Currently Browsing: February 2018

WEREWOLF (2016): Review by Amelie Lasker

The debut film from writer and director Ashley McKenzie, Werewolf is the story of “Nessa” (Bhreagh MacNeil) and “Blaise” (Andrew Gillis), who are trying to get through a methadone program and to escape their small town. The film is at many times hard to watch, but its nuanced character development makes it a story worth telling. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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THE BOY DOWNSTAIRS (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

Written and directed by Sophie Brooks, The Boy Downstairs is a quirky love story about rekindling with an ex years later. With unlikable characters and a toxic atmosphere, this film misses every opportunity to show true love. (KAC: 2/5)

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THE PARTY (2017): Review by Eliana M. Levenson

With quippy dialogue and an classic movie directorial style, Sally Potter’s The Party feels like a brilliant short film forced to drag itself along for an extra twenty minutes. (EML: 3.5/5)

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TEHRAN TABOO (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

In Tehran Taboo, four young people struggle as they feel the weight of Iran’s restrictive Islamic society in matters of sex, money, and lifestyle. Director Ali Soozandeh and writer Grit Kienzlen deliver stark yet beautiful images while revealing and criticizing taboos that govern the Iranian people. (RMM: 4.5/5)

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WESTERN (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Valeska Grisebach, Western tells the story of a group of German construction workers who take on a job in a rural part of Bulgaria near an isolated village near their construction site setting the stage for a clash of tradition and modernity between Eastern and Western Europe. (FEA 4/5)

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BECKS (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell, Becks is a dazzling romance film with beautiful music. Co-written with Rebecca Drysdale, this film is slightly predictable, but like any other good love story, it draws you in. Funny and thoughtful, Becks is worth watching for a fun time. (KAC: 3.5/5)

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ON BODY AND SOUL (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written and directed by Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Envedi, On Body and Soul is a strange and meditative love story of sorts between two managerial workers in a cattle slaughterhouse. (AEL: 4/5)

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THE 15:17 TO PARIS (2018): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

Although no actors could recreate the climactic take-down precisely like the men who lived through it, their (expected?) lack of acting ability does a disservice to their true, inspirational story worth telling. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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THE FEMALE BRAIN (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

In The Female Brain, a recently-divorced neurologist explores the inner workings of the male and female brain in regard to romance. Director and star Whitney Cummings succeeds in producing a film that is witty, sincere, and relevant. (RMM: 4/5)

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MUDBOUND (2017): Take Two by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Dee Rees and co-written with Virgil Williams, Mudbound was recently nominated for 4 Oscars, including the first ever female nominee for cinematography, Rachel Morrison, but missed out on Best Picture and Best Director. Here’s why I think the Oscars made a mistake. (KAC: 5/5)

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THE OPERA HOUSE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In documentary The Opera House, writer and director Susan Froemke tells the story of the Met Opera and the people who built it and love it. In this unexpectedly personal account, we get charming insights into opera stars’, house managers’ and executives’, and architects’ experiences. Froemke has created a fascinating picture of how art and humanity survive across time and place. (AEL: 4/5)

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BEFORE WE VANISH (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Co-written by Tomohiro Maekawa, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Sachiko Tanaka, Before We Vanish Before We Vanish chronicles the story of three aliens who visit present-day Earth in order to prepare for their planned invasion to reveal the beautiful complexity that is modern human life. (FEA 3/5)

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THE MUSIC OF SILENCE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Inspired by Andrea Bocelli, The Music of Silence follows a blind man with a gift for singing. Director Michael Radford and writer Anna Pavignano meander through the less than substantive plot with beautifully recorded operatic numbers that are meant to channel Bocelli’s voice but add little to the film. (RMM: 2/5)

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