad Moms Christmas, the holiday sequel to last year’s Bad Moms from the same writer/director team (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore) is generally fun, when it’s not trying to force sentimentality. It wouldn’t be accurate to say this movie takes itself seriously, but its insistence on crossing over into sappiness and raunchiness when it runs out of comedy is lazy and unfortunate.
By: Jessica Goddard Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is a slow and detailed documentary about the vast institution of the New York Public Library (not to be confused with its famous headquarters in Midtown Manhattan). The film focuses on the NYPL’s many branches and services and functions, offering long samples of footage of what goes on from day-to-day in different branches, ranging from the micro to the macro. Famous speakers and…
By: Jessica Goddard From the title to the opening scene to the whole conflict at its core, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a movie determined to make you rethink the context in which A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) wrote the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories (then Winnie-the-Pooh). There’s nothing wrong, in theory, with a biopic about A. A. Milne, but why this movie chooses to focus on A. A. Milne being a bad father who apparently ruined his…
By: Jessica Goddard The writing instructor continuously trying to put down his most gifted student in hopes of making him better and stronger. A father who doesn’t want to indulge his son’s delusions of a career as a professional writer. The sight of a Capital A “artist” bent over his typewriter in an otherwise empty, white room. These are just a few of the many contrivances the viewer of Rebel in the Rye is subjected…
By: Jessica Goddard Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison is a Spanish language documentary that follows the intertwined lives of three people; two of which are entangled in the Bolivian justice system for their involvement in the illegal cocaine trade.
By: Jessica Goddard Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still is a serious, greyscale, dragging meditation on subjects so inherently sombre, it’s practically masochistic to sit through the whole film without allowing yourself a break.
By: Jessica Goddard Barry Avrich’s Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World is a well-paced, informative documentary about the otherwise largely inaccessible world of producing, marketing, and selling high end art.
By: Jessica Goddard Mina Shum’s Meditation Park is an engaging, quirky, and empowering film about the overdue self-actualization of a Vancouver woman (Cheng Pei-pei) in light of the discovery of her husband’s affair. This thoroughly modern film also expertly highlights the immigrant experience in multicultural Canada, while making clear that the narrative is culturally universal. There is an exquisite balance of humour and poignancy in the writing, strengthened by an excellent cast.