By: Jessica Goddard Despite its inexplicable first-rate cast, Blackbird is an eye-rollingly disappointing take on the terminal illness drama from director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, My Cousin Rachel). Screenwriter Christian Torpe paints with a bland palette of stock characters to slap together a narrative infested with clichés and unnatural one-liners, leading nowhere of interest.
By: Jessica Goddard It’s an intriguing premise: a crude ex-convict will stop at nothing to build a motivational speaking empire. Tijuana Jackson is unrefined, unreliable, and painfully pompous; but for better or for worse, he is motivated.
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.
By: Jessica Goddard From directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Way Way Back), Downhill is an English-language remake of Ruben Östlund’s European awards contender Force Majeure (2014). Having not seen the original, I can only speak to the quality of the new film – starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell – as a standalone film. And, it’s not bad! Truly, it’s not bad. It’s a little simple and unpolished, and uncertain of what it wants to…
By: Jessica Goddard The day after I saw this movie, I got an ad for it on Facebook. According to the post promoted on my timeline, Time Out New York had given Kitty Green’s The Assistant five stars, and called it a “flawless thriller.” I can’t disagree that The Assistant is a good, worthwhile movie, but calling it a thriller is a stretch. Especially when what makes it work so well is its very objective,…
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.
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.