Articles by Madison Miller

The Critical Movie Critics

Madison Miller was named after "Splash." Her love of film (and mermaids) inevitably followed. She keenly observes the inflight entertainment selections of her fellow travelers, and judges them accordingly. More of her musings can be found at www.reviewfromthetop.com.


Movie Review: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017)

Midway through The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the midst of a breakdown (breakthrough?), surrounded by his typewriter and empty bottles and strewn about pages, signifiers of talent devolving into madness, the successful yet troubled novelist at its center self-consciously admits to having recently written only “first lines and first pages. No middle. No end.”…

Movie Review: Golden Exits (2017)

I enjoyed writer/director Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits well enough at first. Yet as my chronological distance from the project increases, so too do my annoyances with its gender power dynamics. The film follows six very specific Brooklynites whose lives are vaguely intertwined and then thrown into further disarray when a young, beautiful Australian disrupts…

Movie Review: Double Lover (2017)

It is fitting that there are two competing readings of François Ozon’s Double Lover. The film dually presents as a highly stylized, seductively sleek French psychosexual thriller and this “I Know Who Killed Me”-esque overtly overly symbolic camp. Not wanting to assign one dominance over the other or perhaps unable to distinguish between apparent equals,…

Movie Review: My Happy Family (2017)

Following the release of “Lady Bird,” Anne Helen Petersen wrote a moving essay on the supporting roles of mothers in relation to their daughters’ central stories entitled “Moms Are Main Characters Too.” Petersen writes, “But something you learn after high school is that, without the momentousness of ‘firsts’ . . . and societally ordained milestones…

Movie Review: A Fantastic Woman (2017)

Somber, unrelenting and ultimately life-affirming, A Fantastic Woman is a powerful portrait of Marina Vidal, an eponymous woman and transgender character played fantastically by transgender actress Daniela Vega (“The Guest”), who must navigate institutional and individual intolerance and discrimination when her lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes, “Neruda”), dies unexpectedly. The circumstances surrounding Orlando’s sudden death raise…

Movie Review: Icarus (2017)

In Icarus, documentarian and amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel sets about a steep undertaking. He is curious to learn whether he can follow a blood-doping program capable of clearing the controls clean and thus placing him in awards contention at France’s Haute Route race, the world’s most prestigious multi-day event for amateur riders. Eager to prove…

Movie Review: Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015)

Inspired by true events, Bilal: A New Breed of Hero tells the story of a real hero who earned his place in history after liberating himself and inspiring others to do likewise. This Arabic animated feature is intoxicating and beautifully drawn. The animation is textured and multidimensional, almost reminiscent of cutting-edge video game graphics. There…

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