• Emily the Criminal

    Emily the Criminal

    Awesome film to close out my Sundance festival. Aubrey Plaza stars as Emily an art school drop out that can’t secure any kind of gainful employment because of a few blemishes on her criminal record. Still saddled with insurmountable student debt, when a co-worker presents an opportunity to make $200 for an hours work, it presents a fork in the road for her life and career. And once she decides to go down one path, she won’t be able to…

  • Piggy

    Piggy

    A sordid and twisted revenge thriller (or sorts). I saw the short film that this was based on recently and it was fun to see this expanded to a feature length. There are a couple sequences that have you questioning our protagonists decision-making, and some that seem to exist only to pad the runtime. I liked that it divert from the path of the short film a fair amount. The short, though fun, I found to be a bit predictable.…

  • The Worst Person in the World

    The Worst Person in the World

    Really beautiful coming of age story which happens to pair really nicely with Cha Cha Real Smooth Both capture the feeling of falling in love with someone in a different phase of life.  Joachim Trier has structured the film into 12 delightful chapters. The shots of Julia (Renate Reinsve) running through town while the rest of the world at a stand still are remarkable looking. Julia battles indecisiveness, fear, regret, and fear of regret during this 4 year period of self-discovery.  One…

  • Living

    Living

    Living is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru. I did not know this until the opening credits started played. I would have preferred to have watched Ikiru first. But that is my reference point for this film. Living is a tenderhearted film starring Bill Nighy as a stuffy government bureaucrat who learns that he is terminally ill. Facing his own mortality, he seeks out some of the joys in life he has to this point missed out on.  While this easily could…

  • Am I Ok?

    Am I Ok?

    Yes, this is ok. But it’s just okay. It’s a tender story of a female friendship between Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sonoya Mizuno).  Friends since high school (or so it seems), the two are practically inseparable. And when Lucy has a of sexual revelation or sorts that she’s attracted to women, Jane encourages her to explore this potential late blooming coming out. Feature length directorial debut from real-life married couple Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, the relationship is depicted with immense…

  • God's Country

    God's Country

    If I didn’t know that Taylor Sheridan was busy creating a bazillion different TV Series, I would swear this was one of his films. This neo-western starring Thandiwe Newton is summarized pretty well by the Letterboxd synopsis. 

    When a grieving college professor confronts two hunters she catches trespassing on her property, she's drawn into an escalating battle of wills with catastrophic consequences.

    This is definitely a slow burn, but I felt the pace suited the material perfectly. Newton gives an outstanding performance.…

  • My Old School

    My Old School

    I knew nothing about this film going into it. I picked it solely because Alan Cumming was in it. Did not realize it was a documentary nor did I realize that Alan Cumming would be lip syncing the entire performance. That being said, I really loved this. It’s more or less a glorified episode of a Dateline or any of those other TV News Magazines. But it has a unique mix of animation, talking heads and the aforementioned lip synced…

  • Cha Cha Real Smooth

    Cha Cha Real Smooth

    I really liked Cooper Raiff’s debut film Sh!thouse for Raiff’s authentic voice and similarly for his fearless vulnerability on display.  With Cha Cha Real Smooth he has managed to match (if not surpass) that authenticity and vulnerability.  A recent college grad, Andrew (Raiff), has moved home with his family while he figures out what to do with his life. With a knack for showing people a good time and making everyone comfortable, he starts a side gig hosting bar and bat mitzvahs. He sparks a connection with…

  • Resurrection

    Resurrection

    Rebecca Hall elevates this thriller that takes a big swing in an examination of the destructive nature of abusive relationships. Resurrection starts off like a standard stalker thriller. Margaret (Hall) has a high powered job and a college bound teenager, but when a face from her past David (Tim Roth) appears everywhere she goes, her mental stability enters into a tailspin. Hall exudes a palpable terror for herself and her daughter, which makes the mystery of the nature of her and David’s relationship more intriguing. But…

  • When You Finish Saving the World

    When You Finish Saving the World

    Finn Wolfhard is completely insufferable in this. Or I should say, his character is. Julianne Moore is equally self-absorbed. Moore and Wolfhard both give really great performances…..with the unfortunate side effect that I wanted to punch them both in the face by the end of it. I feel like Jesse Eisenberg shows some promise as a director, but the story didn’t really wow me. I was really feeling for that dad though. His family doesn’t come to his Lifetime Achievement…

  • Alice

    Alice

    Alice is pretty much exactly like 2020’s Antebellum……except a lot better. Even with that consideration, it doesn’t make this film all that great. Keke Palmer and Common are great in their roles and I loved the 70’s vibe of the filmmaking, once we leave the plantation. Beyond that, the film is pretty shallow with not much else to say. A pretty straightforward revenge flick. 

    2022 Ranked
    Sundance 2022 - #16

    Degrees of Kevin Bacon: 2
    1. Keke Palmer
    and Ed Harris in Cleaner
    2. Ed Harris
    and Kevin Bacon in Apollo 13

  • Something in the Dirt

    Something in the Dirt

    I think I may just not be a Benson and Moorehead fan. I’ve not really liked The Endless or Synchronic. Unfortunately, we can now add Something In The Dirt to that list as well. The film starts off promising enough (as their other films do) with a sci-fi supernatural mystery with a couple entertaining leads. But this film just meanders for far too long with no particular focus. It’s a pass for me, but if you’ve liked Benson and Moorehead’s other…