Much like an expert poker player, writer/director Paul Schrader underplays The Card Counter. Instead of a flashier approach that boasts with style, Schrader captures the subdued focus and routine of a gambling sub-culture and its players. One of those players being William Tell (Oscar Isaac), a former serviceman who invests in high-rolling card games to keep himself distracted. It’s an efficient, time-consuming past-time that prevents William from possibly falling back into bad habits.
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Nathan Grossman takes an observational, fly-on-the wall approach with I Am Greta, a documentary that follows climate-change obsessed Swedish teen Greta Thunberg on her quest to raise awareness for the climate justice cause. However, much like the politicians who aren’t listening to Greta, the hands-off, reserved filmmaking style fails to become involved enough in the issues to inspire a call to action of any kind.
Tito is an immersive sensory experience that reminds me of what I love best about film as a medium: its ability to place the viewer within unfamiliar bodies, minds, and environments.
Director Kire Paputts follows up his modest feature debut The Rainbow Kid with The Last Porno Show, an envelope-pushing character drama chronicling the personal arc of an aspiring actor taking over his estranged father’s faded adults-only move theatre. It’s a really good movie that doesn’t shy away from anything and bares it all. It stuck to me like shoes to the floor of a sold-out screening room.
Caley Wilson’s Luba explores the intersection of single motherhood, addiction, and abuse. While its heart is in the right place, Luba struggles to give equal and equitable attention to all of these issues, earnestly yet questionably prioritizing some over others.
Faux-doc American Hero takes place in New Orleans, a city still overcoming its devastation post-Katrina. It’s in this state of recovery where a local named Melvin and his telekinetic powers find a meaning. He’s a persuasive street magician to those who need something to believe in and a wild partier to his compadres, but a disappointment to the ones he loves.
By: Addison Wylie Taking a break from his independent fare, filmmaker David Gordon Green got familiar with the Apatow brat pack – launching him to direct the uneven but oddly memorable Pineapple Express. His directorial hand was embraced and pushed him down a path helming louder movies like Your Highness and The Sitter, two off-putting crudities that aren’t worthy of Green’s time and talent. With Prince Avalanche, it feels as if Green is making the…
By: Addison Wylie The quiet character study In The Name Of is driven by a superb performance by Andrzej Chyra. His character of Father Adam is mesmerizing to watch. Chyra handles the subtleties that lie within his role and Adams’ motives so carefully. His readings and lines are filled with sincerity, subdued frustration, and hurt, but Chyra is able to tell all of this with a single hopeful glance. I really liked Malgorzata Szumowska’s film….
By: Addison Wylie Fresh off his enigmatic Oscar nominated The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick hits theatres (and VOD in the USA) with To the Wonder, a character study of sorts – but even I have a hard time calling it a straight “character study”. The film is a character study in the sense that Malick’s film has a loose story and a small ensemble portraying fictional people written by the complex director, but To…