Sir Anthony Hopkins delivers yet another top-notch performance as an aging father with dementia in The Father, which is emotionally moving. When the film premiered during Sundance earlier this year, Hopkins was in the closing weeks of the Oscar race for The Two Popes. While he may have lost out, he’s back in the running and is almost certainly the front-runner. It’s not unlike Hopkins to deliver a masterclass performance and here is on display…"AFI FEST 2020: The Father"
Sienna Miller delivers one of her finest performances in Wander Darkly but the film’s narrative approach is where viewers might get lost. Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) are in a car accident shortly after the film starts. Following the accident, the film takes us on a confusing narrative where the two are in a different sort of state. We’re seeing them through the events of moments the duo shared together at previous points…"AFI FEST 2020: Wander Darkly"
Uncle Frank is a period piece following a closeted gay man who is reluctantly returning home for his father’s funeral and unresolved trauma. While conditions have improved to an extent for the LGBTQ community, things are certainly better than they were in 1973. This is when South Carolinian teenager Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) heads off to New York University. The move leads to a reunion with literature professor and Beth’s uncle, Frank (Paul Bettany). What…"AFI FEST 2020: Uncle Frank"
Nine Days features a unique take on the concept of life as one man has the sole power to decide which souls will be born on Earth. Will (Winston Duke) spends his days watching human life on older television sets thanks to videos recorded by Kyo (Benedict Wong). Think of him as a gatekeeper as he watches people living their daily lives. It’s a thankless job but I suppose somebody has to do it. The…"AFI FEST 2020: Nine Days"
Pink Skies Ahead takes us back to the Los Angeles of the late 1990s when a college students drops out and moves back in with her parents. Aspiring writer Winona (Jessica Barden) drops out of college and gets diagnosed with an anxiety disorder after moving back home with her parents, Robert (Michael McKean) and Pamela (Marcia Gay Harden). She’s in denial about Dr. Cotton’s (Henry Winkler) diagnosis. After all, she’s never had a panic attack…"AFI FEST 2020: Pink Skies Ahead"
Riz Ahmed delivers a captivating performance as a heavy metal drummer that is beginning to lose his hearing in Sound of Metal. Within the film’s opening minutes Ruben (Riz Ahmed) is experiencing hearing loss. At the beginning, the loss is intermittent but as any musician knows from experience, it will only get worse. This is exactly what happens as the plot moves forward. However, technology has advanced to where Ruben is set on pursuing a…"AFI FEST 2020: Sound of Metal"
I’m Your Woman, directed by Julia Hart and starring Rachel Brosnahan, owes its influence to the 1970s classic crime dramas. Here’s the thing about the classic crime dramas: they were told from a man’s point of view. What Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz do with their script is change up the genre. Surburban housewife Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) is front and center in this throwback thriller. You know it’s a throwback as soon as you see…"AFI FEST 2020: I’m Your Woman"
Belushi is a heartbreaking must-watch documentary about late Saturday Night Live, Animal House, and Blues Brothers star John Belushi. This summer marked the 40th anniversary of The Blues Brothers hitting the big screen. Sadly, this year also marked the 38th anniversary of the comedian’s tragic death at 33 years old. And yet this film finds a way to capture what was going on in his head with newfound movie stardom. Mind you, this was during…"Belushi: A Heartbreaking Must-Watch Documentary"
Following the announcement of I’m Your Woman and special presentations, AFI Fest Fest 2020 has announced the complete program. The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the films that will play in the World Cinema, New Auteurs, Documentary, Cinema’s Legacy, Short Film Competition, Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST and the AFI Conservatory Showcase sections at AFI FEST 2020 presented by Audi, completing this year’s festival’s program. The complete AFI FEST program includes…"AFI Fest 2020 Unveils Complete Lineup"
The Two Popes takes a look at tradition verses reform in this look at the differences in approach from Popes Benedict XVI and Francis. This is a film that features top-notch acting performances from both Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. Even for a Jewish person such as myself, I didn’t feel that this was a film looking to teach us about religion. Instead, it’s an examination of two people with a differing approach to issues…"The Two Popes: Tradition vs. Reform"