By: Trevor Chartrand Falling is the incredibly strong directorial debut from Viggo Mortensen, featuring fully-realized characters in a well-constructed, grounded world. The film illustrates humanity at its most raw in this powerfully compelling and dramatic character study.
Written and directed by Victor Neumark, First Blush is the story of a young married couple, Nena (Rachel Alig) and Drew (Ryan Caraway), who decide to open up their relationship after they meet a beautiful young actress named Olivia (Kate Beecroft). For a feature film debut, First Blush is passable and hints at Neumark’s talent for exploring complex interpersonal dynamics. However, as a depiction of polyamory, it misses the mark.
By: Trevor Chartrand The second feature film from writer-director Lili Horvát, Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is a strange romantic drama that’s difficult to connect with. If that title seems long and complicated to you, wait until you see the movie. Even for a film that’s barely longer than 90 minutes, this picture is an absolute slog to sit through.
1982 is a thoughtful meditation on childhood, struggle, and community that is at once heart-wrenching and deeply optimistic.
Promising Young Woman is a provocative call to arms that’s both committed to its cause and impossibly funny. It’s one hell of a feature-length debut from writer/director Emerald Fennell, who has previously acted on the UK’s Call the Midwife and Netflix’s The Crown, as well as wrote for AMC’s Killing Eve.
It’s impossible for me not to write about Pieces of a Woman from my own experience with child loss. The movie is about a child’s death during delivery and her parents’ grieving process as they search for personal closure. As a father who has lost three babies with my sublime wife through miscarriages, Pieces of a Woman really hits close to home.
Stardust has a really good idea for a movie: the rise of an insecure musician who strives for fame but, at the same time, is scared of how his lack of identity will ruin him. If the movie was about an ambiguous celebrity, director Gabriel Range (Death of a President) could’ve had a lot of room to explore the anxieties of fame. Unfortunately, he’s desperate to crowbar these dilemmas into an unqualified and unauthorized biopic…
By: Jolie Featherstone Brayden DeMorest-Purdy’s feature film debut, Beyond the Woods, is a mind-bending, slow-burning crime drama where lost and troubled individuals burn like smoking flames flickering against the bitter-cold, snow-capped landscape that threatens to consume them.
Written and directed by Stella Hopkins, Elyse is an uninventive and poorly-written depiction of mental illness. To watch Anthony Hopkins, Stella Hopkins’ husband and arguably one of the greatest actors of our time, perform in a film this tedious and inexpert is a truly baffling experience. Mental illness is a complex and nuanced theme, but Elyse’s exploration of a wealthy but unsatisfied white woman’s inner world is obvious and riddled with clichés.
By: Jessica Goddard Our own Addison Wylie mentioned I probably shouldn’t watch the trailer for Lawrence Michael Levine’s Black Bear, since it would be better to go in cold.…and boy was he right. When I tracked down the trailer after seeing the film, I was shocked by how much it gives away. So in that spirit, I’ll warn that this review contains what are, effectively, spoilers (though that’s not the perfect word).