The Incredible Jessica James is innovative, genuine

Releasing on Netflix this week, The Incredible Jessica James is one of the best comedies that I’ve seen this year. Written and directed by Jim Strouse, the comedy stars Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Lakeith Stanfield and Noël Wells.  Zabryna Guevera, Taliyah Whitaker, Sarah Jones, Will Stephen, Susan Heyward, and Megan Ketch also star. Jessica Williams, The Daily Show alumnus, breaks out in her role as Jessica James, a young playwright in New York City.  At…

"The Incredible Jessica James is innovative, genuine"

Landline: Sisters bond through Family Secrets and Lies

Landline takes us back to the 1990s as Obvious Child director Gillian Robespierre re-teams with writer/producer Elisabeth Holm, and actress Jenny Slate. Directed by Robespierre from a screenplay by Elizabeth Holm and Gillian Robespierre, Landline stars Jenny Slate, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock, and John Turturro.  Chicago native Gigi Pritzker is one of the produces for Odd Lot Entertainment. Dana Jacobs recently became engaged to Ben (Duplass) and she finds herself dealing…

"Landline: Sisters bond through Family Secrets and Lies"

Lady Macbeth: Sexism, Feminism at play in British Drama

In Lady Macbeth, elements of both sexism and feminism are at play in the British drama. Directed by William Oldroyd from a screenplay written by Alice Birch, the film stars Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, and Christopher Fairbank.  The film is based on Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Nikolai Leskov. Set in 1865 England, 17-year-old Katherine (Florence Pugh) is stuck in a loveless, arranged marriage to Alexander (Hilton), a man who is…

"Lady Macbeth: Sexism, Feminism at play in British Drama"

Fantasia Film Festival: Most Beautiful Island

Most Beautiful Island is a psychological thriller exploring what happens when undocumented immigrants wanting a better life. Written and directed by Ana Asensio, the psychological thriller stars Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, and Caprice Benedetti. What does a struggling immigrant do when they are also undocumented?  This is what writer/director/actress Asensio explores and announces to the world that she’s a triple-threat in front of and behind the camera.  The film is…

"Fantasia Film Festival: Most Beautiful Island"

Dim the Fluorescents: A Below-the-Radar Indie Film

The winner of Slamdance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature, Dim The Fluorescents is a below-the-radar film that shows us the working relationship between an artist and a playwright. Daniel Warth directs his first feature film from a screenplay he wrote with Miles Barstead.  The cast features Claire Armstrong, Naomi Skwarna, Andreana Callegarini-Gradzik, Brendan Hobin, Clare McConnell, and Todd Graham. The film follows actress Audrey (Armstrong) and playwright Lillian (Skwarna).  They aren’t…

"Dim the Fluorescents: A Below-the-Radar Indie Film"

Dunkirk: An Event Film That Should Be Seen In 70mm

Based on an inspiring true story, Dunkirk delivers a film that should give Christopher Nolan a long-overdue Oscar nomination for outstanding directing. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the war film stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy.  Nolan veteran Michael Caine sneaks in with an uncredited voice cameo talking to Tom Hardy’s Royal Air Force…

"Dunkirk: An Event Film That Should Be Seen In 70mm"

The Pulitzer at 100 profiles Award-Winning Work in Journalism and Arts

The Pulitzer at 100 is a documentary film that honors the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes by profiling what it means to win the prize. Produced and directed by Kirk Simon, many Pulitzer Prize winners are interviewed while notable actors and a film director reads their work. Journalists featured include David Remnick, Thomas L. Friedman, Robin Givhan, Mary McNamara, Nicholas Kristof, Carol D. Leonnig,  Martin Baron, Sheri Fink, Carl Bernstein, and Jim Amoss.  Featured…

"The Pulitzer at 100 profiles Award-Winning Work in Journalism and Arts"

Future ’38: A Love Letter to 1930s and 40s Screwball Comedies

A love letter to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, Future ’38 is a throwback screwball worth seeing. Written and directed by Carmen Sandiego veteran Jamie Greenberg, the film stars Betty Gilpin, Nick Westrate, Robert John Burke, Ethan Phillips, Sophie von Haselberg, and Ilana Becker. The film starts with Neil deGrasse Tyson introducing us to a lost film from 1938.  He talks about the science behind the movie and what they got right.…

"Future ’38: A Love Letter to 1930s and 40s Screwball Comedies"

Fantasia: 78/52 profiles Pyscho’s Shower Scene

A selection for the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival, 78/52 profiles the iconic shower scene shown in Alfred Hitchock’s Pyscho. Written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, the documentary features a wide array of interviews mixed in with archival footage.  A number of interview subjects were included including family members of Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, and Anthony Perkins. Oscar winning editors such as Walter Murch, Chris Ennis, and Bob Murawski were also among those interviewed. The…

"Fantasia: 78/52 profiles Pyscho’s Shower Scene"

Fantasia: Bitch takes us on a ride

Selected for the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival, Bitch is a dark comedy that takes us on a wild ride as lonely housewife begins acting like a dog. Written and directed by Marianna Palka, the thriller stars Jason Ritter, Marianna Palka, Jaime King, Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, Kingston Foster, Jason Maybaum, with Caroline Aaron and Bill Smitrovich. The film starts out with Jill (Palka) going through with what turns into a failed suicide attempt.  Her…

"Fantasia: Bitch takes us on a ride"