Lady Bird

Witty, wise, and wonderfully grounded, Lady Bird is a funny, realistic coming-of-age tale that sidesteps cliché in favour of presenting two complex, sympathetic female characters at odds and yet somehow wishing that they could come to understand the other. It’s a pithy, well-sculpted comedy-drama of affectionate precision that embraces adolescence’s messy realities, by a star and filmmaker that are simultaneously young and excellent far beyond their years.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Twin Peaks: The Return

Dense, dour, dark, and downright transporting, Twin Peaks: The Return is an ode to lamps, beautiful ladies, and dimly-lit nightclubs, a bonkers cauldron of chaos from the master of the grotesque that’s constantly shifting, evolving, and changing shape. It’s creepy and funny, nostalgic and modern, strange and sad, indulgent and audacious, surreal and heartbreaking. 

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

TIFF 2017 Wrap-Up

After a summer that many pundits considered one of the best in years (I may disagree) and an especially strong line-up in Venice, the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival burst onto the scene with typical flair and a host of red carpets. In line with an increasing trend away from the fall festival circuit, a number of high-profile films skipped the big 3 and will be released at the New York Film Festival (hello, Last Flag Flying from Richard Linklater and Wonder Wheel from Woody Allen) or held until the Christmas season, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s tentatively-titled Phantom Thread and The Post, Steven Spielberg’s anticipated take on the Pentagon Papers.

Continue reading

Columbus

Clean, crisp, concise, and as potent as the hallucinogenic drug referenced in the film, Columbus is a near-miracle of independent filmmaking: a quasi-mood piece from an unknown artist that will now be permanently on the cinematic map, showcasing lived-in performances that ultimately become larger-than-life. Clear-eyed, well-made, and sincerely affecting, it’s one of the best films of the year.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

A Ghost Story

Ambiguous, opaque, and highly original, A Ghost Story is an otherworldly brew that’s both wrenching and dryly funny; a gorgeously-shot-and-scored meditation on time, loss, grief, and mortality; and a potent reminder that great cinema requires nothing more than courage, vision, and execution. If you are patient and can get on its wavelength (and perhaps only some will), it’s absolutely devastating.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Baby Driver

Slick and superlatively choreographed, with a super-charged look and feel, Baby Driver is a pedal-to-the-metal action thriller that rarely lets up, in the vein of The Driver, Point Break, and Heat. Frenzied, frenetic, and as fast-paced as a Ferrari in the red, it’s both a blast and a mess, with a strong opening and a second half that whimpers (or flames out?) before it crosses the finish line.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

It Comes at Night

Restrained, rigorous, and unrelentingly bleak, It Comes at Night is a daunting drama with a grueling mood; a lithe exploration of family amidst intense scrutiny and paranoia; and a patient, pulse-pounding thriller that’s – refreshingly, terrifyingly – not about the things that go bump in the night. Lean and mean, it comes packaged to rouse people from their slumber and keep them up shaking in their beds.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,