Currently Browsing: Reviews: N-P

Freedom and Friendship in PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

In Celine Sciamma’s new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an 18th century French painter finds herself with a difficult task. Secrets and deceit change the relationship dynamic between two girls. (SYJ: rating 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Set in 18th century Brittany, «Marianne» (Noemie Merlant) […]

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The Portal: How meditation can unify the world

The Portal is an experiential documentary directed and written by Jacqui Fifer, consulting six pioneers on their visions for humanity through mindfulness of meditation. (BV: 3.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri The Portal centers six different subjects, who are philosophers, scientists, and innovators, and even features Sophia the Robot. They speak about their life’s […]

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PARADISE HILLS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

  Alice Waddington displays the core evils of a capitalistic society through her direction and cowriting of the mesmerizing world shown in Paradise Hills–everything has a price, even loyalty. “Uma” (Emma Roberts) grew up wealthy, so her family requires her to marry a rich man (whom Uma despises). After putting up a fight about it, […]

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‘Promise at Dawn’ a memoir about the depths of a mother’s love

Promise at Dawn, directed by Eric Barbier and co-written with Marie Eynard, is an adaption of Romain Gary’s memoir of the same name. Supposedly near his death bed while vacationing in Mexico, Romain recalls his tumultuous but loving relationship with his mother. A failed actress in Russia, single mother Nina Kachew puts extreme expectations on […]

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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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THE NIGHTINGALE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The Nightingale is an absolutely unforgettable film that tells the brutal honesty of what living under British colonization was like. It’d be morbid to call it an enjoyable watch, but it is an incredible cinematic experience that’d be a mistake to miss. (HRM: 5/5) Claire (Aisling Franciosi), a young Irish convict, has spent the past […]

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‘Otherhood’: the awkward, midlife-crisis inducing stage after motherhood

Otherhood, directed by Cindy Chupack, is a lighthearted comedy about three mothers in the next stage of life that no one really seems to talk about, the stage after ‘motherhood’. Carol, Gillian and Helen are best friends, who bond over their empty nests. Vindicated after their sons barely acknowledge them on mother’s day, the three […]

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OPHELIA (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective. Ophelia opens 6/28. FF2 review coming soon!

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PAVAROTTI (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A look at the life and work of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti opens 6/7. Review coming soon!

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PAVAROTTI: The Eternal Tenor

In director Ron Howard’s new documentary Pavarotti, co-written by Cassidy Hartmann, the story of the world famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, is told. He becomes a house-hold name across the world. The film leaves the audience inspired and amazed by the star’s story. (SYJ: 5/5)   Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   From […]

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Fighting for an artist’s legacy in ‘The Proposal’

The Proposal details director and visual artist Jill Magrid’s own journey for access to architect Luis Barragán’s archives in Switzerland— and her controversial means of gaining the owner’s attention. (3.5/5) With Jill Magid’s trance-like narration, The Proposal takes the viewer between Mexico, New York and Switzerland as she works on a multimedia art installation based on the […]

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POMS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Martha (Diane Keaton), a stoic introvert, moves to a retirement community. The new living arrangements are filled with an array of clubs and activities at her disposal. Not intrigued by any of them, her new friend Sheryl (Jacki Weaver) suggests that she start a cheerleading squad for her peers. While setting up the squad, they […]

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Patricia Clarkson leads neo-noir homicide investigation in ‘Out of Blue’

Based on Martin Amis’ 1997 novel “Night Train,” Patricia Clarkson stars as a lead investigator in the death of a leading astrophysicist (Mamie Gummer). Although the stellar cast is more compelling than the story itself, the science fiction elements make director Carl Morley’s Out of Blue a unique homicide puzzle to piece together. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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Summer vacation takes a “supernatural” turn in ‘Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase’

  In Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, directed by Katt Shea and written by Nina Fiore, Nancy Drew and her friends partake in a spooky summer adventure as they investigate a seemingly haunted mansion and expose a hidden conspiracy. (BV 3.5/5.0) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase introduces the […]

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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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ON MY SKIN (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Based on a true story, On My Skin is the haunting death of Stefano Cucchi, killed after being arrested for a minor crime. The film explores the week he spent in custody and attempts to give an explanation of his psyche before his tragic death. (KAC: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by […]

