Sundance Review: “Fresh”

Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is around halfway through her first date with Steve (Sebastian Stan) when she tells him that she hates “this”—“this” meaning dating. “FRESH” opens with a portrait of just how Noa’s love life is going, and it isn’t going well. She aimlessly swipes through dating apps, and a date she goes on with […]

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SLIFF Reviews: Narrative Features

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of attending the 30th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, held in person and virtually from November 4-21. I watched a lot of really wonderful films, many of which will be released soon and look to be potential awards season contenders, and I wanted to […]

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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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Review: “Titane”

“Titane” may have only just been released in theaters stateside, but writer/director Julia Ducournau’s second feature, which recently won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, is already notorious for its main character’s, um, affinity for automobiles. But there is way more to “Titane” than that. It’s a horror film, sure, one that involves pregnancy and self-mutilation […]

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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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