Category: Review

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

This year has brought us a lot of unexpected and amazing films, but I don’t think Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is arriving with low expectations. As the final performance on film from Chadwick Boseman and a continuation of August Wilson adaptations following Fences, the latest Netflix original has been gathering buzz for quite some time.…

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Songbird

Imagine this scenario: a board room on a studio lot in sunny Burbank. It’s September 11th, 2001, and executives are watching the horrifying tragedy in New York City unfold on a television set that was wheeled in by an intern while another intern delivered everyone’s coffee orders. One executive at the end of the table…

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The Prom

The Prom wasn’t exactly what you would call a massive Broadway hit, but that gave it an advantage at the start of the process of becoming a film. While lacking the household name status of Phantom of the Opera or Cats, the more simple high school story of a lesbian’s fight to have prom after…

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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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Ammonite

When a wave breaks, there are two parts to the sound. There is the dull, deafening roar, the power of the sea taking over, with no nuance to the distortion of pure noise. Then, there is peace. There is the gentle sound after the crest, the soothing tapping of water walking itself back along the…

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Mank

Six years after he made his last film, Gone Girl, and transitioned to television, David Fincher is back with Mank, a film that almost everyone will also be watching on the small screen. Though I would normally stand by my thinking that every film is better in a cinema which has led me to see…

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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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City Hall

There is no greater titan in documentary filmmaking than the Bay State’s very own Frederick Wiseman. Born in Boston and raised across the river in Cambridge, Wiseman’s directorial career in film started with the infamous Titicut Follies (1967), a film banned in Massachusetts for decades because it highlighted the horrific treatment of psychiatric patients at…

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Possessor

Invoking the name Cronenberg is an immediate, unfailing method to conjure up mental images of grotesque body horror occurring at the intersection of sex, violence and technology. In this respect, Brandon Cronenberg was always going to find it difficult to escape the shade cast by his father’s long shadow. If Possessor is any indication, however,…

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