Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock once defined drama as “life with the dull bits cut out.” But not everyone agrees with that filmmaking approach, as Moon, 66 Questions makes abundantly clear. The feature debut of writer-director Jacqueline Lentzou, Moon explores the uneasy dynamic between a father and daughter sharing the most stressful conditions imaginable. Yet, despite the potentially heart-wrenching situation in which they find themselves, Moon takes an elliptical, impressionistic approach.Read more
It is a truth universally acknowledged — at least among those who revere the literary works of Jane Austen — that there can never be too many Regency-era romances, or cinematic adaptations of same. A new version of Persuasion is coming soon to a streaming service near you, but if you can’t wait to get lost in Austenland, Mr. Malcolm’s List should satisfy your expectations. The title character’s focus is on finding someone who meets his prerequisites — and his inevitable discovery that prerequisites have nothing to do with true love.Read more
Sometimes you’re the rescuer. Sometimes you’re the one who needs rescuing. And sometimes you’re both. That’s certainly the case with Pam Bales, the flinty focus of the fact-based drama Infinite Storm. As embodied by the indefatigable Naomi Watts, she’s a veritable force of nature.Read more
How do you like to observe St. Patrick’s Day? Raising a pint of Guinness or a tipple of Tullamore D.E.W.? Reading W.B. Yeats’ revelatory poetry or James Joyce’s revolutionary prose? Perhaps you prefer a cinematic celebration of the Emerald Isle — the vintage charms of The Quiet Man, for example, or something along the lines of the current Oscar contender Belfast. If the latter titles are too polite to suit your mood, however, the boisterous shenanigans of Deadly Cuts offer a raucous alternative.Read more
Definition Pleaseis a genial, insightful feature debut from writer-director — and star — Sujata Day that explores the changing ways one young woman defines her life. The narrative occasionally grinds its gears shifting between its relaxed, ruefully humorous moments and deeper, more dramatic undercurrents. Even when the movie’s straining to get where it’s going, however, we’re more than willing to go along with it — thanks to a memorable set of characters defined by heartfelt, all-too-human comedy.Read more
Overwhelming numbers suggest the scope of the Syrian refugee situation, but not the true human cost.
For that, we need documentaries like Simple as Water. The latest from Oscar-winner Megan Mylan (Lost Boys of Sudan), the haunting — and achingly human — Simple as Water focuses on four different Syrian families struggling to move on with their lives.
If No Future has a bright spot (so to speak), it’s Catherine Keener’s sad-but-true performance, an utterly convincing combination of desperate yearning and bruised, rueful recognition that there’s no such thing as a happy ending. Nobody’s expecting one, especially in a movie called No Future. But it would help if said movie managed to generate more than a shred of the empty, endless anguish Keener so memorably conveys.Read more
Now that I’ve seen Fruits of Labor, whenever I pick up a box of strawberries, I’ll be thinking of Ashley Solis Pavon, the focus of director Emily Cohen Ibanez’s documentary, a days-in-the-life portrait of a high school senior whose life is a far cry from the carefree teen sprees usually seen on screen. Fruits of Labor delivers a frequently moving portrait of her personal growth, It’s undeniable food for thought.Read more
Sometimes a movie reminds you of other, better, movies. Sometimes that doesn’t matter. But sometimes it does. Both reactions fit Through the Glass Darkly, a sporadically affecting, yet often affected, mash-up of film noir, Southern Gothic and psychological thriller elements.Read more
Nobody lives forever. But they can live on, through the work they leave behind — and the people dedicated to continuing the quest. That’s certainly the case with legendary choreographer George Balanchine, whose life and legacy inspire Connie Hochman’s documentary In Balanchine’s Classroom.Read more