Currently Browsing: Reviews: E-G

‘Far from the Tree’ documents beautiful, moving love of parent and child

Based on Andrew Solomon’s bestselling book of the same name, director Rachel Dretzin documents the personal, heart wrenching stories of parents whose children are drastically different from them. Peeking into the lives of people with disabilities like Down syndrome, Dwarfism and Autism to Solomon, himself, recounting his parents’ acceptance of his sexuality, Far from the Tree is the most life-affirming documentary that will resonate with anyone who has felt or is looking for the magnitude of unconditional love. (4.5/5)

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Generation Wealth mirrors excessive qualities of subjects

Generation Wealth is Lauren Greenfield’s latest photo essay, documentary, and personal memoir that studies our culture of excess and our vicious obsession with all things money can buy. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Generation Wealth begins right in the thick of ultra decadence and extreme wealth, and even compares our current economic state […]

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‘Gauguin – Voyage to Tahiti’ paints an intimate look into the artist’s quest to find a muse

French painter Paul Gauguin embarks on a soul searching journey to find new inspiration in Tahiti. On his quest, he meets and marries the beautiful Tehura, the woman who will become his muse. (MTP: 4/5)   Review by FF2 Intern Maiya Pascouche   Artist Paul Gauguin is suffocating as an unsuccessful artist in Paris, living […]

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

A documentary directed by Kate Novack, The Gospel According to André details André’s story while exploring his social impact as well as capturing his signature flamboyance. (RMM: 4/5)

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EVERYTHING ELSE (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Natalia Almada writes and directs Everything Else (Todo Lo Demás), a close up observation of a life plagued with isolation. The movie stars Academy Award Nominee Adriana Barraza as Doña Flor—a recluse who leads a monotonous life filled with rules and regulations. In this simple, yet painfully empty lifestyle, she sees no reason for change, until she loses the one creature she cares for. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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THE GUARDIANS (2017): Review by Julia Lasker

Co-written by Marie-Julie Maille, Frédérique Moreau and Xavier Beavois, The Guardians – or Les Gardiennes – depicts life on a farm in France in the throes of World War I. The Guardians is a powerful film about both intense love and intense loss. (JRL: 3.5/5)

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GRACE JONES – BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI (2017): Review by Katusha Jin

Grace Beverly Jones is the electric, eye-catching, and uniquely bold subject of Sophie Fiennes’ documentary, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. Fiennes accompanies the multitalented artist-entrepreneur for five years and showcases some of the most vulnerable, naked, and unknown dimensions of the star, famous for her fierce personality. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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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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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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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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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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THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

The Greatest Showman loosely follows the real-life story of “P. T. Barnum” (Hugh Jackman) and his rise from poverty to success. Director Michael Gracey and writer Jenny Bicks spin the life and achievements of P. T. Barnum into an over-produced, family-oriented spectacle that entertains but fails to impress. (RMM 2.5/5) 

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GOLD STAR (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

New director Victoria Negri writes and stars in her first feature-length film Gold Star, which captures the raw emotion and scathing honesty of the not-so-pretty hidden sides of ourselves. (RMM: 4/5)

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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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FACES PLACES (2017): Review by Malin Jörnvi 

Faces Places is about faces and places and the stories they tell. Along the way they explore stories, memories, and, pretentiously or enchantingly, remind us about the human in humanity. (MJJ: 4/5)

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THE FORCE (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The Force follows the Oakland Police Department as its new chief, Sean Whent, attempts to reform a department famous both locally and nationally for egregious misconduct. Story-editing by Linda Davis takes us through two years with the OPD, and into the massive systemic abuse that defines American policing. (GPG: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi […]

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EMBARGO (2017): Review by Malin Jornvi

Embargo circles around the history of the more than a half-century-long US embargo on Cuba. Director Jeri Rice meticulously explains the mechanics of how and why not much has changed, quite obviously not in the ceaselessly embargoed communist Cuba, but neither at the dream site of transformation: the blockading neo-liberal and democratic US. (MJJ: 3.5/5)

