Brigid K. Presecky
Brigid K. Presecky 111 posts
Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.

Currently Browsing: Brigid K. Presecky

Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder give breakout performances in ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Eliza Hittman’s intimate, raw Never Rarely Sometimes Always follows 17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as she ventures to New York City to get an abortion at 18 weeks pregnant. With the help of her trusted cousin (Talia Ryder), the two encounter physical and emotional obstacles in a city far from home. (4/5) Review by Vice President […]

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‘Saint Frances’ both unapologetic and sweet with sensitive subject matter

Kelly O’Sullivan writes and stars in the personal, touching Saint Frances, the story of a 26-year-old nanny in an affluent Chicago neighborhood who lives with the physical and emotional aftermath of having an abortion – and the six-year-old friend that gets her through. (4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Bridget […]

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‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ lost in adaptation from book to screen

Anne Hathaway stars in the complicated, cluttered Netflix Original The Last Thing He Wanted from writer/director Dee Rees. Despite its aesthetically artistic lens, this adaptation from Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same name doesn’t quite translate to the screen. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky With a talented […]

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Neeson, Manville elevate gut-wrenching cancer story ‘Ordinary Love’

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star in this gut-wrenching story of resilience. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, she relies on the support of her husband to get through the year-long journey of scans, surgeries and chemotherapy. While the straightforward drama is overly bleak at times, lacking a plot point or two to keep […]

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‘The Lodge’ pays homage to horror film past

Pulling from horror/thriller classics, The Lodge tells the story of two children and their soon-to-be stepmother snowbound in a house with mysterious ongoings and looming spirits. Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala make an aesthetically memorable film with an impressive cast, yet the thrills are few and far between. (3/5) Review by Vice President and […]

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Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift doc feels like home, somehow

Director Lana Wilson builds a mosaic-like documentary around Taylor Swift and her 15-year journey of navigating intense spotlight and scrutiny. Juxtaposing footage from her sold-out stadium concerts to intimate, close-up conversations about her eating disorder, Miss Americana allows people into the world of a poetic singer/songwriter who, at 29, found her true voice. (BKP: 5/5) […]

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Inspiring ‘Chhapaak’ shows triumph of human spirit

Meghna Gulzar’s heartbreaking film centers on 19-year-old Malti (Deepika Padukone) in the aftermath of an acid attack as she deals with legal and personal ramifications of the trauma. Told with grit and grace, this shocking true story follows Malti on her road to recovery. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. […]

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‘1917’ a compelling cinematic feat

Directed by Sam Mendes and co-written with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917 is a straightforward but wildly creative drama set over one day in World War I. Starring George MacKay in a memorable lead role that increases in intensity over two hours, the visually-fascinating film also features Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth and Richard Madden in […]

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‘Little Women’ a perfect, faithful adaptation from Greta Gerwig

Written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, Little Women is a poignant retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, following seven pivotal years in the lives of the March sisters. Opening with the latter half of the novel, the film is told through flashbacks from the perspective of author Jo, portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan. 

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Genre-bending ‘Knives and Skin’ an inclusive, twisty teen noir

Writer/Director Jennifer Reeder’s teen noir is an ode to all-things-cult-film that came before. Set in a suburban Chicago high school, it’s Riverdale meets Carrie (and no, not the Carrie-themed episode of Riverdale). Part coming-of-age and part thriller, Knives and Skin is uniquely its own genre with a strong female presence in front of and behind […]

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‘After Parkland’ a numbing, necessary return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Filmmakers Jake Lefferman and Emily Taguchi take on the incredibly painful and horrifying task of detailing the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The only word to describe a film like this – other than numbing – is necessary. (4.5/5) […]

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Stunning sequel ‘Frozen II’ will close out banner month for Disney

Directors Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Animation’s first and only female director on an animated film) and Chris Buck take Elsa and Anna back to the big screen with Frozen II, a bigger, sometimes better sequel to the 2013 blockbuster – one that became the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. […]

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‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’ tells a relevant woman’s story for our times

From first-time director Swati Bhise, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is a historical period drama following the matriarch who fought the British East India Company and British troops in the mid-1800s. Written and directed by women and following a historical female protagonist with whom common audiences might not be familiar, Bhise’s directorial debut tells a […]

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Well-meaning ‘Last Christmas’ weighed down with predictability

Co-written by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings and directed by Paul Feig, Last Christmas is a hodgepodge of a romantic dramedy with its big twist given away in its marketing campaign. Despite its wildly unnecessary subplots and disjointed tone, the talented and overqualified Emilia Clarke shines brightly as the Christmas lights surrounding her. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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Shocking doc ‘Anthropocene – The Human Epoch’ shows human effect on planet

Official selection at Berlin, Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals, feature documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch examines the massive effect that humans have had on Planet Earth. A 10-year journey with international researchers and scientists, filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky uncover the relevant, revolutionary scope of man’s footprint. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review […]

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Powerful Darrell Hammond doc ‘Cracked Up’ a story of survival

Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond brings his 2011 memoir “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem” to life in this emotionally raw documentary of overcoming childhood trauma. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky “You overcame sh*t, too.” […]

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‘Official Secrets’ tells compelling true story of British intelligence officer

Official Secrets tells the true story of Katharine Gun, a British intelligence officer who leaked information to the press in an effort to out illegal NSA spy operations regarding the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Kiera Knightley stars as the whistle-blower, leading an all-star cast in a compelling retelling of a woman who had nothing to […]

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‘Blinded by the Light’ celebrates the catharsis of art

From prolific director and women-in-film advocate Gurinder Chadha comes Blinded by the Light, a joyful and meaningful story about a Pakistani teenager growing up in 1980s England who discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen. The universal theme of connecting with the work of a singular and special artist is carried on Blinded by the Light’s […]

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Camila Mendes saves ‘Coyote Lake’

Riverdale star Camila Mendes stars in Sara Seligman’s Coyote Lake, an on-the-border thriller about a mother and daughter who kill human traffickers. What it lacks in thrills (and overall plot), it makes up for in the world Seligman creates, one which gives Mendes a chance to share another side of her acting abilities. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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‘The Farewell’ is Lulu Wang’s Oscar to lose

Writer/director Lulu Wang’s autobiographical story centers on a Chinese grandmother with a terminal lung cancer diagnosis – only she is the only person in her family who doesn’t know it. Starring Awkwafina in a dramatic leading role as Billi, the daughter of first-generation immigrants, The Farewell is a universal story that captures the true essence […]

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‘Toy Story 4’ goes beyond infinity

The story of Woody, Buzz and the gang continues in Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley and co-written by Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom. When his owner Bonnie makes a new favorite plaything out of a discarded spork and pipe cleaners, Woody (Tom Hanks) must teach Forky (Tony Hale) what it really means be […]

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‘Framing John DeLorean’ a compelling docu-drama on famed con man

The man who invented the DeLorean is unable to go back in time to undo his mistakes: the irony. A car made famous by in the 1985 megahit Back to the Future, the DeLorean and its maker have been the subject of fascination for decades. In a unique hybrid of documentary and feature film, filmmakers […]

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‘Funan’ details Cambodian genocide with stunning animation

Set in the 1975 Khmer Rouge revolution, Funan is the animated story of a Cambodian woman’s desperate search for her young son. Debuting director Denis Do (who co-writes with Magali Pouzol) recreates a dark, destructive world using an imaginative medium. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Opening with the […]

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‘Too Late to Die Young’ a subtly impactful coming-of-age drama

The first female filmmaker to win the Leopard Award in the Locarno Film Festival’s 71-year history, Dominga Sotomayor creates a subtly impactful coming-of-age drama in Too Late to Die Young. Based on her adolescence in 1990 Chile, Sotomayor tells a story of family, loss and transition through the poignant lens of 16-year-old Sofía (Demian Hernandez). […]

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‘The Sun Is Also A Star’ a well-intentioned victim of YA adaptation

Based on the best-selling novel by Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything), The Sun Is Also A Star is Warner Brothers’ addition to the early-summer canon for young adult romance. Written by Tracy Oliver (Little and What Men Want) and directed by Before I Fall helmer Ry Russo-Young, this YA adaptation is more of the same. (BKP: […]

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Amy Poehler’s ‘Wine Country’ a refreshing good time

From director Amy Poehler and writers Liz Cackowski and Emily Spivey, Wine Country is a heartfelt comedy wrapped up in a Saturday Night Live lover’s dream. Reuniting for a 50th birthday party on a girl’s trip to Napa, California, a group of friends comes back together in the midst of multiple midlife crises. Perfecting human […]

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Nostalgic ‘Body at Brighton Rock’ leaves rookie park ranger stranded

Roxanne Benjamin’s Body at Brighton Rock tells the story of a rookie park ranger who gets stranded in a mountainous forest with a dead cell phone battery – and a dead body. Karina Fontes carries the indie thriller with her portrayal of a young woman dependent on her own wit and strength to battle fear, […]

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Metz and Grace make ‘Breakthrough’ a universal uplift

Director Roxann Dawson’s Breakthrough recreates the miraculous true story of a Missouri boy’s traumatic accident and the unfailing faith of his devoted mother. With This Is Us star Chrissy Metz leading a strong cast, the film is a tactful reimagining of what could have easily been turned into Christian-skewed camp. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice […]

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Fanfiction-inspired film ‘After’ could have used Harry Styles

Directed by Jenny Gage, After tells the story of a young college freshman who falls for a bad boy. Compared to other fanfiction-turned-film like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, Susan Martin’s adaptation of Anna Todd’s novel of the same name is more in line with Riverdale or The CW teenage phenomena of glossy, fantastical […]

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CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

Following the 1991 release of Thelma & Louise, director Jennifer Townsend conducted a questionnaire as a research project: did other people share a similar, visceral reaction to the film? After sorting through handwritten letters and cassette-tape voicemails, Townsend follows up with her responders two decades later. This uniquely touching documentary shows how impactful art can […]

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