Dayna Hagewood 40 posts

Currently Browsing: Dayna Hagewood

Brian Cox anchors and illuminates ‘The Etruscan Smile’

The Etruscan Smile (directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan, and Sarah Bellwood) is a familial drama that swirls around burly Scotsman Rory (played excellently by Brian Cox) as he travels to San Francisco to visit a doctor. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood The […]

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‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ is your perfect Halloween watch

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (directed by Joachim Rønning and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, and Linda Woolverton) is the wonderful sequel to the Sleeping Beauty spin-off Maleficent. Despite a standard fairytale plot and expected tropes, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil contains beautiful animation, costume design, and wholesome characters that are sure to leave you satisfied. […]

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‘Hustlers’ is a powerhouse of social critique and female friendship

Hustlers (written and directed by Lorene Scafaria) is a whirlwind look into the exclusive world of high-class strippers as they struggle to stay on top of an ever-shifting industry. Based on a true story, Hustlers beautifully demonstrates the highs, lows, friendships, catastrophes, and subversive truths of the lives of multiple women that work in the […]

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‘Edie’ bold proof that age is just a number

Edie (directed by Simon Hunter and screenplay written by Elizabeth O’Halloran) follows an 83-year-old woman as she treks off to climb Mount Suilven in Scotland and fulfill a life-long dream. While Edie is cliché and cheesy at times, it contains many heartfelt moments of personal triumph and well-developed character interactions. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 […]

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‘Give Me Liberty’ speeds into chaos and wonderful comedy

Give Me Liberty (directed by Kirill Mikhanovsky and written by Kirill Mikhanovsky and Alice Austen) is a story of beautiful human interaction and the comical mishaps surrounding medical driver Vic (played by non-professional actor Chris Galust) and his journey to get riders to where they need to go. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna […]

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‘Tigers Are Not Afraid’ is as real as it is magical

Tigers Are Not Afraid (“Vuelven,” written and directed by Issa López) is an intense fantasy-infused drama that follows young Estrella and her cohort of orphaned friends as they struggle to survive the violence and persecution of Mexican cartels. While Tigers Are Not Afraid excels in balancing the fantastical with the harsh reality of the kids’ […]

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‘One Child Nation’ tackles intense national issue but fails to finish the job

One Child Nation is a documentary by new mother Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang that attempts to search for answers and perspectives about China’s one child policy beginning in 1979. While One Child Nation often tackles the difficult subject with poise, it lacks a cohesive structure and introduces different strings of narratives that struggle to […]

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‘Honeyland’ is stunning, heartbreaking, and bee-wildering

Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, Honeyland is an observational documentary that brilliantly follows the solitary indigenous life of Hatizde Muratova, the “last female beehunter in Europe,” as she attempts to maintain her bee colonies and care for her ill mother. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood Honeyland is the most visually […]

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‘My Days of Mercy’ tackles the death penalty, lesbian love, and grief

My Days of Mercy is a mixed genre film directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer and written by Joe Barton about Lucy’s (Ellen Page) struggles to deal with her father’s situation on death row. While My Days of Mercy presented an extremely original plot and contained a lot of great moments, it, unfortunately, failed to amount to […]

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My Days of Mercy tackles the death penalty, lesbian love, and grief

My Days of Mercy is a mixed genre film directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer and written by Joe Barton about Lucy’s (Ellen Page) struggles to deal with her father’s situation on death row. While My Days of Mercy presented an extremely original plot and contained a lot of great moments, it, unfortunately, failed to amount to […]

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LATE NIGHT (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A late-night talk-show host suspects that she may soon lose her long-running show. Late Night opens 6/7. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Late Night’ ushers in great comedy, strong women and standard plot

Directed by Nisha Ganatra and written by star Mindy Kaling, Late Night is a backstage comedy about the unlikely relationship that forms between Molly (Kaling) and late night television talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson). Even though the dialogue is smart and downright hilarious at points, Late Night unfortunately fails to surpass the basic […]

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‘My Son’ fails to make an impact on the kidnap-thriller scene

My Son (Mon Garçon) written by Laure Irrmann and Christian Carion and directed by Carion is a typical vigilante thriller about a child kidnapping that contains moments of good suspense but ultimately does not amount to anything more than a standard trope. (DLH: 2.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood My Son begins with Julien […]

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BE NATURAL – THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Pamela B. Green’s energetic film about pioneer filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché is both a tribute and a detective story, tracing the circumstances by which this extraordinary artist faded from memory and the path toward her reclamation. Be Natural opens 4/26. FF2 review coming soon!

