This review of Francois Ozon’s Criminal Lovers is part of the New French Extremity Retrospective series.
Francois Ozon’s Criminal Lovers begins as a Bonnie & Clyde narrative, where two kids of 17 kill a man in passion and go on the lam, robbing jewelry stores and convenience stores to get by as they make their way into the countryside. Then, it becomes something more akin to a Hansel & Gretel tale of survival.
Alice (Natacha Regnier) convinces Luc (Jeremie Renier) to help her kill Continue reading Criminal Lovers (2000) Movie Review →
This review of Catherine Breillat’s Romance is part of the New French Extremity Retrospective series.
“You don’t deserve my faithfulness”
The complicated sexuality of Romance is problematic. Not entirely so, as the film explores a side of sexuality that is often left unexplored. But the screenplay reduces sexual philosophy to a binary matter. Even when the shoe is on the opposite foot, entering the perspective of Continue reading Romance (1999) Movie Review →
The opening number of La La Land, the new musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, is the appropriate first impression of Los Angeles: a gridlocked freeway of cars sitting idle. Only, instead of the frustration and cynicism that would arise from this situation, people burst into hopeful song and dance among the stalled cars. In a rush of agile choreography, a rainbow color scheme, and immense depth staging, a flurry of people dance on hoods and sing of the wonder of Hollywood sunshine.
At the culmination of this tune, we are introduced to Mia (Emma Stone), another hopeful going over audition sides in her car as she waits, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who honks aggressively at her when she refuses to move once the congestion breaks up.
With the first few scenes, La La Land presents itself as a
Continue reading La La Land (2016) Movie Review →
In 1930s Hollywood, Phil Stern (Steve Carrell) is a high profile film agent. His nephew Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) is a neurotic New Yorker who moves to Los Angeles after becoming tired of life in the Big Apple. The extended family also includes a gangster (Corey Stoll) and a Communist intellectual (Stephen Kunken).
The film is, in essence, a wandering tale of cinephilia, writer-director Woody Allen exercising his vast knowledge of classic Hollywood whenever possible. It is also a romantic melodrama: Bobby wants a woman named Veronica (Kristen Stewart) who is Continue reading Cafe Society (2016) Movie Review →
Tell Me Sweet Something follows young author Moratiwa (Nomzamo Mbatha) through the trials of artistry and romance.
Mbatha holds down the fort at the head of the film well. Her character the most well-rounded of the lot, she is given a lot more to work with. But, all the same, she embodies the character well.
Fulfilling the obligatory role of comedic relief male sidekick is Thomas Gumede as Gordon. Albeit a tired character, Continue reading Tell Me Sweet Something (2015) Movie Review →
In Sisters, the eponymous sisters Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) are misguided and somewhat juvenile. The two travel to their parent’s house in Orlando, which they find sold and emptied. They protest the loss of their childhood home, and ultimately decide to throw one last party in the house in an attempt to return to their glory days.
The film totes the expected cavalcade of SNL alum. At the head are Fey and Poehler, both of whom Continue reading Sisters (2015) Movie Review →
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is adapted from the book of the same name, and it is exactly what you think. Jane Austen’s famous characters return to the big screen, only now they aren’t combating class and gender barriers, they are samurai fighting zombies.
The film, understanding that the audience is likely already familiar with the Austen classic, begins with some heavy handed exposition revolving around the nature of the narrative’s zombie outbreak. This opening scene involves an interesting point of view shot that comes from a unique perspective, to say the least. Unfortunately, Continue reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Movie Review →
Brooklyn is a film starring Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish emigre, Eilis, who moves to New York in the early 1950s to find work, leaving behind a mother and sister as a result. In Brooklyn, she stays at a boarding house with four other women of differing personality, works at a department store (but takes night classes to become a bookkeeper), and falls for a young Italian man named Tony (Emory Cohen).
The film makes a marked transition from Eilis’s process of immigration and settling into her new world to her Continue reading Brooklyn (2015) Movie Review →