Sundance 2019: Luce

Luce is one of those films that comes along at just the right point in time in which the country needs it in order to spark an important conversation. From the outside looking in, Luce (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) is the smartest person in the school.  He has it going for him in every which direction.  When he’s not in class, he’ll be doing his duties as either the debate-team captain or participating in track.  In other words,…

"Sundance 2019: Luce"

Instant Family: Heartwarming and Inspiring

Both heartwarming and inspiring, Instant Family is a family comedy that displays the importance that comes with being a foster parent. When one learns about Sean Anders’ history as a father, Instant Family comes off as a passion project.  It’s quite a different film than Daddy’s Home despite the casting of Mark Wahlberg.  This is their third film together and much better than the last one released a year ago.  It’s Anders’ most personal film…

"Instant Family: Heartwarming and Inspiring"

A Kid Like Jake explores Gender Identity

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 in the theater become very clear in the final act through the performances of Claire Danes and Jim Parsons.  Through Silas Howard’s direction and the camera framing of cinematographer Steven Capitano Calitri, the performances come off as theatrical rather than cinematic.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While…

"A Kid Like Jake explores Gender Identity"

CCFF 2018: A Kid Like Jake

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"

Chicago Film Festival: The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is perhaps the finest film ever to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and actress Sally Hawkins delivers a top-notch performance in the Cold War-set film. With a screenplay co-written by  del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, the film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer. Set in 1962, a classified asset is brought into a government laboratory in Baltimore where Strickland (Shannon) is hellbent…

"Chicago Film Festival: The Shape of Water"