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THE FUTURE PERFECT (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

A Chinese teenager learns Spanish in her new home of Buenos Aires, imagining the myriad of possibilities her future holds. Winner of the Best First Feature prize at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival, The Future Perfect (also known as El Futuro Perfecto) is a charming, honest portrayal of the human’s ability to adapt. (BKP: 4/5)

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THE FARTHEST (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

In documentary The Farthest, writer and director Emer Reynolds captures the courage and poignancy of this endeavor, of sending a piece of humanity into the unknown, where it will outlive us all. (AEL: 4/5)

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FUN MOM DINNER (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Alethea Jones’ Fun Mom Dinner is a charming but unoriginal addition to the genre of “group of busy urban friends without much time to go out has a rare wild night together, which quickly goes off the rails due to drugs, crime, or sexual escapades the characters would not usually participate in.” (GPG: 3/5) Review […]

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FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON (2016): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Based on Milena Agus’s novel of the same name, From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres) tells the story of a passionate woman’s decades-long search for happiness, and the deep sorrow she endures along the way. Languidly paced, save for moments of intense passion, writer and director Nicole Garcia’s period film shines with […]

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GIRLS TRIP (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Written by Erica Rivinoja, Tracy Oliver, and Kenya Barris, and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Girls Trip is the story of four best friends reuniting in New Orleans for a weekend of well-deserved fun. Unfortunately, they’re all in for more than they bargained for when old friends, and new enemies, appear. Girls Trip hits home […]

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THE FENCER (2015): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Based on a true story, writer Anna Heinämaa’s The Fencer follows an Estonian man on the run from the Soviet government who takes refuge posing as a teacher in a small Estonian village. The film is fun, in that it’s weird how the plot is basically School of Rock, but with fencing and set in […]

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FALSE CONFESSIONS (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Luc Bondy and Marie-Louise Bischofberger co-direct False Confessions — in French Les Fausses Confidences — starring Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel. The husband-and-wife duo create a movie that plays around with the psychology of love in its characters set in a surreal world. Originating from the stage play Marivaux, Bondy collaborated with writer Geoffrey Layton to bring this story from the stage to the screen. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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GOOD FORTUNE (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

“Success unshared, is failure.” That’s John Paul DeJoria’s motto, and Good Fortune, Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s profile on this entrepreneur and humanitarian, proves that “JP” is as good as his word. While the overall message of the film, that capitalism can be reformed if every rich businessperson makes JP’s same contributions, is very flawed, taken as […]

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EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Stella Meghie’s Everything, Everything is a sweet teen love story between a young woman who has never gone outside and the cute boy who moves in next door and shows her what it means to really live. Though screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe prevents it from becoming a “boy saves girl” tale, the cliches and melodrama […]

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FREE FIRE (2016): Rant by Jan Lisa Huttner

Rant by FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner Wanna know what happens when a terrific actress like Jennifer Jason Leigh gets her one and only Oscar nomination for playing a punching bag in Quentin Tarantino’s execrable film The Hateful Eight? Garbage like this! Free Fire supposedly stars Brie Larson — who received a Best Actress Oscar in […]

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GLORY (2016): Review by Malin Jornvi

Glory sets its teeth in a capitalist society with increasing income gaps and leaves a biting remark. Co-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov portray a promising clash of an eloquent and cunning unfortunately, the moral lesson defaults. (MJJ: 3.5/5)

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FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

Writer Catherine Blackman teams up with Jonathan Jordaan and director Alastair Orr for an average horror film, perfectly crafted for pre-teen moviegoers. Carlyn Burchell stars as the leader of a criminal pack set out for revenge and ransom money. Although the kidnapping-of-a-girl-slash-demon provides occasional shocks, From a House on Willow Street is more of the […]

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EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY (2017): Review by Jessica

Written and directed by Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, Everybody Loves Somebody is a feel good, bilingual romantic comedy about a successful doctor named Clara who has given up on the romanticized idea of love. But when a new doctor and an old love both come into her life, Carla finds herself, for the first time in […]

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