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Wildlike, an indie film directed and written by Frank Hall Green, was a thoughtful look into the experience of a teenage victim of sexual assault. It had good intentions, iffy acting, a slow rhythm and most of all–desperately needed a trigger warning. Basic criticism aside, the film takes a new angle on displaying the point of view of a survivor of sexual assault. If it is one thing Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) is, it's a survivor. Moving in with her uncle (Brian Geraghty) in Alaska, Mackenzie's future is at first seemingly full of opportunity. Read More
"The Keeping Room," directed by Daniel Barber, tells the story of three women in the apocalyptic last days of the Civil War.  With all the men gone, two sisters (Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld) and their slave (Muna Otaru) are struggling to survive. Their tense peace is shattered when, in search of medicine, the oldest sister Augusta (Marling) captures the attention of two rogue Yankee soldiers. Read More
Grandma Written and directed by Paul Weltz Out August 21 Grandma is one of those rare films that’s entirely about women. There are a handful of men, but none appear in more than one scene. Instead, the story focuses on a family of strong, complicated women. Lily Tomlin drives the film with her performance as Elle, the grandma from which the film takes its title. Elle is mourning both the death of her longtime partner and her recent breakup with her much-younger girlfriend (Judy Greer) when her teenage granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner), asks for help. Read More
This post includes spoilers for the film "Ashby." It ends with a touchdown and a kiss – as most teen coming-of-age movies do. But Ashby, written and directed by Tony McNamara, has A LOT more going on—so much that the whole film is a bit convoluted with different plotlines and themes. The film’s title character, Ashby (Mickey Rourke), opens up the movie by blacking out while driving his car. Soon, he learns that he has a brain tumor and three months to live. Read More
Meet The Patels is the ultimate documentary highlighting the modern Indian American experience, replete with precious quips from Mom and Dad Patel, witty replies from their Americanized adult(ish) children, and boatloads of emotional blackmail. Filmed over two years, Meet The Patels follows Ravi Patel, a successful Indian American Hollywood actor, on his quest to find the perfect bride with excessive assistance from his parents, Champa and Vasant. Read More
Sleeping With Other People: Movie Review At Sundance, Leslye Headland, writer/director of Sleeping with Other People, called her new film, “When Harry Met Sally for assholes.” And indeed, the narrative starts with several romantic-comedy staples—there’s an adorably nutty woman, Lainey (Alison Brie), and her smart-ass guy friend, Jake (Jason Sudeikis). They don’t know they’re perfect for each other, even though their friends keep telling them so, and they try to navigate their personal lives against the backdrop of upper-middle-class Manhattan. Read More
I was never a fan of Cinderella as a child; there was something about a grown version of Pollyanna that did not appeal to me. As an adult, I've come to appreciate the original Disney cartoon and the many upgrades to the story writers have produced over the years. So after the advancements of Ever After, Into The Woods, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (both the 90s Brandy-starring and current Broadways versions), I was hoping that this new Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Chris Weitz, would rise to the occasion and give the story more substance. Read More
We all have those girls we're especially tight with. They're the ones we can always rely on to be there, to be honest and fair. That heartwarming motif is what I thought director Celine Sciamma ( Water Lillies, Tomboy ) would cast a fresh, new light upon in her french film Girlhood. To my disappointment that was not the case: Mareme ( actress Karidja Touré )  feels suffocated by her family setting, her lackluster grades, and the boys club that rules her inner city neighborhood. Her overprotective brother is abusive. The boy she likes is being coy. Read More
To begin, she forgets the word “lexicon.” Renowned linguistics professor, wife, and mother of three grown children, Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) grapples with losing her words to the cruel chaos of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. Still Alice, poised to be a brutal exposition, and an Oscar vehicle for Moore, is polished but forgettable. The Howland family dynamics remain superficial whether fault lies in the acting, script, or characters themselves. Read More
Don’t see St. Vincent for its complex characters. Though the cast is promising (Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Murray, to name a few), the movie is altogether disappointing. There are definitely no strong female characters to speak of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming lack of any multi-dimensional character, regardless of gender. I do recognize and applaud the fact, however, that the actors do the best with what they’re given, though it’s obvious that they are capable of much more. Read More