Native Son: Compelling, falls short

Native Son is a compelling film with strong performances but I can’t help but feel that something is lost in updating the story for present day. Like the novel its based on, Native Son is set in Chicago.  Instead of the 1930s, Suzan-Lori Parks updates the story for a contemporary telling.  Is this a good idea?  I don’t know.  I haven’t read the novel written by Richard Wright so I’m not in a position to compare the…

"Native Son: Compelling, falls short"

Wildlife: A Career-Best for Carey Mulligan

With first-time director Paul Dano at the helm, Wildlife benefits from a stand-out performance from actress Carey Mulligan. Based on Richard Ford’s book of the same name, we view the events through the eyes of teenager Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould) in Great Falls, Montana.  As his parents struggle financially, Joe decides to quit the football team to work for a photographer. Meanwhile, Joe’s dad, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), decides to run out of town to fight fires some…

"Wildlife: A Career-Best for Carey Mulligan"

TIFF 2018: The Land of Steady Habits

Based on the book of the same name, The Land of Steady Habits is more comedy than drama in this newest film from Nicole Holofcener. When we first meet Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn), he has retired from working in finance and is sleeping with other women after divrcing his ex-wife, Helene (Edie Falco).  Okay–so he’s a womanizer.  At first, a totally unlikable character, we’re finding ourselves gravitated towards rooting for him.  It makes so sense–I know–but this…

"TIFF 2018: The Land of Steady Habits"

TIFF 2018: Wildlife

With first-time director Paul Dano at the helm, Wildlife benefits from a stand-out performance from actress Carey Mulligan. Based on the book of the same name, we view the events through the eyes of teenager Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould).  As his parents struggle financially, he decides to quit the football team to work for a photographer.  Having lost his job at the golf club, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) runs out of town to fight fires in Montana. …

"TIFF 2018: Wildlife"

Woman Walks Ahead: Poor In Execution

Woman Walks Ahead sounds like a great idea in theory but the film goes poorly in its execution. Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain) has an interesting story.  The Swiss immigrant arrived to the United States in 1852, where both she and her mom settled in Brooklyn.  She would later have a marriage to Bernhard Schlatter end in divorce in 1883.  It’s what happened after her marriage ended in which her life would truly begin to get interesting.…

"Woman Walks Ahead: Poor In Execution"

Crown Heights: Colin Warner’s Fight For Freedom

Crown Heights tells the true story of Colin Warner and the road he underwent to get his freedom after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, the biopic stars Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Amari Cheatom, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Nestor Carbonell, Zach Grenier, Josh Pais, Yul Vazquez, Ron Canada, with Bill Camp. It’s 1980 when Marvin Grant gets gunned down in Flatbush, Brooklyn.  The only witness that the police are…

"Crown Heights: Colin Warner’s Fight For Freedom"