Tag Archives: drama

Leave No Trace

Beautifully understated and incredibly moving, Leave No Trace is a contemplative, terrifically shot father-daughter drama from a talented director that’s been away for far too long. Environmentally aware yet convincing in its narrative simplicity, Leave No Trace is a small, quiet, and phenomenally effective film about fatherhood, family, and the importance of staying true to oneself no matter the consequences.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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American Honey

Perpetually engaging and enthusiastically irresponsible, American Honey is a fascinating coming-of-age story with naturalistic performances; and a free-spirited road movie with languishing, exultant moments. Gleefully unhinged and indulgent, it’s a wild ride through sex, drugs, and hip hop, with the journey led by one of Britain’s preeminent auteurs working out of her supposed comfort zone.

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Little Men

Gentle, poignant, and engrossing, Little Men is a tiny drama of big themes and well-drawn characters; a detailed, delicate portrait of two families in conflict; and a compelling generational jump for its filmmaker from retirement into childhood. Humane in its truthfulness and beautiful in its humanity, it’s a canvas on which the most relatable of all experiences plays out: life.

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