Wild Nights with Emily offers a look at poet Emily Dickinson with an approach that only writer/director Madeline Olnek can tell. Through her role in Other People and the Sundance-premiering Private Life, Saturday Night Live alumnus Molly Shannon has proven to have a wider range as an actress. Her role as Emily Dickinson proves to be no different in what may very well be one of the best lesbian comedies in years. Through Olnek’s script,…"Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily"
Filmed in black-and-white 16mm film, 1985 is an incredibly moving film from writer-director Yen Tan. After his boyfriend dies of AIDS, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) leaves New York for his hometown in Texas during the holidays to visit with his family. He’s in the closet, which isn’t a surprise given the 1980s setting. At the time when the AIDS crisis was growing, anyone would be scared to come out to their family! By visiting with…"Frameline 2018: 1985"
Mixing work and romance, the STEM-focused Freelancers Anonymous puts women front and center in this Chicago-set modern-day screwball comedy. Some people love their jobs while other people dread leaving for the office in the morning. For Billie (Lisa Cordileone), she is finally at the point where she is unable to keep doing it any longer. She comes to a decision while giving a presentation and walks out. The problem with making this decision is that she’s engaged…"Frameline 2018: Freelancers Anonymous"
Starring Kelly Macdonald, Marc Turtletaub’s Puzzle is a character study that plays like a period drama. This would especially be the case if it were not for the use of smartphones. Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) is in her early 40s. She’s not a woman who tends to leave her community. Once Agnes gets a jigsaw puzzle as a birthday gift, it’s as if her entire world has changed. She’s not just good at it but she soon…"CCFF 2018: Puzzle"
Eighth Grade, the closing night selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, is a film that perfectly captures the spirit and awkwardness of being a student in the final year of middle school. Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) may be close to starting high school but before doing so, she must survive the end of eighth grade. It’s not easy for the smartphone-obsessed teenager. Even though she has a YouTube channel where she offers advice…"CCFF 2018: Eighth Grade"
Revenge is a dish that’s best served cold but a very bloody one in the case of Coralie Fargeat’s feature directorial debut. If blood isn’t your forte, it’s best-advised to stop reading now and stay away from Revenge because there’s a lot of blood. A lot of it. It’s enough to make one want to turn away from the screen at various times. But if it’s something that is right up your alley, please stick…"Revenge: A Very Bloody Thriller"
American Animals takes an interesting approach to storytelling with a narrative/documentary hybrid in telling the absurd but true story of the Transylvania University library heist. Flashback to the fall of 2003 when Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) is touring the Special Collections archive at the Transylvania University library. Fascinated by the artwork of John James Audubon, Spencer starts to get these absurd idea to steal the rare collection. He does so with the help of his…"CCFF 2018: American Animals"
A Kid Like Jake is a film that ought to add to the conversation about gender identity among young children. The roots of A Kid Like Jake as a play becomes clear in the final act of the film through the performances of Claire Danes and Jim Parsons in particular. Through Silas Howard’s direction and the camera framing of cinematographer Steven Capitano Calitri, the performances come off as theatrical rather than cinematic. Danes and Parsons…"CCFF 2018: A Kid Like Jake"
On Chesil Beach doesn’t quite rise up to to the level of previous adaptations of Ian McEwan’s works. The film is rather confusing to follow. We eventually learn that Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) just got married a few hours earlier and are planning to consummate their marriage. Not all goes as planned, however, when Florence realizes that she can’t go through with it and runs out, causing Edward to chase after her. …"CCFF 2018: On Chesil Beach"
Searching is an intense roller coaster of a thriller that takes place on entirely on computer and smartphone screens. We’re quickly caught up on the backstory of the Kim family, including late wife Pam (Sara Sohn). Watching her battle with lymphoma play out in a matter of mere moments doesn’t do it justice. There are the typical first day of school photos or piano lessons. The early minutes of the film are tame compared to…"CCFF 2018: Searching"