In December of 2022, I had the pleasure of chatting with writer-director Sarah Polley about her new film Women Talking. The film, based on Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name, tells the story of the women in a Mennonite colony coming to grips with the fact that they have been sexually assaulted by the men in their lives, and debilitate while the men are absent from their community about what their options are in order to create better lives for themselves: leave the colony, fight for their own rights, or stay and do nothing.Continue reading →
Tag / rooney mara
Finding a Sense of Comfort and Acceptance in Spike Jonze’s Her – A Review
I have so many emotions running through my head right now, because this was perhaps what I needed most after having finished an entire year of college. It just felt so perfect for the moment because as soon as I finished, I felt a rush right through my head that was not like anything else that I had felt. After having gotten the chance to connect with so many other like-minded individuals that aren’t so far away, this final day almost feels like a blow – all of that has been taken away from me right on the spot. It feels like I have moved back into becoming the sort of person that I was always fearing I would be through my high school years once again, just a lonely, reclusive, sheltered person who had found the greatest joys one could ever feel through watching the movies for they have been my gateway to the world. Watching Her as I was about to enter this very moment almost felt like a bad idea because of what I still feel that I am not prepared for within my future. But if there were anything else that I would have wanted to say, I don’t know if I can be thankful enough that whenever I watch this movie, I always find myself in a state of comfort – one that I don’t know if I ever want to end.
2017: A Year in Review
Another year is complete, but not without having talked about the wonderful experiences we’ve had at the cinemas. Together with the not-so-wonderful films. But alas, this has been an extraordinary year for films for the highlights still managed to stick their landing inside of our minds – and the inevitable “what about such and such?” will come but I will remind you that it would have been outright impossible for me to have been able to catch virtually every movie that had come out the previous year to make sure I wouldn’t forget other highlights that may not have made it.
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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Review
It’s easy to find influences from Terrence Malick spreading everywhere, for David Lowery’s debut Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is only making itself clear its own homages to Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde among a few. But the fact that it lays upon these influences only is one thing that keeps me from coming closer, for it tries its best to feel soothing as a sight for the eyes and a sound for the ears, and yet on the inside it still feels so thin. I’m not even sure that writer-director David Lowery seemed especially interested in going beyond these stylistic influences to make something all the more compelling. It’s easy to see why Ain’t That Bodies Saints has drawn such a divided reaction towards the manner to which it is channeling Malick for some say it is a loving homage and others say it is a flagrant copy, and unfortunately I happen to be on the other side of the fence.
Song to Song – Review
I feel almost at a point where I’ve reached “peak Malick” in which I don’t enjoy his recent output as much as I know some of his most dedicated fans do. I’ve already found myself struggling to connect with To the Wonder and perhaps my own personal feelings about this style got in the way with my own experience of Knight of Cups, but I feel like it has become so difficult to even immerse with Malick anymore. These were among many fears that I had with Song to Song, being another film that takes upon this fractured narrative, but to my own surprise (and eventual delight), I found myself liking this style once again. Regardless of my feelings about how Malick has found himself playing out for me, I’ve always been able to appreciate him as a distinctive experimenter and Song to Song not only signifies my growing respect for his work, but it’s also the first of his I’ve found myself able to say I liked since The Tree of Life. Continue reading →
Lion – Review
Garth Davis’s Lion feels like a debut film, not exactly on the count that it is in fact one such but since all he was known for prior was directing episodes of Top of the Lake together with a few television commercials, something quick were only set to come forward. With Lion he takes a powerful true story and the sort of mood it carries all throughout is not a particularly assuring one. On one hand you have what already is what you can recognize as material that could easily be so compelling and heartbreaking then suddenly said mood is gone creating a frustratingly disjointed product. Every awards season there’s a film with this sort of feeling that comes out, pertaining to how it seems only around to garner awards: Lion is arguably the biggest case scenario for 2016.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – Review
Stylistically, a more appealing take on the same story compared to Niels Arden Oplev’s original interpretation and also a more compelling one at that. It’s worth addressing that I have a rather complicated history with Stieg Larsson’s original trilogy of books, for even with their convoluted storylines I still found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo an ever-so-fascinating story, something that the original trilogy of films had failed to capture (I greatly dislike The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest with my original distaste of the book coming into play). The idea that David Fincher would go on to direct an adaptation of the same story was something that had me intrigued and what was captured in Fincher’s own take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo proved itself to become what I wanted out of the same story compared to the monotony of the original trilogy.
Carol – Review
After eight years of absence following the distinctive Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There., Todd Haynes returns to the screen adapting the work of my favourite author with Carol. At first I was thinking to myself about a match made in heaven, given Haynes’s distinctive visions present for Julianne Moore-led dramas Safe and Far from Heaven, together with a love story by my favourite novelist – and the final result indeed was every bit as pleasing as I would have wanted, and perhaps even more than such at that. Admittedly, The Price of Salt was not one of my favourite Highsmith novels but some sort of aura hit me the moment I saw how Haynes adapted it to the screen, and in no time – that feeling of blissfulness only came clearer to me. One which only the best films I’ve seen this decade have hit me with, for that is certainly what Carol is. Continue reading →
Kubo and the Two Strings – Review
Laika’s latest offering, Kubo and the Two Strings is a film that is motivated through what it is about, the power of storytelling. Showing influence from the work of Hayao Miyazaki, what’s offered through Kubo and the Two Strings shows not only from the beauty of the animation left behind, but also from an evident love for its own inspirations are, but only a fraction of the beauty arises from there. If one were to tell me that Kubo and the Two Strings was indeed a stop motion feature as it were directed by Hayao Miyazaki, I would believe it on the spot, because this sort of beauty which I’ve found in here is something almost indescribable as it splashes all the more with imagination right as it drifts along. I don’t think I’ll see another animated film from this year that will ever be as gorgeous as this. Continue reading →