Currently Browsing: March 2018

ALL I WISH (2017): Review by Elly Levenson

Susan Walters’ All I Wish struggles to find its footing with uneven performances, choppy transitions, and a cliche storyline. Still, as a voice for middle-aged women, struggling to find their way, Walters has opened the door.

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FINDING YOUR FEET (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Co-written by Meg Leonard, Finding Your Feetfollows Sandra (Imelda Staunton) when her husband of thirty-five years leaves her for a mutual friend. Lost and heartbroken, Sandra moves in with her adventurous and charming estranged sister Bif (Celia Imrie). It’s rare to see a movie with a cast of characters who are almost entirely retirement age or older, and it’s even rarer to see these characters portrayed in full depth. What results is a fun and poignant development on romantic comedy. (AEL: 4/5)

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OUTSIDE IN (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Lynn Shelton and co-written with Jay Duplass, Outside In tells the unlikely love story of a man released after 20 years in prison and his high school teacher, the only person to stick by him. The film follows the inner workings of their minds and never loses the audience for a second. (KAC: 4.5/5)

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A BAG OF MARBLES (2017): Review by Elly Levenson

There’s a dull ache in your chest and the push of tears at the back of your eyes the whole time while watching Christian Duguay’s masterful remaking of A Bag of Marbles, the true story of Joseph Joffo’s survival as a young Jewish boy in France during the Nazi occupation of World War II. (EML: 5/5)

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BEAUTY AND THE DOGS (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written by Kaouther Ben Hania, and co-directed by Ben Hania and Khaled Barsaoui, Beauty and the Dogs (2017) tells the story of a young Tunisian woman who is raped and harassed by members of the post-revolutionary Tunisian police. (FEA 5/5). Review by FF2 Media Intern Farah A. Elattar “Mariam” (Mariam Al Ferjani) is a college […]

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ISMAEL’S GHOSTS (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

A man’s life is sent into turmoil when his wife comes back after 20 years of absence. Ismael’s Ghosts (in French, Les fantômes d’Ismaël) is a total mess, both in plot and in style. Director Arnaud Desplechin, along with co-writers Léa Mysius and Julie Peyr, indulges in ill-used melodrama and a spliced-together, muddy narrative. (RMM: […]

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MADAME (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

Written and directed by Amanda Sthers, Madame is a spin on the romantic comedy genre that falls flat. Chaos ensues after a maid is forced to attend a high-class dinner party and falls in love with one of the guests. (KAC: 2.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Madame takes place in Paris, following the […]

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PACIFIC RIM – UPRISING (2018): Review by Amelie Lasker

Pacific Rim: Uprising has memorable characters and a satisfyingly complex story, and for lovers of action, it comes highly recommended. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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PARADOX (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Paradox is definitely anything but your usual film. The film defies the rules of storytelling in cinema and takes on more of an experimental performance style. Daryl Hannah directs and writes this experiential film starring musician Neil Young. (KIZJ: 1.5/5)

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DEAR DICTATOR (2018): Review by Eliana Levenson

Though the premise and cast promise a clever satire, Dear Dictator from writer/directors Lisa Addario & Joe Syracuse falls short of delivering anything more than an ambling high school comedy knockoff. (EML: 3/5)

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FURLOUGH (2018): Review by Roza Melkumyan

When an inmate in a New York state prison is granted a compassionate leave to visit her dying mother, a young corrections officer who is looking to prove herself must do whatever it takes to escort her prisoner downstate and then bring her back on time. With Furlough, director Laurie Collyer and screenwriter Barry Strugatz deliver […]

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KEEP THE CHANGE (2017): Review by Brigid Presecky

Writer/director Rachel Israel captures the sweet, unique love of support group members David (Brandon Polansky) and Sarah (Samantha Elisofon) who bond over their shared struggle with autism. Set in New York City in company with romantic comedy classics, Keep the Change is a heartwarming, compassionate story with compelling performances elevating the already-fresh and funny material. (4.5/5)

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LOVE, SIMON (2018): Review by Georgi Presecky

