By: Jessica Goddard At the Marriage Story screening I attended, a complimentary packet of tissues was waiting in the cup holder of each seat in the theatre. Quite the statement. So when the movie opens with both leading characters reading the lists of things they like about one another in front of a mediator, you know this will be a wrenching watch.
By: Jessica Goddard Margaret Atwood is fairly low-hanging fruit as far as documentary subjects go. At the moment, it’s almost certain she’s Canada’s most recognized, beloved author, and her latest novel, The Testaments, came out in September and is a sequel to her best-known work, The Handmaid’s Tale.
By: Jessica Goddard Full disclosure: I am bad at watching war movies. I watch war movies out of some (likely misdirected) sense of duty – if actual human beings lived these horrors, I should be able to stomach cinematic recreations of them, is my thinking. But, I find it very hard to watch people die (which I’ve chosen to attribute to a smug overabundance of empathy) even if it’s only a performance. For this reason,…
By: Jessica Goddard The organized chaos and clutter of The Tape Escape endearingly reflects the atmosphere of an old-school video store, though it ought to be marketed more as interactive theatre than an “escape room” concept.
By: Jessica Goddard In the delightful tradition of remaking films and gender swapping the leads – which no one is getting tired of at all – After the Wedding struggles to be convincing in its premise.
By: Jessica Goddard Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a halfway decent horror movie. However, those who grew up disconcertingly obsessed with the creepiness and morbidity of the anthologies this film is based on will be disappointed.
By: Jessica Goddard A poignant and sincere exploration of family, loyalty, and cultural divide, The Farewell turns its writer-director’s quirky anecdote into effective drama.
By: Jessica Goddard Yesterday offers a fun hypothetical situation, and if you don’t overthink it, you’ll enjoy this movie as a tribute to the Beatles’ legacy. Spattered with modern Beatles covers and commentary on the ways the music industry has transformed since those songs were written, the film explores what might happen if one struggling singer-songwriter were suddenly the only person to remember the work of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
By: Jessica Goddard Campy, far-fetched, but generally fun, Tate Taylor’s Ma is a passable thriller made watchable by Octavia Spencer’s casting.
By: Jessica Goddard Could a beautiful, successful, Type A presidential hopeful like Charlize Theron’s Charlotte fall in love with a slovenly, jobless, political cynic like Seth Rogen’s Fred? Long Shot is wholly predictable in both its conclusion to this question, and in how it gets us there. From the standard drug-fuelled escapade we’ve come to anticipate once per Seth Rogen film, to the “maybe if one day he shows up in nicer clothes she’ll start…