Director Park Chan-Wook delivers in his latest film The Handmaiden, a transfixing crime drama that holds true to the filmmaker’s visionary take on bold and often brutal themes, while delivered with dark comedic undertones amidst unique and aesthetically enriching settings.
Much of the richness of Under the Shadow comes from its historical and Islamic inspiration – both a timeframe and culture I know very little about. My perspective (see ignorance) made the story even more compelling. I was deeply curious about all the characters, about their politics, about the War, and about their beliefs. Combining this with a threat whose motivation is tantalizingly unknowable made for a deeply satisfying scare-fest.
Full of heart, humor and horrible singing Florence Foster Jenkins never makes a mockery of the famous (or infamous) woman who sold out Carnegie Hall at the age of 76. The film delicately presents the untalented yet aspiring Opera singer who genuinely loved music and had the resources to pursue her dreams in spite of many challenges.
David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon is a warm, and sentimental palate cleanser that allowed me to laugh out loud, shed a tear, and carry on. With challenging, emotional, and weird films filling my brain lately (The Lobster, Free State of Jones, and Swiss Army Man) this re-imagining of the original 1977 live-action-animated-musical that I loved as a kid was gentle on my eyes, ears, and emotions.
Brimming with intelligence, tragedy, comedy, and social commentary, Captain Fantastic is a story of a family discovering the world and making their own sense of it- and so far I think it’s my favorite movie of the year.
Visceral, magical, broad, compassionate, corporeal, the work of directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert is inspired by mortality and human bodies in their every form and function: as expression, as vessel, as something to stick on and in another body.
In this rich subject, the Daniels have found a way to really surprise us, and to explore bodies and their mortality in fascinating, absurd, inspiring, and risible ways.
Swiss Army Man, The Daniels’ first full length feature film, is guided by a deceptively simple concept. A man, stranded and lost, finds a tool that helps him survive, find his way, and thrive. The tweak is that the tool is a magic corpse named Manny: a “swiss army man.”
Read on to learn more about this fascinating film fable:
More than a movie about a thoroughbred, Dark Horse is a celebration of the underdog and speaks to the power of a shared, community vision.
This comedic love triangle has all the twists and turns that you could ever hope for, but never truly expect.
Abounding with gags delivered in deadpan seriousness, thematically dark and surreal, and often hilariously uncomfortable, The Lobster excels in its mature comedic sensibilities and will leave audiences confused but still satisfied by its poetic questioning of modern Western romantic expectations.
The one word that keeps coming to mind when I recall Love & Friendship is delight. Director Whit Stillman delivered all of the typical characters I've come to expect from an Austen classic, but in an unexpectedly bold and hilarious way.
When I think of quintessential Jane Austen, I expect a clever love story, a stirring soundtrack with sweeping scenes of the English countryside, and big names in pretty dresses with impeccable English accents. Love & Friendship addresses most of these expectations, but with one big difference: this film, its story, and its leading lady are audacious. This sheer, delightful cheekiness caught me off guard. Click below to read on!