Review: “Bergman Island”

“Bergman Island” is one of those movies that I had to watch twice before I could really start to grasp its intricacies. There’s no doubt that writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve’s movie has a lot for film fans to chew on. Set on Fårö, the Swedish island where the legendary director Ingmar Bergman lived, worked, and was […]

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Nashville Film Festival Reviews: “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” “Faye”

Today from the Nashville Film Festival (which starts September 30 and runs through October 6), I have reviews of two surreal films screening there. “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” which premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, examines isolation through a lonely teenager’s internet interactions and the online challenge she engages […]

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Review: “Falling for Figuro”

The romantic comedy genre has touched almost every imaginable environment or scenario, but I can’t think of one set in the world of opera. Director Ben Lewin’s “Falling for Figuro,” which follows rival opera singers who fall in love, may ultimately adhere to the expectations of the genre, but it also occasionally subverts them, and […]

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Nashville Film Festival Reviews: “Charm Circle,” “Fanny: The Right to Rock”

The Nashville Film Festival is taking place this week starting September 30 and running through October 6, and oday I have reviews of two documentaries that are playing both in person and virtually at the festival: the slice of life “Charm Circle,” making its North American premiere after winning the audience award at Sheffield Doc […]

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Review: ”Ema”

“Ema” opens with a shot that lingers on a city street at night. The lights from the buildings and street lamps frame what turns an otherwise normal scene extraordinary: a burning traffic light. Fire imagery is repeated throughout the remainder of director Pablo Larraín’s film, both visually and within the story. Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) […]

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Review: “Annette”

Toward the end of Noah Baumbach’s 2019 film “Marriage Story,” Charlie, played by Adam Driver, breaks into an emotional rendition of Sondheim’s “Being Alive” from the musical “Company” while at a restaurant with friends, facing the dissolution of his marriage. It’s a beautiful scene—my favorite in the entire film, actually—and one that made me immediately […]

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Review: “Nine Days”

In “Nine Days”, writer and director Edson Oda ponders the meaning of life. Sounds pretentious, right? But although several scenes feel like they are deliberately engineered to extract an emotional response from the audience, from its unique world-building to its heartfelt performances, “Nine Days” holds up a mirror to all of life’s highs and lows […]

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Review: “John and the Hole”

“John and the Hole” may be billed as a psychological thriller, but it is above all else a fable. The film’s title card isn’t revealed until half an hour into the movie, by which time we’ve met 13-year-old John (Charlie Shotwell) and his family, but have also just been introduced to a unique framing device. […]

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Review: “Settlers”

The western and science fiction genres share several similar themes, particularly when the subject of the latter is exploration into the unknown, essentially transporting the frontier from the American West to the edges of outer space. It can be exciting and fascinating and introspective when done right. Unfortunately, writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller’s film “Settlers” […]

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