“About Time” (2013) is a wonderfully charming film, with a central romance that truly stands out. However, there’s another relationship within the film that’s just as important, as both a catalyst for the story and an emotional tether throughout, which is that of father and son. While our star, Domhnall Gleeson, is perfectly suited as the lead, Bill Nighy’s portrayal is essential. The always incredible actor shines as the father introducing his son to their ability to time travel, but more than that, passing on his wisdom on the appreciation of life. Continue reading ITOL’S Cinematic Dads: About Time
There’s just something about “Carol” (2015). Not just the mature storytelling, or the strong direction from Todd Haynes, or even the film’s beautiful and stylish design. Those are all contributing factors to the film’s resonance, but, what really captures the spirit, is the magnetism between our two leads: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Based on the novel The Price of Salt, by Patricia Highsmith, and intelligently adapted to the screen by Phyllis Nagy, “Carol” is another intimate LGBTQ story that is required viewing. Continue reading Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Carol
Sometimes the notion of a “forbidden romance” in films seems tantalizing, but other times… it’s just heartbreaking. It’s really dependent on the forces keeping these two people apart. With “Brokeback Mountain,” (2005) a beautifully heart-wrenching film, it’s tragic. It’s only “forbidden” because the two don’t think they can or sometimes, should, be together. Which is what makes it so inherently effective. No matter how many times I see this movie, it always finds its mark: right through the heart. Continue reading Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Brokeback Mountain
“Benny and Joon” (1993) is an odd little concoction of a film. On one hand, it has its cuteness and quirk, and on the other- is a very serious example of one’s struggle with mental illness. Neither can be overlooked, nor appreciated without the other, throughout the course of the film. The melding of these makes it a charismatic picture.
Joon Pearl (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Benny Pearl (Aidan Quinn) are brother and sister. She’s an artist, he’s a mechanic, and he looks after her as her mental illness keeps her from living on her own. They have their own rhythm, and there is safety and harmony in their shared life, but it’s obvious both want more. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month: Benny and Joon
“American Psycho” is now twenty years old, and yet this psychological thriller, bathed in hilarity and chock full of underlying societal context, is still as effective as it was then. This is primarily due to the amazingly spot-on performance from Christian Bale, and the confident direction of Mary Harron.
With a screenplay adapted by Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, the movie is an exercise in control as much as it is about the loss of it. Our main character is all about his routines, his ability to keep everything in check, but there’s something festering beneath that he can’t quite keep contained. Continue reading Retrospective Review: American Psycho
There’s something really comforting in the traditional hand-drawn animation style that Disney introduced us to. With the difference in styles now and the obvious technological element, it’s good to reflect on a movie that utilizes and excels with that look and feel but is in the 21st century. I’m referring to the 2009 “The Princess and The Frog.” Continue reading Animated April: The Princess and The Frog
It’s been ten years since we saw “Twilight” (2008) cast-mates Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning graze the screen in the music biopic “The Runaways.” While the Floria Sigismondi written/directed film has its fair share of follies, by the end it’s worthy of a collective fist to the air, celebrating – at the very least- the spotlight on these talented women and the impact they had on the rock and roll world.
At a time when bands entirely made up of women weren’t a prevalent nor seemingly lucrative notion, The Runaways was formed, primarily because of the persistent ambition of Joan Jett (Stewart) and her collaboration with Kim Fowley (played with an on-spot eccentricity here by Michael Shannon). Soon they bring in Cherie Currie (Fanning) to be the lead singer, along with Sandy West (Stella Maeve), Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Robin (Alia Shawkat). Then we’ve got the pop-punk legendary group: The Runaways. Continue reading Retrospective Review: The Runaways
If you are unfamiliar with the book or the story in general, be cautious travellers: this is one of those films that is going to be coated in melodrama and ultimately, demanding of your tears. The question is, is the journey worth that outcome?
As with life itself (which primarily ties to the central heart of the story: there are always bright places in dark times) things can be challenging, disheartening, and sometimes downright seemingly hopeless, but we can prevail. That sort of message, even if it’s paraded at times here, is worth seeking, and if it allows someone out there to feel less alone, the intent is successful. Continue reading Review: All The Bright Places
“Horse Girl” (2020) is an oddity of a film, but a moving and harrowing one at that. Alison Brie stars and co-wrote it with director Jeff Baena, known for his ability to construct a marriage of dark subject matter and comedy. Here, there’s definitely a gloom, and while there is some humor, “Horse Girl” is mostly a rabbit hole down one woman’s detachment from reality. It also provides Brie, an incredibly talented and versatile actress, a chance to embody a role entirely.
While I missed the film at Sundance, I was able to chat with Brie briefly, and I know how personal this story was to her. Even without that context, it’s clear. It is a tour de force for Brie, showing her devotion to the performance in every way. Continue reading Review: Horsegirl
“I can’t stand romantic comedies.” We’ve all met someone like this. Whether or not this is a genre that you like, love, or simply feel abhorrently about, I believe that there are some classics that are embedded in the history of film that can’t be discredited. Ones that warm even the coldest or most cynical of us.
Since I think that these lie within the very fabric of what makes movies like this so comforting, these are five I’d suggest for anyone. However, we all have our own tastes and sentimental trappings when it comes to ”feel good” cinema, or “cry your eyes out” romance. Find your own, but if you need help, check these out. Continue reading Five Romantic Comedies That Are Hard Not to Love