Sundance 2022 Review: “Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Year: 2022 Runtime: 107 minutes Director/Writer: Cooper Raiff Stars: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett, Raul Castillo By Morgan Roberts “Cha Cha Real Smooth”(2022) is one of those films that gives you a light but warm hug when you need it most. With this film, Cooper Raiff does it all as writer, director, and star of the film.  In … Continue reading Sundance 2022 Review: “Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Review: The Lost Daughter

Year: 2021 Runtime: 124 minutes Writer/Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal Actors: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal By Nicole Ackman A fair number of actors make the jump to the director’s chair and there are certainly skills they have that contribute to being a talented director, not the least of which is a strong understanding of how to work with actors. … Continue reading Review: The Lost Daughter

Review: The High Note

“The High Note” is a film that just bursts onto the screen with the explosive firepower of an atomic bomb. This is a film I can confidently say I am absolutely in love with; a film that I am grateful for because of the mere fact of its existence; a film that both took me by surprise and shifted my thoughts and feelings away from the disdainful situation the world is in. A film so comfy, but significant nonetheless–one that feeds the starved appetite of the tired, worn out soul. Continue reading Review: The High Note

ITOL 2019 Round-Up: The Peanut Butter Falcon

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” is one of my top films of all time. I managed to see it twice in the cinema and can’t wait to get the DVD so I can savour it over again. It’s an adventurous escape and a lesson in the power of loving broken people – as well as yourself.

Structurally it’s a straight forward story with two central characters and two antagonists, all with very clear goals. A) Get to the wrestling school and escape life, B) Catch the protagonists. Continue reading ITOL 2019 Round-Up: The Peanut Butter Falcon

Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

Most people have a book that they absolutely loved growing up. While other girls were reading Little Women or the Babysitters Club I was re-reading Huckleberry Finn. I read it so many times it got creased and dogeared. I don’t remember much of the plot now and certainly wouldn’t have been aware of the deeper themes at the time. But I do remember losing myself in those hot lazy adventures, wishing I was rolling down river instead of in my bedroom in Yorkshire.

When I heard that “The Peanut Butter Falcon” was being billed as a Huck Finn style adventure I just had to see it. Continue reading Review: The Peanut Butter Falcon

ITOL’s Top 10 Female Focused Horror Films

What does “Suspiria”, “Carrie”, “The Witch” and “The Hunger” have in common? Well, these horror films are not only directed by a male director and are terrifying to watch, but they also pass the Bechdel Test. If you have managed to make it through our 31 Days of Horror countdown and you’re still looking to be well and truly creeped out, then ITOL recommends these horror films which see women at the centre of their plot. The films included on this list aren’t necessarily directed by a female filmmaker, but they are unique because they all pass the Bechdel Test.

The films below all meet the criteria set out by the test: (1) it [the film] has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. So, without any further ado, here are some must-see horror films this Halloween. Enjoy! Continue reading ITOL’s Top 10 Female Focused Horror Films

“Wounds” Analysis: Attempting to Find Meaning in Filth

“Wounds” is Babak Anvari’s latest film–he is a British-Iranian filmmaker best known for his directorial debut in 2017 with the brilliant “Under the Shadow”. Here, he takes the same cultural critique approach of that film and uses that framework to critique millennials. “Wounds” is based on Nathan Ballingrud’s novella, “The Visible Filth”–which I haven’t read, but if the conclusions this film draws are similar to those of the source material, then by god, I want it on my kindle NOW. Continue reading “Wounds” Analysis: Attempting to Find Meaning in Filth