Best Picture #46: The Sting

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Nomadland

I’ve moved around a lot during my life, never staying in one place for more than a few years, and in recent times it has become even more absurd with moves occurring so rapidly I’ve lived at seven different addresses in the last two and a half years. Some of those times I’ve spent months…

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Enola Holmes

Sherlock Holmes films, television shows, and books have been a staple of the media landscape since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first penned the original novels, with the character appearing in more standalone works than perhaps any other and being referenced or even showing up in hundreds more works, so it’s little surprise that now we…

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Mangrove (2020)

Last week, Lovers Rock premiered as the opening night film of this year’s New York Film Festival. It was a perfect opening to the festival, providing a celebratory and communal atmosphere for audiences watching at home on their computer screens, longing for the traditional theatrical experience and festival energy. Though it was the first of…

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The Human Voice

The Human Voice, Pedro Almodóvar’s English language debut that recently played at NYFF, wasn’t intended to be the first film from a major filmmaker, with a major star, to be entirely filmed and distributed under COVID-19 restrictions, but it’s hard to think of a concept that would fit them better than this. Made from a…

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In Conversation: John Turturro

Henry: About five months back, in the span of about two weeks, I watched Do the Right Thing, Raging Bull, the Transformers franchise, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Mr. Deeds, and I had this realization that I guess I’ve had before but never so strongly, that John Turturro is one of the most incredible…

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A Good Man

To review a film that has garnered controversy early, in this case at the inception of its casting, it is best to begin with a disclaimer. As a cisgender lesbian, even if I may experience dysphoric tendencies, it is not my place to tell trans men how to feel about the way they are represented…

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AFI Top 100: The Godfather

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #2 on the…

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Best Picture #45: The Godfather

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

Read more Best Picture #45: The Godfather

Lovers Rock

This year’s New York Film Festival opened with Lovers Rock, one part of an upcoming series for BBC (to be released on Amazon in the US) called Small Axe, consisting of five films by director Steve McQueen. The film and two other installments also playing at this year’s NYFF—Mangrove and Red, White and Blue—were set…

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Rent-A-Pal

David is your average lonely guy. He lives with his elderly mother, who calls him by his father’s name. He takes care of her (and watches old Cary Grant flicks with her) and the small neighborhood home they inhabit. He’s also subscribed to a retro version of Tinder, where your dating profile is recorded onto…

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The Devil All the Time

“Blessed…are they who hunger and thirst…for righteousness.” Whether it be a couple of cold ones, a couple of poachers, some unsuspecting hitchhikers, predatory preachers, or corrupt ne’er-do-wells, the people of Knockemstiff, Ohio certainly live up to their town’s namesake. The Devil All the Time is my third most anticipated film of 2020, behind Dune and…

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Mulan (2020)

Overwritten, underdeveloped, and tone-deaf. These are the qualities we see in a Disney live-action remake. These are the qualities we see in Mulan. I have made no secret of my disdain for the Disney+ original offerings on this site, it’s as close to a niche as I have here, so I suppose I should be…

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Spoiler Room: Tenet

It’s time to talk about TENET tuoba lkat ot emit s’tI.  Christopher Nolan’s biggest – and messiest – movie yet stormed into theaters with the confidence that it could single handedly save cinemas around the world. Whether it’ll manage to do so remains to be seen; but considering the fact that the time traveling action…

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AFI Top 100: High Noon (1952)

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #27 on the…

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Tove

Biopics, biopics, biopics… always present, but rarely experimenting with a tried-and-true form, the genre tends to fall into dry tropes, and a desire to encompass the entire life of a noble (or on occasions, not so noble) figure. Zaida Bergroth’s Tove is just as much a delight as its namesake’s cartoons, and breaks the mold…

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Best Picture #43: Patton

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

Read more Best Picture #43: Patton

Wildland

Immediately upon premiere described as a Danish Animal Kingdom, centered around a teenage lesbian, Wildland is stronger due to its familial intimacy. Young newcomer Sandra Guldberg Kampp (who bears a strong resemblance to Raw’s Garance Marillier) is seventeen year old Ida, who has been left orphaned after her mother dies in a car accident that…

