Drama

Movie Review: Haven (2017)

Slice-of-life drama is rarely cut so narrowly as it is in Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s quietly devastating short Haven, about a mother (Tika Simone) and daughter (D’Evina Chatrie) wiling away the hours until a dark secret is suddenly unearthed. This isn’t even a slice; it’s a sliver. The short clocks in at approximately four minutes in total…

Movie Review: Tully (2018)

Each time that screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman team up, they create a singular female character that walks onscreen feeling fully formed and armed with lots to say. First it was Ellen Page’s precocious pregnant teen in “Juno,” then it was Charlize Theron’s perpetually perturbed author Mavis Gary in “Young Adult,” and now…

Movie Review: Lean on Pete (2017)

“Oh, God, make small the old star-eaten blanket of the sky, that I may fold it round me and in comfort lie” — T.E. Hulme, “The Embankment” When I first heard about British director Andrew Haigh’s (“45 Years”) Lean on Pete, it sounded like a warm, cuddly drama about horses, perhaps an updated version of…

Movie Review: The Rider (2017)

The Rider is an unflinching tribute (and one that made me flinch) to those who fully inhabit the present and “live their lives 8 seconds at a time.” It’s this short term thinking that renders it impossible for rider Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) to dream of a life beyond those series of seconds at the…

Movie Review: Obey (2018)

Obey lays out its elements early on, declaring its setting, its interest and its milieu from the opening shot. Yet, within this shot and throughout the film, writer-director Jamie Jones also defies expectation. In the opening sequence before the titles, a deep focus long take captures six young people work towards the camera, discussing the…

Movie Review: Where Is Kyra? (2017)

On its face, Where Is Kyra? tells the story of an unemployed divorcée, Kyra Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer, “Dark Shadows”), whose life falls into further disarray following the death of her mother. Struggling to make ends meet, her judgment clouded by grief, she soon resorts to desperate measures in order to avoid being evicted from the…

Movie Review: A Gentle Creature (2017)

“Certain persons in the world exist, not as personalities in themselves, but as spots or specks on the personalities of others” — N. V. Gogol, “Dead Souls” A Gentle Creature is as Russian a creature can ever be. It is the kind of character-driven story where the protagonist is bereft of all possible character —…

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