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Red Joan fails to invoke wartime espionage thrills

Directed by Trevor Nunn and written by Lindsay Shapero, Red Joan is an unfortunately average drama based on the life of KGB spy Melita Norwood. Although the subject matter had wonderful potential to serve as the basis of an excellent film, Red Joan gets caught up in tedious romance, poor structure, and dull execution. (DLH: […]

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Mary Magdalene revives biblical tale with a feminist spin

Mary Magdalene (directed by Garth Davis and co-written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett) offers a new take on a classic biblical tale in a wandering and revisionist manner. (DLH: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood We are introduced to Mary (played by Rooney Mara) almost immediately through her experiences with others. She runs […]

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Claire Denis achieves great heights in High Life

Written and directed by Claire Denis, High Life tackles a space journey gone horribly wrong and follows a crew of death row criminals on their quest to research black holes. High Life is Denis’ next expert foray into exploring sexuality, human interaction, and the meaning of living—this time in space. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 […]

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The Brink reveals Bannon’s true character through cinéma vérité

The Brink, directed by Alison Klayman, documents former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon’s efforts to align with far-right world leaders and spread his nationalist agenda around the world. The film is expertly nuanced in position, and although it might appear to give Bannon the attention he loves, it succeeds in undermining him at every […]

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‘Fall in Love at First Kiss’ is a feel-good romantic comedy with cultural undertones

Fall in Love at First Kiss (Yi Wen Ding Qing in Mandarin), directed by Yu Shan Chen, is a charming romantic comedy about a ditzy and dedicated high school student named Yuan Xiang-Qin who sets her sights on Jiang Zhi-Shu (the most intelligent and popular boy in her school). (DLH: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern […]

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‘The Wild Pear Tree’ is Ceylan’s next wandering, beautiful epic

The Wild Pear Tree (directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and written by Ceylan, his wife Ebru Ceylan and Akin Aksu) is a familial and literary drama about a recent college graduate struggling to get his book published and navigate his way through poverty, returning home, and a gambling father. (DLH: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Media […]

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On the Basis of Sex is a feat of historical drama

On the Basis of Sex (directed by Mimi Leder and written by Daniel Stiepleman) is a historical drama that recounts the early beginnings of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s legal career with stunning clarity, intensity, and nuance. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood The first scene in On the Basis of Sex shows a […]

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‘Between Worlds’ a bizarre, supernatural flop

Between Worlds (written and directed by Maria Pulera) follows truck driver Joe through a series of twisted and poorly executed attempts to face his past while living in a hollow and complicated shell of the present. (DLH: 1.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood In the first few shots of Between Worlds, the heavily drinking […]

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The Long Dumb Road captures comedy, humanity, and fun

The Long Dumb Road (co-written and directed by Hannah Fidell) tracks two absurdly different men on a journey across the country full of twists, dry comedy, and a strikingly odd sense of friendship. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood The film begins with Nat (Tony Revolori) leaving his suburban parents to drive to […]

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‘Shirkers’ reconstructs a lost film into an excellent documentary

Shirkers, written and directed by Sandi Tan, is a wonderfully stitched together documentary both recounting and discovering what happened to her film made in Singapore in the early 90s that was stolen by her mentor, Georges Cardona. (DLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood *This Review contains a spoiler!* Shirkers is an incredible taking back of […]

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The Kindergarten Teacher astounds in its psychosis

Written and directed by Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher follows middle-aged Lisa Spinelli’s developing psychotic obsession with a five-year-old prodigy and his poems in a beautifully slow and muted film that is sure to leave you with more questions than answers. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Though Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal)’s life […]

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Living in the Future’s Past fails to make an impact

Living in the Future’s Past attempts to document our past, present, and future state of affairs environmentally, philosophically, economically, scientifically, and even politically. Directed by Susan Kucera and narrated by Jeff Bridges, the film ultimately tackles too much in an hour and a half and falls short of becoming the kind of tight and timely […]

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‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

Intelligent Lives (directed by Dan Habib and co-written by Jody Becker) is an inspiring and informative documentary about three intellectually disabled young adults making their way in the world despite the myriad of challenges that face them every day. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Intelligent Lives begins with actor Chris Cooper discussing […]

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‘Letter from Masanjia’ exposes harsh reality of Chinese labor camps

Letter from Masanjia (co-written by Leon Lee and Caylan Ford and directed by Leon Lee) is an exposing documentary about the labor camp brutality experienced by Sun Yi and other practitioners of Falun Gong. The film mainly follows Sun Yi’s struggles and his attempts to live a normal life after the torture, despite constant pursuit by […]

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‘Inventing Tomorrow’ inspires, delights and succeeds

Inventing Tomorrow (directed by Laura Nix) is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary about the power of the next generation to address and tackle the major environmental issues that plague our world. The film follows 16 and 17-year-olds from Hawaii, India, Indonesia, and Mexico and gives them a platform to share their research, aspirations, and journey […]

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‘Breaking & Exiting’ fails to surpass romantic comedy tropes

Breaking & Exiting (directed by Peter Facinelli and written by leading lady Jordan Hinson) is a saturated romantic comedy about a relationship that blossoms after a suave house thief interrupts a suicide attempt. (DLH: 2.5/5)

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