Category: B

Passing (2021)

Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga two-hander Passing is one of the showier pictures of Sundance in 2021. Adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1920s story, it’s a film about two women who’ve found themselves down radically different paths. Irene (Ruth Negga) approaches Clare (Tessa Thompson) as they dine. Clare hardly recognises her from when they grew up…

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Sound of Metal

Addiction, and the need to overcome it, is a driving force in an endless list of films, and The Place Beyond the Pines screenwriter Darius Marder’s directorial debut Sound of Metal is no exception. It’s got a gripping hook: recovering heroin addict Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is a drummer in a raucous punk-metal band with his…

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Pieces of a Woman

There are two ways you can try to forget about grief. You can try to go back to the high, the moment right before the fall, and long to that moment of anticipation just before the climax. The other option is to go back to a time without this good you have lost, so that…

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Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue is the third film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology, which premiered at this year’s New York Film Festival, but it’s actually the final entry in the series. Though the remaining two entries have yet to be seen, Red, White and Blue is an appropriate and effective conclusion to the project,…

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The Boys in the Band

Mart Crowley’s controversial play The Boys in the Band was revolutionary theatre when it premiered off-Broadway back in the long-ago days of 1968. Opening only a year before the first brick was thrown at Stonewall, the play shocked audiences by openly depicting the lives of gay men at a time when homophobia was both prevalent…

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On the Rocks

Sofia Coppola’s career has always had a sense of melancholy. Longing stares, rainy days, and imprisonment in an isolated location: these are the trademarks of her filmography. Her peak, Lost in Translation, is the biggest point of comparison for her newest feature On the Rocks (in select theaters October 2nd for those who wish to…

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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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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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Bad Education (2020)

“It’s not perfect, but it works.” This line from Dr. Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) about halfway through the film builds the central contradiction that propels Cory Finley’s Bad Education like a rocket duct-taped to the bottom of a cheap skateboard. The polish and cold finesse of Finley’s previous film, Thoroughbreds, is noticeably missing here, trading…

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Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Never Rarely Sometimes Always can be broadly described as a coming-of-age film—the story of a teenage girl traveling with her cousin to procure an abortion is dependent on the main character’s young age—but as with her previous two features, It Felt Like Love and Beach Rats, Eliza Hittman’s narrow focus and unconventional approach makes it…

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