Amelie Lasker 48 posts

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‘Stuffed’: The art of taxidermy

Stuffed is a documentary about taxidermy. It sounds grim, and it definitely is. But it’s also quirky and beautiful, and the people who do it are incredibly refined in their craft. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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A frenetic and sweet new ‘Addams Family’

The animated revival of The Addams Family is perfect for celebrating the fun and light side of Halloween spook (any time of year). (AEL: 3.5/5)

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A moving argument for transgender rights in ‘The Most Dangerous Year’

In The Most Dangerous Year, Knowlton takes a personal approach, telling her own family’s story as well as those of other families in the community. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise, fans and members of the original cast and crew share their experiences with the iconic film. Documentarian Jennifer Townsend enlists a group of fans to explore the film’s funniest and most difficult moments, and to appreciate the cultural significance the film retains. (AEL: 4/5)

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Teen girl friendship and sexuality in ‘Slut in a Good Way’

From French-Canadian filmmakers Sophie Lorain and Catherine Léger, Slut in a Good Way is a comedy about three friends who start working in a toy shop–one where there are so many cute boys. The film celebrates teen girlhood, sexual freedom, and the special humor shared among best friends. (AEL: 4/5)

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‘Styx’ is a searing drama on the open sea

With two compelling co-stars and a tight, heart-wrenching plot, Styx is a drama that’s hard to get out of your head. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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‘Juliet, Naked’ carries through on a winning premise

Thanks to the filmmakers’ handle on the romantic comedy genre, Juliet, Naked is highly watchable, a fun take on a winning premise. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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LET THE SUNSHINE IN (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Through a repetitive narrative cycle and an intimate arc portrayed by lead actress Binoche, acclaimed French filmmaker Claire Denis explores how depressing and isolating the search for love can be. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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LOU ANDREAS-SALOME – THE AUDACITY TO BE FREE (2016): Review by Amelie Lasker

A gentle score and soft, dreamy flashbacks give this film the feel of a period romance, though the story’s loyalty to Lou’s own obstinate personality ultimately makes it a fascinating character study. Well done, Lou Andreas-Salomé! (AEL: 4/5)

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THE RIDER (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Zhao has woven a story that is delicate and visually gorgeous, based on real ambitions and pains in the lives of Jandreau and his family and friends. (AEL: 5/5)

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THIS IS HOME – A REFUGEE STORY (2018): Review by Amelie Lasker

In This Is Home: A Refugee Story, filmmakers follow four Syrian families in their first months as refugees in Baltimore, Maryland. Their story is sweet and sensitive, but not at all easy. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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FOREVER MY GIRL (2018) Review by Amelie Lasker

Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, Forever My Girl tells the story of country music star “Liam Page” (Alex Roe). Tired of his fame and generally uninspired, Liam returns to the small, close-knit town in Louisiana that he abandoned abruptly years ago. While undoubtedly a romance, Forever My Girl is also a story of forgiveness, grief, and family. It’s a success of its genre. (AEL: 4/5)

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MY ART (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

When Ellie leaves her New York bubble of gallery shows and art students to housesit upstate for a summer, she is surprised by the discoveries she makes, in friendships and in artistic projects alike. With a casual pace and some particularly poignant and funny moments, My Art is a quiet enjoyment. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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PITCH PERFECT 3 (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In Pitch Perfect 3, co-written by Kay Cannon and directed by Trish Sie, former members of college a cappella group “the Bellas” reunite for a USO tour. Pitch Perfect 3’s main appeal is its fun music and dancing, supported by nostalgia for the first two movies in the trilogy. (AEL: 3/5)

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KILLING FOR LOVE (2016): Review by Amelie E. Lasker

In crime documentary Killing for Love, filmmakers bring out the full story of the killing of the Haysoms and those convicted in the years since, and finally make a call for a more just re-examination of events. (AEL: 4/5)

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BILL FRISELL: A PORTRAIT (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written and directed by Emma Franz, Bill Frisell: A Portrait shows us the work of guitarist and prolific composer Bill Frisell and of the friends and fellow great musicians who surround him. (AEL: 3/5)

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THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written by Karen Croner, The Tribes of Palos Verdes tells the story of the Mason family’s unraveling from the perspective of teenaged “Medina” (Maika Monroe). All Medina wants is for everyone in what she calls her “tribe” to be okay, but of course, the situation is much too complicated for that. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written by Susan Coyne based on a book by Les Standiford, The Man Who Invented Christmas re-imagines the classic novel A Christmas Carol. Though not as full of fantasy and pathos as the original story of A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s personal journey makes for a charming Christmas movie. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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COOK OFF! (2007): Review by Amelie Lasker

In the ensemble-mockumentary vein of 2000’s Best In Show, Cook Off! is a comedy about a cooking contest, in which a group of finalists compete for the million dollar prize. For a movie that depends on light wit, it doesn’t help that many of the jokes fall flat. (AEL: 2.5/5)

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LADY BIRD (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird is sharp and easy to watch. I was disappointed when it was over, because I just wanted to keep hanging out with Lady Bird, and with the person who wrote her character, and maybe share some of their wisdom, too. (AEL: 5/5)

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FÉLICITÉ (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

You never quite know what Félicité is thinking, because even in her wise, self-effacing love for other people, she always seems to be keeping a secret of her own. (AEL: 5/5)

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NOVITIATE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

A debut narrative feature from writer and director Margaret Betts, Novitiate explores the secret world of nuns and would-be nuns, and of what motivates their choice to stay in convents their entire adult lives. The movie is set in the the 1960s, when convents were dealing with the changes issued from the Pope, collectively called […]

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NEVER HERE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Never Here is an ambitious debut narrative feature from writer and director Camille Thoman. While the execution could have been more graceful, Thoman’s illustration of an artist’s trajectory is compelling, and definitely worth a watch. (AEL: 4/5)

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