Movies

  Spoilers Ahead: The following reveals key plot details about the film Midsommar. With the highly-acclaimed Hereditary under his belt, Ari Aster is among a handful of writer/directors drawing attention to the horror genre. Historically, horror has been snubbed. It’s often deemed devoid of substance and talent. And despite its capacity for sharp cultural insight, it’s routinely denied rightly-deserved awards (read: Toni Collette should have won an Oscar for that eye-bulge scream scene alone). But Hereditary, The Witch, The Babadook, Get Out, and most recently, Us, prove...
Why haven’t you done it yet? You just have to do it. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it. These are all texts Michelle Carter, a then-teenage girl, sent her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, right before he killed himself. In 2015, she was charged with involuntary manslaughter; in 2019, she was found guilty. As someone who’s always been fascinated by both true crime and the importance of language, I closely followed the...
Sword of Trust Co-written and directed by Lynn Shelton Out July 12 In this improv-based comedy by celebrated writer/director Lynn Shelton (Outside In, Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday) a Civil War-era sword sets off a crazy chain of events made even crazier by the rampant spread of online conspiracy theories. When Cynthia (Jillian Bell) inherits the sword from her deceased grandpa, she and her partner Mary (Michaela Watkins) immediately try to pawn it. At first, the pawn broker Mel (Marc Maron) and his idiotic employee Nathaniel (Jon Bass) are...
Long before Orange is the New Black and even longer before her headlining role in Russian Doll, Natasha Lyonne starred in the campily ridiculous, But I’m a Cheerleader (directed by Jamie Babbit), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this July 7 having premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. The film also stars Cathy Moriarty (of Raging Bull fame), the incomparable and extraordinary RuPaul, and Clea DuVall, who currently plays the hilarious recurring character Marjorie on Veep. Both RuPaul and DuVall also appeared on recent seasons of the...
  Red Joan has Judi Dench seemingly as the main attraction, but as pretty much every other reviewer has pointed out, that’s quite the red herring; Red Joan, after all, isn’t “starring” Judi Dench, but “featuring” her. The film is, instead, a plodding, intermittently entertaining showcase for Sophie Cookson (who you might recognize as Roxy in Kingsman) encapsulated within a cliched frame narrative. The story itself is reportedly based on the story of Melita Norwood, who passed the Soviets’ information on the West’s nuclear development. Changes have been made to...
The year is 2004 and I am nine years old. George W. Bush is (still) president, Janet Jackson is the talk of the country over a notorious wardrobe malfunction, and Friends has everyone weeping over the last episode of the series. I’m not really a preteen and I still have the length of high school’s entirety before I become an official teenager. But this is the year of Mean Girls, and you bet that my wannabe teenybopper ass is watching. I also have glasses, buck...
  Wild RoseDirected by Tom HarperOut June 14     Theatrically trained actor and singer Jessie Buckley gives it her all in this musical melodrama about a single Scottish mum with big Nashville dreams, but her considerable talent can’t save Wild Rose from its silly plot. When we first meet Rose-Lynn Harlan, she’s leaving a Glasgow jail with an ankle monitor. Her mother Marion (Julie Walters), is a no-nonsense lady who provides the only stability in the lives of Rose’s two children, but Rose seems intent on upending...
  Whether you’re a hardcore biker or wouldn’t be caught dead on two wheels, Bicycle Film Festival is a must-do this weekend. Catch a lineup of bike-focused films—featuring a pretty hefty set of female directors—that’ll have you feeling the wind in your hair without even leaving your seat. Make sure to check out director Liz Canning’s MOTHERLOAD, a feature documentary that takes on the role of the bicycle in 21st century motherhood. Instead of trading in her beloved bike for a minivan, Canning discovers both the cargo...
For anyone in their early twenties fiddling with stand-up lines or ardently attending improv classes, the imagined space of a writer’s room quickly becomes the romanticized and elusive idea of what it means to devote oneself to comedy. As I watched Late Night, starring and written by Mindy Kaling, I couldn’t help but fall more and more in love with the comedy career I’ll never have. I can’t tell if I’m grateful or angry at Mindy Kaling for showing me the absolute, albeit glorious, shit-show...
  Whether it’s music for movies about male strippers, French revolutionaries, or, with The Hustle, female con artists, Anne Dudley has composed it all. One of only three women to have won the Oscar for Best Original Score (for The Full Monty in 1997), she’s become known for her eclectic choice of projects, which includes other ’90s hits The Crying Game (1992) and American History X (1998), as well as the Anne Hathaway/Hugh Jackman Les Misérables and last year’s Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. I caught up with Dudley and got the scoop on her composing...