Awards Season, Reviews / 09.10.2020

The word coronavirus has been dominating our lives since the early days of the hellscape that is 2020. Between rolling anxiety-inducing news coverage, daily press briefings that consistently struck fear and dread in our hearts, and the restrictions on once innocuous activities we may never take for granted again, there's been no escaping the pandemic that has completely upended our lives. The idea of watching a documentary recounting how the hell we got here may not sound like the most appealing proposition right now. However, with the U.S. election...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.10.2020

A wise man once said, “A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.” That may have been true in Middle Earth, but it doesn't quite work that way in the film industry. To see a screenwriter, director, producer, and star make her feature film debut at the ripe age of 40 is hardly a typical occurrence in the film industry, especially for a woman of colour. What an absolute delight it is to see this occur in such a dumpster...

Awards Season, Reviews / 02.10.2020

Protestors in the streets. Riot police launching tear gas and executing brutal beatdowns. A legal system where justice rarely seems to appear. For a film that takes place in 1968, it's impossible not to draw a direct line of comparison with the current state of America. By virtue of auspiciously appropriate timing, Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 arrives in a social climate echoing the events of the past, blessing the film with a staggering aura of potency even a master writer like Sorkin couldn't have...

Awards Season, Reviews / 29.09.2020

For better or worse, Julie Taymor is a stage director willing to take tremendous risks that either pay off handsomely (her Tony Award-winning work on The Lion King) or fall flat on their face (the unmitigated nightmare that was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). With her background in spectacle-infused theatre, Taymor has a knack for crafting visuals that don't always translate to the screen in her divisive dalliances with filmmaking. Thankfully, Taymor only occasionally digs into her bag of stylistic tricks with her celebration of one of the most...

Awards Season, Reviews / 27.09.2020

Earlier this year, we were given the rare treat of experiencing a moment in Broadway history in our living rooms with the Disney+ release of Lin Manuel Miranda's miraculous musical Hamilton. In many ways, Joe Mantello's The Boys in the Band seeks to offer something similar. While not a live stage recording of the Tony Award-winning 2018 Broadway revival of Mart Crowley's seminal 1968 play, Mantello reassembles the entire sublime ensemble cast of openly gay actors to reprise their stage roles and deliver this divisive work to a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 24.09.2020

Ever since 2003's Lost in Translation, many of us have been patiently waiting for writer/director Sofia Coppola and universal treasure Bill Murray to once again collaborate. Sure, we had the absurd festive delight that was their 2015 Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas, but the long wait for Coppola and Murray to join forces on a feature film project is finally at an end. As a filmmaker, Coppola sets the bar so high that something as light and casual as On the Rocks may prove somewhat of a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.09.2020

Where does one even begin when describing a new film from someone like writer/director Charlie Kaufman? With his penchant for pushing the boundaries of storytelling and a strikingly unique style that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, Kaufman is a divisive auteur whose screenplays consistently defy the logic and traditions of cinema. Opinions of his work are always sharply divided, and his latest offering is sure to see a similar reaction. Over a decade after his last live-action directorial effort, Kaufman returns with a film that's likely to...

Awards Season, Reviews / 22.08.2020

There are few directors who love to craft a good mindfuck quite like Christopher Nolan. Whether it's the multiple timelines of Dunkirk, the interdimensional wormholes of Interstellar, or practically every frame of Memento, Nolan has always had a knack for testing an audience's patience with cinematic confusion that consistently flirts on frustration. After numerous coronavirus-induced delays and a staggered worldwide release schedule that's rather brutal for anyone outside of Australia, Nolan's latest epic is finally here, and it's every bit as baffling as you're expecting. After the cinema closures...

Awards Season, Reviews / 03.07.2020

The history lesson that made history, there has rarely been a Broadway phenomenon quite like Hamilton. After opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in July of 2015, the brainchild of the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda soon became the hottest ticket in town, much to the delight of opportunistic scalpers everywhere. After winning 11 Tony Awards from a record-setting 16 nominations, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton firmly staked its claim as one of the most acclaimed and successful...

Awards Season, Reviews / 12.06.2020

Few directors possess the innate ability to tap into the current state of the world quite like Spike Lee, but even he couldn't have foreseen the searing pertinence of his latest film. Arriving in the midst of global outrage over yet another Black man's death caused by police brutality, Lee's Da 5 Bloods feels more urgent than ever. While the film was obviously planned, filmed, and scheduled well in advance, it's arriving at precisely the right time. Working as both a powerful history lesson and a surprising thrilling and...