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.
Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman plays Andre Davis, a stoic NYPD detective who was psychologically affected at a young age by the murder of his father, a policeman in the line of fire. From that tragedy, Davis developed a certain alertness to his job but the experience has made him mentally withdrawn from situations and company. Peers are either impressed with his work or intimidated by his reputation. Davis invests all of his passion in his most…
Wylie Writes is a little late to be weighing in on the stinkers of 2019, but can you blame us? Reliving these memories doesn’t come easy. Strap in and, don’t forget, click on the blue highlighted titles to read the critic’s review.
Céline Sciamma’s highly acclaimed drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire is visceral filmmaking at its most eloquent. So much of this period piece hinges on textures, sights, and sounds to make the audience believe that we’re living through someone’s romantic memories.
Most movies build towards a crescendo, yet the first act of Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy is the climax. But then, instead of gradually hitting new heights, Timpson’s film simmers to a tepid temperature. Despite the outrageous feedback you may have heard about the movie’s wild qualities, Come to Daddy is actually family tame (if you’re used to off-the-wall genre pieces).
Code 8 is an Indiegogo funded passion project from actors Robbie and Stephen Amell that raised over $3,000,000 (Canadian) crushing the campaign’s $200,000 goal – that’s impressive. I learned about the crowdfunding after watching the movie, which made my appreciation for the film grow. But, I still think Code 8 is both a tedious action/thriller and a mishmash of too many observational social commentaries.
Make no bones about it: writer/director Justin Dec’s contemporary cyber horror Countdown has been influenced by the Final Destination series, a franchise that toyed with ideas of existentialism and then devolved into outrageous collections of gruesome spectacles.
As 2019’s awards season comes to a close with the upcoming Oscars ceremony on February 9, the critics at Wylie Writes would like to shine a spotlight on the movies they thought were the very best of the year – including some festival favourites that will receive wider releases this year.