DON’T MAKE ME GO – Review by April Neale

Don’t Make Me Go is an emotionally charged example of a conflicted “buddy film” between a father (John Cho) and his teenage daughter (Mia Isaac). Their poignantly packed road trip brings unshared truths, undiagnosed medical calamity, and feelings of abandonment hemmed by moments of fun, life lessons, and a shared love of Iggy Pop’s The Passenger, a portentous upbeat song that serves as the running theme of this film.

Read more

DREAMING WALLS – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

New York City’s Chelsea Hotel has been called a bohemian utopia, but for longtime resident Rose Cory, it’s like a grand old tree with deep roots and life, even after being chopped down. Cory, who has lived at the hotel since 1978, provides resonant thoughts about the iconic building’s crossroads in the documentary Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel. Partly an elegy to the hotel’s edgy heyday and a tribute to those still living there, the film gives viewers a glimpse inside this landmark where artists and intellectuals lived — and more than a few died.

Read more

THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT – Review by Jennifer Merin

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in and the political scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s eventual resignation from office on August 8, 1974. It was a turning point in US history, one in which Martha Mitchell played a role, Martha was the whistleblower wife of former US Attorney General John Mitchell, a close Nixon advisor and ally who was jailed for his complicity in the Watergate case. Two films currently in release commemorate the Watergate events and era by taking another look at Martha’s perspective on Watergate, how it happened and its impact on our nation.

Read more

BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Spending time with an old and not entirely extinguished flame when in a supposedly happy relationship is always a bad idea. It will be an ill-advised test of willpower at best, and at worst the height of hubris. That’s what happens in director Claire Denis’s romantic drama Both Sides of the Blade, which Denis wrote with co-screenwriter Christine Angot, based on Angot’s 2018 novel Un Tournant de Vie (A Turning Point of Life). They’ve created a visceral, intense slow burn about a destructive love triangle that spirals out of control with the help of stars Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, and Grégoire Colin. Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival for her work on the film.

Read more

MURINA – Review by Jennifer Green

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and winner of the 2021 Camera d’Or in Cannes for first-time feature director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, Murina is a slow-churning, disquieting tale of a young woman’s revelation that her life could have been entirely different than what it is, and her empowerment to change her future.

Read more

ALCHEMY OF THE SPIRIT – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

explores life, death, the universe and, well, everything. The film follows an older, successful artist Oliver (Xander Berkeley) who wakes up one morning to find his beloved wife Evelyn (Sarah Clarke) has died in her sleep. Shock and grief mingle as the lines between reality and fantasy increasingly blur as Oliver attempts to come to grips with what has happened, the film’s signature magic realism only heightened by Hanuman Brown-Eagle’s exquisite cinematography.

Read more

MOON, 66 QUESTIONS – Review by Carol Cling

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

FAIR PLAY – Review by Joan Amenn

Based on a book of the same name by Eve Rodsky, director Jennifer Siebel Newsom attempts to bring a light touch to some very somber statistics about the effects of gender roles in families struggling to maintain their work life balance. Seen through the somewhat fractured prism of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, some of the humor can make a viewer wince rather than ruefully chuckle but the points raised are worth pursuing.

Read more

ELVIS – Review by Susan Granger

Don’t for a minute think this is a bio-pic. It isn’t. Luhrmann discarded historical accuracy in favor of a grotesque carnival of fictionalized glitz and glamour, tracing how Black singers B.B. King (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), Little Richard (Alton Mason), Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Yola Quartey), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (Gary Clark Jr.), Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (Shonka Dukureh) and Mahalia Jackson (Cle Morgan) inspired Elvis.
The deliriously melodramatic story is told by promoter Col. Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who first spotted Elvis (Austin Butler) in 1954 at the Louisiana Hayride, where the naïve, nervous singer with locomotive hips electrified the audience.

Read more