20th Century Women (Review)

Writer-director Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women is about a single mother and her rapidly growing son who live in a time when America’s growth felt physical, like you could touch it. In 1979, in California, the death of a decade and the birth of another converged to form a watershed moment in American culture. This […]

Hacksaw Ridge (Review)

Hacksaw Ridge boasts great acting from its lead, smart, tense battle staging, and better than average (for its genre) cinematography — all of which it nearly squanders thanks to its glamorization of war. There are little to no paragraph breaks, because this is a rant as much as it is a review. The first half […]

Cutaway (Review)

I’ll be honest, as soon as I understood how this film was going to work I felt like backing out of watching it. Cutaway, a Canadian film by Kazik Radwanski, depicts only the hands of a construction worker. It’s only seven minutes in length, six if you count the credits, and yet I still considered […]

Moonlight (VIFF) Review

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight‘s writer-director, forces. He forces you to reckon with a lot of different images in the film. He creates a torrent of emotion without any audible dialogue. I can’t think of a better use of silence in a recent film. There’s nothing else to do but watch the characters’ eyes, and in this […]

Toni Erdmann (VIFF Review)

Writer-director Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann operates based on a sitcom premise that then develops to become a story about existentialism. A hard-working businesswoman, Ines Conradi (Sandra Hüller) has no time for her father Winfried Conradi (Peter Simonischek), an old man who still uses false teeth, whoopi cushions, and wigs to make jokes, but after both […]

Her Friend Adam (Review)

Her Friend Adam is a testament to the character-based premise. Robert (played by the film’s writer-director Ben Petrie) feels insecure about his girlfriend Liv’s (Grace Glowicki) best friend, Adam (Andrew Chown). His insecurities are so disabling and affective that not even the fact that Adam is gay prevents him from suspecting he and Liv hook […]