From prolific producer-director Greg Berlanti and This Is Us writers Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, Love, Simon is a smart coming-of-age comedy made for teenagers, but with an equally important and well-executed message for adults. (GEP: 4.5/5)

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MAINELAND (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Maineland is a coming-of-age documentary following Stella and Harry—two of the many teenagers from wealthy families who enroll in U.S. private schools. Miao Wang’s enlightening film showcases the young subjects gaining a newfound maturity and perspective on life. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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NO LIGHT & NO LAND ANYWHERE (2016): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Amber Sealey, No Light and No Land Anywhere tells the story of a young woman who boards a plane from the UK to Los Angeles in search of the father who abandoned her during her childhood. Once in LA, she encounters many new people during her stay – some she will […]

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OUR BLOOD IS WINE (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Director Emily Railsback and award-winning sommelier Jeremy Quinn embark on the historical journey of wine in Our Blood is Wine. Their documentary looks into the roots of winemaking and vine-growing in the Republic of Georgia. (KIZJ: 2.5/5) 

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TOMB RAIDER (2018): Review by Amelie Lasker

“Lara Croft” (Alicia Vikander) leaves her home in London in search of the island off the coast of Japan where her father disappeared seven years ago. In an ensuing action-adventure story that soon expands far beyond her family, Lara’s bravery and stubbornness are tested over and over again. (AEL: 3/5)

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A WRINKLE IN TIME (2018): Sneak Peek by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, A Wrinkle in Time is a film about trust, love, and self-understanding. With star Storm Reid as pre-teen “Meg,” DuVernay explores what it means to be a girl at that age, especially what it means to be a girl of color. (KAC: 4/5) […]

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THE HOMELESS CHORUS SPEAKS (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

A film by Susan Polis Shutz, The Homeless Chorus Speaks, currently playing a Cinema Village, is a soul-touching documentary that tells the stories of The People’s Choir – a choir made of people whose lives have led them to the streets of California. (FEA 5/5).

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ITZHAK (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Alison Chernick’s documentary Itzhak celebrates the life and work of world-renowned violinist and teacher Itzhak Perlman. With glimpses into Itzhak’s married life, Jewish heritage, and warm circle of friends, Itzhak is a charming portrait of a beloved musician. (AEL: 4/5)

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THE LEISURE SEEKER (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

The Leisure Seeker is anything but leisurely in this sad road trip dramedy following an aging wife Ella (Helen Mirren) and her dementia-ridden, former English professor husband John (Donald Sutherland). Although the well-intentioned premise of aging with dignity is painfully realistic at times, other times not, the love story of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer is […]

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SHINING MOON (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Shining Moon stars Ricardo Herrera and Pablo Sotomayor Prat as two jobless, gay Chilean actors who are offered roles in a theatrical film as aging cross-dressers. Originally titled El Destello De La Luna, the piece is an art house film co-written by Gustavo Letelier and Victoria Wharfe McIntyre. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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HONDROS (2017): Review by Katharine Cutler

Directed by Greg Campbell and co-written with Jenny Golden, Hondros is a moving documentary about the late war photographer Chris Hondros. By exploring the field through his body of work and anecdotes from his friends and family, this film brings up questions about the field and the impact of Hondros’ life. (KAC: 4/5) Review by […]

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THE LULLABY (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Writer Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo collaborates with director Darrell Roodt to create the unnerving and skin-crawling horror movie, The Lullaby. Reine Swart plays a 19-year-old girl, “Chloe”, who is thrown into motherhood and lands in a state of disturbing paranoia. When the birth of a baby forces Chloe to move back in with her mother, haunting elements of Chloe’s past begin to resurface and take control of her sanity. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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OH LUCY! (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

Written and directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi, Oh Lucy! follows Setsuko Kawashima (Shinobu Terajima) a Japanese office worker who finds a new lease on life through her American alter ego. Based on Hirayanagi’s 2014 short film of the same name, the writer-director uses one woman’s life as a bizarre-but-funny vessel for humans’ capacity for change. (BKP: […]

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