Articles by Howard Schumann

The Critical Movie Critics

I am a retired father of two living with my wife in Vancouver, B.C. who has had a lifelong interest in the arts.


Movie Review: Darkest Hour (2017)

Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre referred to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as an “incredibly complex, contradictory, and larger-than-life human being.” This complexity is lost, however, in Joe Wright’s (“Pan”) Darkest Hour, a look at a crucial time in British Prime Minister Churchill’s stewardship that covers the period from May 10,…

Movie Review: The Shape of Water (2017)

While we know that some monsters are decidedly not lovable, the creature in Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, like many humans who roam the planet, is more of a lonely outcast seeking connection than a life-threatening presence. Performed by Doug Jones (“The Bye Bye Man”) underneath all the prosthetics, this monster…

Movie Review: Jane (2017)

In 1960, primatologist Jane Goodall, the 26-year-old secretary of paleontologist Louis Leakey, was chosen to conduct research in Africa for his study of the influence of apes on primitive man. Though she was not a scientist and never attended university, her open mind, love of animals, and the strong support she received from her mother…

Movie Review: The Square (2017)

According to Swedish director Ruben Östlund (“Force Majeure”), society today has turned its back on the social contract, the obligation that people not only express their concerns for other’s well-being but act upon them in concrete and meaningful ways. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Östlund’s latest film, The Square,…

Movie Review: Una (2016)

In Una, the powerful screen adaptation of David Harrower’s play “Blackbird” about the sexual abuse of a thirteen-year-old girl, Australian director Benedict Andrews does what has become increasingly uncommon in modern cinema — he makes us think. While it may be uncomfortable to look outside of the reassuring categories of victim and victimizer, Andrews asks…

Movie Review: Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Based “mostly” on a true story (in other words, fictional), Stephen Frears’ (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) Victoria and Abdul is an ode to the warmth of simple friendship and the wonders of British colonialism. Based on the book by Shrabani Basu with a screenplay by Lee Hall (“War Horse”), it is an engaging film about the…

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