In a year that has seen quite a number of films tackle the subject of addiction, Unlovable goes in a different route than one might expect: humor. Sex and love is never quite enough for Joy (Charlene deGuzman) no matter how hard she tries to fill this hole. This is the thing about addiction–even when you think you have enough, there’s a need for more. The film starts out with Joy penning her suicide letter…"Unlovable tackles Sex, Love Addiction"
Even though a health crisis is at the center of this relationship-driven dramedy, After Everything is as far from a Nicholas Sparks film as it gets. Elliott (Jeremy Allen White) works behind a sandwich counter with his roommate and best friend, Nico (DeRon Horton). It’s all fun and games for the two of them–drinking or getting high–until Elliott learns he is suffering from a rare diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma. There’s a lot of nitty-gritty detail…"After Everything is no Nicholas Sparks film"
Through the lens of its 13-year old protagonist, Sadie displays the toll that the military takes on American families while family members are on tour. Sadie (Sophia Mitri Schloss) lives at home with her mother, Rae (Melanie Lynskey), in the Shady Plains Trailer Park. Sadie patiently waits for her dad, John, to come home. He’s serving tour overseas in spite of the many promises to return home. She’s loyal to her dad in this sense and…"Sadie: A Satire for War"
Thunder Road comes with a nice blend of tragedy and comedy with a marvelous performance from multi-hyphenate Jim Cummings. The film starts out as Texas police officer Jim Arnaud (Jim Cummings) attends the funeral for his mother, Brenda. I’ll discuss the scene in-depth later but it seemingly sets the tone for what we’re about to see over the next 90 minutes. Despite losing control of his emotions during the funeral, Jim–ignoring his superior–heads back to…"Thunder Road: An Indie Gem"
Support the Girls is a surprisingly relevant film with an exceptionally strong performance from Regina Hall. Lisa (Regina Hall) is the general manager of Double Whammies. Double Whammies labeled as a “sports bar with curves.” With the first glance of their skimpy uniforms, it’s only natural to assume that the sports bar is a stand-in for Hooters but it’s so much more. In spite of the clientele and everything, Lisa loves working there. She takes…"Support the Girls: Regina Hall Lifts Up Film"
The comparisons to Rear Window are there but writer-director Nosipho Dumisa makes Number 37 her own. Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally) just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He found himself in a wheelchair after a deal went terribly wrong. While he’s stuck in his Cape Town apartment, this film is not the Alfred Hitchcock classic. While it is an homage, the plot is tremendously different and you don’t have the legendary…"Fantasia 2018: Number 37 (Nommer 37)"
Eighth Grade 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 to others, she’s not the perfect person when it comes to applying…"Eighth Grade captures Spirit, Awkwardness"
Boundaries isn’t the typical family road trip as this one involves rescue animals and drug deals. “Don’t Pick Up!” This is what Laura (Vera Farmiga) has opted to label the name on her phone for her father, Jack (Christopher Plummer). It’s the type of relationship that the two of them have. Or lack thereof if you will. It’s a relationship that Laura opens up with to her therapist at the beginning of the film. Laura…"Boundaries: A Pot-Dealing Family Road Trip"
A wholly original film with a twist you never see coming, Damsel is a hysterical western from the minds of David Zellner and Nathan Zellner. Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) has tracked down the location of the woman he plans to marry, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska). As he sets through in his journey, he hires Parson Henry (David Zellner) to officiate the wedding when he finds his future bride in addition to a gift, a miniature horse called Butterscotch. Samuel…"Damsel: A Wholly Original Western"
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"