Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

  MAKE ROOM FOR “ROOM.” The less you know about Room going in, the better.  Its intense performances and disturbing revelations make for a unique viewing experience.  Room is adapted for the screen by author Emma Donoghue from her award winning bestselling novel. Filmed in Toronto, Room is an intimate psychological drama that puts us inside the mind of a five-year-old child who has never seen anything beyond the walls of his room. He was born there and lives in Room with his mother. The room is all he knows and he is happy playing with his imagination and his Ma who is always with him. He even calls the world he lives in Room. Room won the People’s choice award at this year’s recent TIFF40 (Toronto International Film Festival) and got overwhelming positive responses from audiences who saw it. Jack’s mother keeps him busy with daily routines and teaches him to read and write, and about everything in the world. But Jack believes these are just made up stories that aren’t real. They couldn’t be real because he’s never actually seen any of those things in his room. We only begin to realize what is happening when a man arrives in the room. Old Nick occasionally visits the room for a short while to bring food and toys, and takes mother with him to the bed. During this time Jack must hide in Closet until Old Nick leaves. This all seems fairly normal to Jack who has never known different. One day when she feels Jack is old enough, Ma tells him that it’s time to leave Room, that there’s more behind the walls of Room and that the stories she told him are all true. Jack is curious but likes his room and is scared of leaving it. His mother knows that the world is much bigger...
The Revenant

The Revenant

COMING OUT OF The Revenant I felt like I had just been beaten to an emotional pulp after a relentless brutal battle against man and nature, much like the hero of this story who was mauled by a grizzly bear to within an inch of his life.  And that’s just the beginning of his problems as he miraculously manages to overcome his injuries despite many attempts by angry native tribes and some of his own companions to kill him off. The Revenant is an epic wild ride through the fur trade era’s legendary adventures of Hugh Glass, a hunting scout for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1823.  The film is based on the novel by Michael Punke of the same name, and his harrowing ordeal in the wilderness of 19th century uncharted Upper Missouri River. Iñarritu’s Brilliant Vision This is a prestige picture from an Oscar-winning director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, with a big name star, Leonardo DiCaprio, and an epic story based loosely on historical legend.  But despite all that, The Revenant doesn’t feel like a typical Hollywood film.  In fact, this film is far superior to most Hollywood movies. Director of last year’s Oscar-winning best picture Birdman (2014), Iñarritu’s obsessively demanding methods and brilliant vision have raised the bar for epic scale realism and immersive experience in today’s cinema.  If you compare his film with other Hollywood depictions of this era with films like Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Revenant far surpasses them in cinematic grandeur and gut wrenching suspense. The Tale of Hugh Glass Hugh Glass, who had previously been captured by Pawnee Indians and has a son by a Pawnee native woman, is working as a guide for an English company of fur trappers when they are viciously attacked by Arikara tribe warriors who are on the warpath to rescue...
Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight focuses on the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize winning team of newspaper reporters investigating a case of a priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of children.  This is a newsroom drama that reveals a hidden conspiracy and cover-up in the tradition of All the President’s Men (1976) and State of Play (2009). The film focuses on a team of five reporters, known as “Spotlight,” who are assigned to investigate and research a shocking story no one wants to talk about, and their incredible disturbing discovery.  And it’s all based on true events. When a new editor arrives at the Boston Globe, one of his first tasks is to assign the Spotlight team to investigate a long overdue dropped case of child abuse by a priest that was never followed up with.  What they uncover is an abuse scandal of pedophile priests that is far more rampant and far reaching than anyone imagined. A trusted and powerful institution in the community, an unwillingness to speak against the Catholic Church, and reports of abuse that have been buried and silenced for decades—these are some of the difficult and frustrating elements the team is faced with.  This is the kind of controversial story that old fashioned newspaper journalism has always excelled at. Spotlight is an absorbing and intensely gripping thriller that never lets up as the story delves deeper into a disturbing quagmire of statistics and victims who have been silences since childhood.  Everyone involved with the investigation instantly recognizes the importance and the ramifications of this shocking story to the citizens of Boston and ultimately the world. On the one hand, there are terrible secrets that are being kept under wraps by powerful people in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church as well as the justice system, and the innocent traumatized victims who have no recourse or hope of compensation...
Mustang Film Review

Mustang Film Review

A POWERFUL, IMPERATIVE FILM: Young, wild and free-spirited teen girls just want to enjoy life playing on the beach, going out with boys, cheering at soccer games and dancing to music.  It all seems so natural and innocent, unless you happen to live in a small town in Turkey dominated by religious and cultural oppression, where girls are seen only through a veil of sexuality and as domestic slaves to a male-dominated society. Mustang is a powerful and imperative film about the injustices of strict tribal and religious societies and their treatment of women in particular.  The message is loud and clear, giving voice to issues of female oppression increasingly being echoed in powerful personal films like Dukhtar (2014), Wadjda (2012), Circumstance (2011), Offside (2007), Head-On (2004) and a recent new film from Tunisia, As I Open My Eyes (2015). Five young orphaned sisters living with their grandmother in a small coastal village in Turkey have just finished the school year.  It’s a bittersweet moment as they say goodbye to their favorite teacher but also look forward to an exciting and playful summer. But what the sisters of differing ages thought would be a fun-filled summer suddenly turns into a nightmare when the small town community they live in turns on them, deciding that they can no longer tolerate their freewheeling irreverent behavior, which is getting the local boys all excited. Too much for the grandmother to handle, she is forced by the community to marry off the girls as soon as possible in the traditional ways of the Turkish culture.  As their home turns into a school for domesticity, they are told that girls must be pure, soft-spoken, and well mannered.  They’re forced to spend their time learning how to cook and clean. Soon bars, gates and fences are erected all over the house to stop them from sneaking...
Brooklyn Film Review

Brooklyn Film Review

With today’s headlines filled with stories of mass migrations of people from Syria pouring into Europe, leaving their homelands to flee hardship and find a better life, we would do well to remember the story of our own ancestors who once faced similar journeys and prospects when they came to America by the boatful from their ancestral lands in Europe. Based on the award winning historical novel by Irish author Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn is director John Crowley’s beautifully told, if traditionally staged epic film adaptation of this captivating coming-of-age tale that follows a journey across the sea to a new world. Brooklyn focuses on an Irish girl in her early twenties, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), who lives with her widowed mother and older sister in the town of Enniscorthy, Ireland.  At a time when work is extremely scarce, Eilis grows frustrated with her prospects in this small town existence and the mentality of its folk, especially the young men who all dress the same and just want to get drunk. Visually, the production is sparing and conservatively filmed but well researched and beautifully costumed with 50s fashion.  The real strength of the film though is in its powerful heartfelt performances and tightly focused story of Eilis Lacey, exquisitely performed by Saoirse Ronan from Hanna (2011) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Encouraged by her sister and a local Catholic priest who has sponsored her and arranged for a job waiting for her, Eilis reluctantly agrees to venture out and board a boat headed for New York City, leaving the only family she has.  After a difficult journey, she arrives in a strange new land of modern ideas and a large community of Irish workers. While staying in a boarding house for Irish women, she starts working for a high-end department store as a sales clerk but becomes increasingly unhappy and...

« Older Entries Next Entries »