Latest

Oscar

Reviews

Embrace of the Serpent

By the end of the month, faithful viewers of the Academy Awards will see if Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent is able to beat out the other pictures competing for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.  I can’t comment if Guerra’s film is better than the other contenders, but I think the Academy was very generous by nominating it in the first place.

Reviews

Carol

By: Mark Barber Carol is a difficult film to describe without context.  I have occasionally found myself at odds with contemporary representations of queer identity, as it refuses to abandon elements of tragedy that have dominated for so long.  As Vito Russo points out in his celebrated The Celluloid Closet, queer characters rarely receive a happy ending.  Same-sex relationships were taboo for much of the 20th century, which was then reflected in their filmic representation….

Reviews

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

By: Mark Barber The Oscar-nominated doc Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me follows the title legendary country singer through both his final tour and his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  Necessarily poignant (if artificial) and urgent about the subject and his inevitably fatal illness, the film still occasionally struggles with the presence of exploitation. Numerous interviews with family, friends, and celebrities set up a touching rumination on the ineluctable flow of time.  But the oft-witty Campbell serves…

Reviews

Last Days in Vietnam

By: Gesilayefa Azorbo Last Days in Vietnam, directed by Rory Kennedy, is a gripping look back at the massive, often unsanctioned evacuations of South Vietnamese citizens and Americans in Vietnam that were undertaken in the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War.  This is a story told through meticulously researched archival footage and interviews with key players in the US and Vietnamese military and state departments – including Henry Kissinger himself – as well as…

Reviews

August: Osage County

By: Addison Wylie As far as films with an ensemble cast go, August: Osage County is among the best. Its star studded line-up filled out by Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis (just to name a few) is enough to get movie goers in seats.  What pays off even more are the exceptional performances during the constant sparring between these highly dysfunctional family members. The Westons have a large family and…

Reviews

The Wolf of Wall Street

By: Addison Wylie You have to hand it to Martin Scorsese.  At age 71 with dozens of classics under his belt to which he directed, he still has the courage to make a provocative fireball of a movie like The Wolf of Wall Street. The Wolf of Wall Street chronicles the fast track lifestyle of real life wall street broker Jordan Belfort.  Belfort is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who soaks in the shadiness with a…

Reviews

Inside Llewyn Davis

By: Addison Wylie My experience with Inside Llewyn Davis is not like any I can recently recall off the top of my head.  My appreciation for it came hours after watching it and declaring the film was a bit of a wet noodle. The latest film from the Coen Brothers was unsatisfying.  Then again, the film was the type of work from Ethan and Joel Coen that is not my cup o’ tea. The Coen’s…

Reviews

The Impossible

By: Addison Wylie The Impossible feels like a little-film-that-could because of its late release date. Which is funny because the film itself miraculously captures the intensity and the devastating outcomes of a cataclysmic tsunami – which is something big budget blockbusters long to do. J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible is a fantastic film with harrowing performances by Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts (who has earned a well deserved Oscar nomination for her role) as well as the…

Reviews

Life of Pi

By: Addison Wylie I shouldn’t be exiting a theatre shrugging my shoulders and issuing “meh’s” after watching the much anticipated Life of Pi. It’s a movie with a massive magnitude of talent both in front and behind the camera, wild surreal imagery that I imagine is a trip in 3D (I saw it in traditional 2D), and a strong story of a young boy who’s beliefs in many religions helped him to survive on a…