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Fugitive Dreams

Fugitive Dreams is less about running from the law, as at a certain point the law no longer cares when it doesn’t touch the societal ideal it tries to enforce. Drifters run from pasts that haunt them, dreams coming in the day just as clear as in the night. Shot like a prestige European war…

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A Mermaid in Paris

It isn’t often a film peaks ahead of the opening title, but A Mermaid in Paris‘s animated stop-motion opening is so charming it’s hard not to wish the rest of the film maintained that childlike wonder. It’s no surprise the bright animation is the best bit, as it’s helmed by Mathias Malzieu, whose animated debut…

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Morgana

Sexual awakening is so often tied to coming of age, expedited to a time when it is first possible, that we never choose to look at it when it comes later. With Morgana, we see this later in life, following a housewife, inching closer to her fifties, who reinvents herself as a star of the…

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Moviegoing in the Age of Coronavirus: A Survivor’s Viewpoint

The impending arrival of Christopher Nolan’s gigantic blockbuster, Tenet, has been met with a great deal of justified hand-wringing and concern about what message film critics send by reviewing any exclusive theatrical releases. “Is it morally justifiable to highly recommend a film that executives refuse to show outside of cinemas?”, is the question on the…

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Tenet

If you’ve started reading this review against your better judgement, worried about spoilers, rest assured there is no cause for concern here. I could certainly divulge plot details—minor and major—but they would soon get lost in the shuffle. To say Tenet is heavily plotted would be an understatement. In the early stages especially, it is…

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Dinner in America

Exactly how did Dinner in America go so wrong? It can’t help but warrant a comparison to Babyteeth, with its sheltered life growing into a punk rock youth rebellion, and messy family dynamics. Where Babyteeth makes tenderness out of its mess, focusing on a desperation for connection and a lust for life, Dinner in America…

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Tremble All You Want

The art of letting go is a tough one, usually reserved for a revelation in all seriousness, not to be lightly seen. We hold on to tiny details of our lives, and of course we also hold on to the larger parts. We cling to past romances, and also places where there never was love.…

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Go Fish’s Unique and Early Portrayal of Lesbian Communities

{Written by Bel Mander} Traditionally in society, thus reflected in film, lesbian communities are related and depicted though their relations, or lack thereof, with men. Cinema has traditionally taken a very male centric view of society, and lesbianism, while a threat to this order, is no different. Historically, lesbian communities have been ignored by mainstream…

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Tahara

This ‘Double Take’ review gives two brief perspectives on Olivia Peace’s 2020 film “Tahara”, which played at this year’s Frameline LGBTQ  film festival. The film is written by Jess Zeidman, and stars Rachel Sennott and Maddie Freece as two teenagers navigating sexuality during a day of Hebrew school. The two point-of-views may or may not…

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Stage Mother

Stage Mother is essentially a “straight savior” story, but this element could have turned out far worse than the vaguely charming result. Jacki Weaver is Maybelline, a conservative church choir director who moves to San Francisco to run her son’s drag club after he overdoses. She had gone to his funeral against the will of…

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AFI Top 100: The General

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #18 on the…

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Best Picture #41: Oliver!

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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AFI Top 100: City Lights

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #11 on the…

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Black is King

It’s a little jarring at first to press play on Black Is King and see the Disney logo pop up as the instrumental for “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays. The media conglomerate’s history with Black people has been one twisted by racism from its executives and its films. Fantasia and Dumbo both dealt…

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AFI Top 100: Swing Time

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #90 on the…

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AFI Top 100: Citizen Kane

The Unspooled Podcast has wrapped up their coverage of the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American films of all time, but I still have 63 remaining. My weekly column will continue to cover my thoughts on these films and whether or not I think they belongs on the list. You can also see…

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Best Picture #37: My Fair Lady

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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AFI Top 100: Casablanca

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

Read more AFI Top 100: Casablanca