Currently Browsing: May 2015

GEMMA BOVERY

A middle-aged French baker believes his new English neighbor is a literary archetype come to life, and falls head over heels in love with his own fantasy. What looks to be a period comedy slowly reveals itself as an erudite and insightful modern tragedy. Gemma Bovery is a “Personal Best” for French director Anne Fontaine. The screenplay–which Fontaine co-wrote with […]

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I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS

I Believe in Unicorns follows a young girl named “Davina” (Natalia Dyer) who gets into her first relationship with slightly older bad boy named “Sterling” (Peter Vack). This is a story about first loves and heartbreak, and filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff invites the audience in to witness young love unravel, as something that was once great […]

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UNCERTAIN TERMS

The tension-filled drama, centering on a home for pregnant teenagers, spends more time focusing on the marital woes of their 30-year-old handyman. Director Nathan Silver makes the story feel intimate – sometimes eerie – and beautifully brings the screenplay by Chloe Domont and Cody Stokes to life. But despite the setting and mood, there are […]

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ALOFT

Jennifer Connelly is so compelling as a struggling single mother in Claudia Llosa’s new film that narrative details like whys and wherefores pale next to the need to find her again after she disappears. (JLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner Aloft is a strange and mysterious new film written and directed by […]

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(DIS)HONESTY

Superlative documentary about the life work of Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely blends lecture footage with first-person interviews and great graphics to tell us who we really are and how we really make the “rational” decisions that determine our personal, professional, and political lives. Must See film directed by Yael Melamede. Highly recommended by both me & Rich! […]

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THE FAREWELL PARTY

Jewish Humor walks the razor’s edge between comedy and tragedy in this mordant “laugh through your tears” dramedy co-written & co-directed by  Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon. (JLH: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner Since the time of Sholem Aleichem, Jewish Humor has been said to walk the razor’s edge between comedy and tragedy, […]

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SEEDS OF TIME

Director Sandy McLeod packs a great deal of information in the 77-minute documentary about seed conservation. The film focuses on agricultural trailblazer Cary Fowler and highlights the impending dangers of climate change. Despite a few lulls, McLeod’s documentary is constructive, personal and extremely informative. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Seeds of Time […]

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SOMETHING BETTER TO COME

Written and directed by Hanna Polak, Something Better to Come tells the story of those forgotten by society, those who call The Svalka – an immense junkyard outside of Moscow – home. The film follows a young girl named Yula for 14 years, as she struggles to survive life inside The Svalka and clings to […]

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SUNSHINE SUPERMAN

Marah Strauch’s documentary debut tells the story of adventurous Carl Boenish and his team of adrenaline-seeking BASE jumpers. Beautiful, thrilling archival footage and detailed narrations string together a story about a man who lived life from one exhilarating moment to the next. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky “One of my mottos […]

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THE CONNECTION

Opens in NYC on Fri (5/15). Review coming soon…

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DARK STAR

Opens in NYC on Fri (5/15). Review coming soon…

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EVERY SECRET THING

Am I never satisfied? Here is a film with prominent actresses like Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning, and Diane Lane carrying a woman-centered film, plus award-winning female filmmakers behind-the-camera. (Amy Berg is the director while Nicole Holofcener wrote the screenplay.) It passes the Bechdel Test with no if, ands, or buts, so am I satisfied? Not I […]

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KNOW HOW

Review of Know How by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Director Juan Carlos Piñeiro Escoriaza–collaborating with co-screenwriters Deshawn Brown, Niquana Clark, Michael Dew, Gabrielle Garcia, Gilbert Howard, Claribelle Pagan, and  Ebonee Simpson–creates a hybrid of documentary and fiction, having young men and women reenact true, horrific events during their life in the foster care system. […]

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PITCH PERFECT 2

Review of Pitch Perfect 2 by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky New song numbers and endearing new characters balance whatever charm is lost in the much-anticipated a cappella follow-up. Writer Kay Cannon and Director Elizabeth Banks bring the Bellas back to the big screen in a fun, if slightly less focused, sequel of the 2012 […]

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ONE CUT, ONE LIFE (2014): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Filmmaker Lucia Small tracks the final days of her colleague and friend Ed Pincus. The goal is to tell a first-person documentary from two equal points of view (Ed’s POV and Lucia’s POV), but unfortunately Small has bitten off more than she can chew. Although there are a few memorable sequences, most of the the film […]

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HOT PURSUIT

Review of Hot Pursuit by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are both capable of turning good material into great material. Unfortunately, neither of them could save Hot Pursuit. With a weak plot and unoriginal dialogue, the script by David Feeney and John Quaintance is nothing we haven’t seen before. (BKP: […]

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PIKU

Lovely “road trip” movie from India follows all the genre conventions, but still manages to take us to places both old and new. Directed by Shoojit Sircar. Screenplay by Juhi Chaturvedi. (JLH: 4/5) ************************* “Piku” (Deenika Padukone) is a very modern young woman–independent, assertive, career-oriented, and always in control… Well that’s what she would like […]

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PREGGOLAND

  Review of Preggoland by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Writer Sonja Bennett stars in the Canadian comedy about a woman who attempts to earn respect from friends and family by faking her own pregnancy. Despite its impractical premise and use of gender stereotypes, the story slowly finds its heart while providing a few laughs – […]

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Bye Bye Heidi

The 2015 revival of The Heidi Chronicles closed early on Sunday, May 3rd … A shame, but not a total surprise… “Although Sofonisba was praised in the seventeenth century as being a portraitist equal to Titian, and at least thirty of her painting remain known to us, there is no trace of her or any […]

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