Barry Jenkins Gives a New Life to James Baldwin’s Legacy with If Beale Street Could Talk: TIFF Review


If there’s anything to be said about Barry Jenkins, his track record is already setting himself up to become one of this generation’s best working filmmakers after his Academy Award-winning second film Moonlight, so how does he manage to follow up with his third film? Adapting the words of James Baldwin onto the screen shouldn’t seem like such an easy task for just about any writer-director, yet Barry Jenkins shows himself to be the perfect choice with relative ease. But as every small detail starts to come together in order to form what Barry Jenkins manages to bring to life in his own adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk, you already start to feel that this film was so clearly made out of love for the text of Baldwin. This is a romance story on the surface, but Jenkins also takes that template to make something more meditative, just as Baldwin’s own social critiques would have inspired from American society back in his time – for watching this film we only find his message is still alive. There’s no better way to put how fully realized an effort like this is, and for all I know it may very well be one of the decade’s most beautiful films.

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The Disaster Artist – Review


James Franco goes behind and in front of the camera to tell the story of the making of the infamous 2003 cult film The Room, often regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. But Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has enjoyed another reputation of its own because it’s already an enigma, it’s difficult to truly put together how it was even made because even the most skilled filmmaker couldn’t have been able to replicate its wonder. It was easy enough to be skeptical that a film about something of the sort would only be none other than a vanity project showing how well can Franco perform an imitation of such a unique entity, but through The Disaster Artist he also created a more empathetic and even cynical picture that goes beyond my expectations.

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Nerve – Review


This film has so much going for it and the biggest problem behind it comes from just how tame it is. I understand the directors’ choices with trying to pander to a much younger demographic because there’s something interesting to be said, yet everything is just played too safely. My best guess is that Nerve is what directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman were hoping to achieve in Catfish with a message about what social media is doing to our world and ended up being preachy about it, and what they leave here is much better on one count. On the other, what Nerve leaves behind is rather easily forgettable since as noted earlier, its lack of taking risks leads to a vanishing within memory. A real pity indeed because there was a lot of potential within the idea it presents, but it ends up falling down on the count that it’s just so tame. Continue reading →