Currently Browsing: May 2016

A LA VIE

All Holocaust survivors carry within them individual traumas, memories and burdens from their dark past. Based on his mother’s experiences, director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s A La Vie explores the complexities of life, love and friendship after the Holocaust by following what happens when three friends from Auschwitz reunite after 15 years. Although Zilbermann intertwines delicate moments of truth […]

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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Screenwriter Linda Woolverton brings Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters back for a second live action installment in the sequel to the 2010 adventure Alice in Wonderland. In Disney’s highly anticipated, yet underwhelming film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, “Alice” (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland, beckoned back to the fantastical world to save the Mad Hatter. In […]

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CHEVALIER

In 2000, Claire Denis made Beau Travail, a heart-rendingly beautiful film on men and their impossible quest for male perfection. The unpredictable landscapes of Djibouti and the harsh regiments of the French Foreign Legion put masculinity to test: boys have to become men and men sweat, hit, compete, and kill. In Chevalier, director Athina Rachel […]

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PRINCESS (2014)

Excellent performance by young Israeli actress Shira Haas is undercut by filmmaker’s decision to create a story that is deliberately obfuscating. Adar is an adolescent girl on the edge of maturity who lives in a small apartment with her mother Alma and Alma’s lover Michael. Like most girls her age, Adar is straining for independence, even though she sometimes […]

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UNLOCKING THE CAGE

With a timely release date given the events of the tragedy at Cincinnati Zoo, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’ new documentary Unlocking the Cage is a smart, engaging look at gaining legal rights for animals. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Spanning the course of five years, the film centers on animal advocate […]

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MAGGIE’S PLAN

“Maggie” (Greta Gerwig) has a plan: for herself and for everyone else around her. She’s single, living in New York City, with a steady job, and loyal friends. What she doesn’t have is a partner. And what she wants is a baby. So Maggie decides to have a child on her own. But when she […]

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MARGARITA WITH A STRAW

Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw tackles multiple issues through main protagonist, teenage “Laila,” (Kalki Koechelin) an aspiring writer with cerebral palsy. The unique approach to sensitive issues, ranging from disabilities and sexuality to cancer and parenting, is initially intriguing but needs a jolt of energy to keep viewers invested. (BKP: 3/5) Review by Associate […]

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THE OTHER SIDE

Director Roberto Minervini and writer Denise Ping Lee create a raw, hard-to-watch picture about life in a poor Louisiana town of West Monroe. This depiction of America’s lower class is jarring, bizarre hybrid of documentary and feature that will leave your soul completely drained. (BKP: 3/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Viewers initially […]

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SONG OF LAHORE

Filmmakers Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken bring audiences an inspirational documentary about the power of music and the bond it creates between cultures. Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, has rich history as one of the country’s artistic hubs. But when bans were placed upon music and musical expression starting in 1977, the city […]

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WEINER

Timely documentary about the implosion of Antony Weiner‘s promising political career, first as a Congressman from Brooklyn’s 9th District and then as a candidate for mayor of New York City. After six years as an aide to Chuck Schumer (then serving his own stint representing the 9th), Weiner became a member of the New York City Council […]

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A MONSTER WITH 1000 HEADS

Writer Laura Santullo has teamed with director Rodrigo Plá to create a superlative adaptation of her novel Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas. Since it hasn’t been translated into English (yet), I am going to guess that the novel has interior monologues that get into the heads of her characters. Onscreen, however, Santullo and Plá go straight for […]

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HIGH-RISE

Tom Hiddleston stars as an eccentric doctor in this bizarre, brutally boring adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel, High-Rise. Amy Jump’s screenplay on social commentary might appeal to fans of science-fiction/horror, but the average moviegoer may miss the “comedy” in this so-called “dark-comedy” entirely. (BKP: 2.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky There are people […]

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LOVE ADDICT

Love Addict is a flailing effort at a bearable romantic comedy. Director Charis Orchard’s film follows “Owen Maxwell” (Elliot Haddaway), a successful divorce attorney and grotesque womanizer, as he faces the greatest challenge of his life: instead of helping to alleviate his cigarette addiction, his hypnotherapist hypnotizes him into developing an allergy to his favorite […]

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MONEY MONSTER

“Lee Gates” (George Clooney) aka “The Wizard of Wall Street” is the host of the successful financial television program called Money Monster. Lee is famous for telling his viewers how and when to invest, but when a bad call loses people millions, enraged investor “Kyle Budwell” (Jack O’Connell) takes it upon himself to get answers. […]

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1920 LONDON

Giddy comedy/horror mash-up from India has all the familiar Bollywood elements–gorgeous people dancing around sumptuous sets–so expect it to be what it is… and enjoy. (JLH: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner  “Princess Shivangi” (Meera Chopra) arrives at her family home, runs up the stairs, and throws herself into the arms of her […]

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DARK HORSE

Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse is an inspiring story of a Welsh horse’s journey to being a Grand National contender. This feel-good documentary is riveting, on-the-edge-of-your seat enjoyment from start to finish. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky If you haven’t heard of the racehorse “Dream Alliance,” you will be in for a […]

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MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS

Told through the lens of single photographer “Rigby Gray” (Selma Blair), Mothers and Daughters is both lighthearted and touching. Screenwriter Paige Cameron expertly weaves multiple narratives together; each painting a different picture of motherhood, and the bond that exists between mother and daughter. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry “Rigby” (Selma Blair) […]

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PHANTOM OF THE THEATRE

Phantom of the Theater is a grand spectacle of color and splash rolled into a bizarre plot of horror and mystery. Screenwriters Yang Mei Yuan, Li Jing Ling and Manfred Wong tell the story of a restored movie house, haunted by the spirits of the people who perished in a theater. Although potentially appealing to […]

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