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THE PARTY’S JUST BEGINNING (2018) Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Karen Gillan makes her directorial debut with The Party’s Just Beginning, a movie that—while it has its problems—has punchy dialogue, vivid characters, and a lot to say about life as a millennial. Gillan’s direction gives the film a frenetic electronic score and some vital, real performances that make up for any failings in the script. […]

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Narcissister Bares All In Fascinating Documentary-Drama Hybrid

Brooklyn performance artist Narcissister combines her own stage performance work with graphic animation and her brother’s home videos to explore the nature of her parent’s relationship and familial history as it lives on in her life and work. The result is the fascinating and emotional piece of art documentary, Narcissister Organ Player. (HRM: 5/5) Review […]

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Unconventional ‘The New Romantic’ captures humor of Generation Z

Aspiring journalist and hopeless romantic Blake Conway takes on a new endeavor to preserve her column in her college’s newspaper in director Carly Stone’s The New Romantic – becoming a sugar baby. (BV 3.5/5)

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NUMBER 37 (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Number 37 is a chilling reimagining of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, throwing many expectations out the door. Despite beautiful imagery and great acting, the films fails to introduce something different. (KAC: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Nosipho Dumisa, Number 37 follows glimpses of life in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Cape Town through […]

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OUTLAW KING (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A true David v. Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army. Outlaw King opens 11/9/18 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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Nutty ‘Nutcracker’ not quite a Christmas classic

Screenwriter Ashleigh Powell creates a whimsical world in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, a disjointed but entertaining ride through a magical kingdom kids can only dream of. But along with flowers, sweets and snow (what three of the four realms are made up of) comes a lingering evil, which Powell and directors Joe […]

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ON HER SHOULDERS (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

On Her Shoulders is a powerful look into the day to day life of Nadia Murad, an activist who fights for her people by sharing her deeply personal and traumatic story. (KAC: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Nadia Murad Basee Taha is one of the strongest women you’ll ever see. Despite being captured […]

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‘Over the Limit’ awakens its audience to the tenacity it takes to be an athlete

Outstanding rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun needs to be the best in order to make it to the Olympic Games. Can she do it? In her gripping documentary Over the Limit, director Marta Prus shines a light on the competitive and intense world of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics team through the eyes of Mamun. MTP: ⅘ […]

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Giamatti and Hahn a sad, perfect duo in Netflix dramedy ‘Private Life’

Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn bring their best to Tamara Jenkins’ Netflix dramedy, Private Life. Telling the story of two 40-something artists struggling with fertility, they enlist the help of their gung-ho step-niece in the hopes that her donation egg will start their family. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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Erratic ‘Nelly’ struggles to stay cohesive

Nelly, written and directed by Anne Émond, is an erratic film that attempts to tell of the multiplicities within the personality of a young woman, but sets out to do too much. While the actors do as much as they can to support the plot and illustrate the many themes this film tries to tackle, […]

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Puppies find purpose in ‘Pick of the Litter’

Following the birth of five puppies at Guide Dogs for the Blind, Pick of the Litter follows their journey to becoming a blind or visually impaired person’s guide for life. The documentary—co-directed by Don Hardy Jr & Dana Nachman with a screenplay by Nachman—explores this difficult path, but fails to look deeper than the numerous tests […]

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‘The Oslo Diaries’ reveal disturbing secrets

Director Mor Loushy’s new documentary The Oslo Diaries explicitly describes the horrific happenings of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Using real footage as described in excerpts of true diary entries, The Oslo Diaries brings to attention the severity of the never-ending conflict between two nations. (SYJ: 3.5/5)

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‘Never Goin’ Back’ hilariously and astutely captures female friendship

Never Goin’ Back (written and directed by Augustine Frizzell) is an intense journey through diner work, accidental drugs, multiple robberies, and the remarkable friendship between two young girls struggling to make it to the beach for a weekend off. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood While the underlying circumstances of Never Goin’ Back are surely […]

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‘Night Comes On’ provides a distinctly female perspective on sisterhood and revenge

There’s a quiet confidence and a profoundly female perspective to Jordana Spiro’s Night Comes On that sucks the audience into the raw, emotional exploration of a broken family, revenge, and sisterhood. (EML: 4/5)

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