Mental Health Awareness Month: “Garden State” Review

“Garden State” (2004) is a mixed bag for a number of reasons. But some aspects of its depiction of mental health are very well portrayed, especially for its time.

Andrew (Zach Braff) returns to his home town to attend his mother’s funeral. He’s depressed with a lot of baggage, and is now dealing with grief as best he can in his highly medicated state. While there he meets Sam (Natalie Portman) who encourages him to see life differently. Over the course of a few days, Andrew works on closing a painful chapter in his life and reopening a new and more hopeful one. Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month: “Garden State” Review

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 2: Natalie Portman

To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 2 is Natalie Portman, and writer Michael Frank discusses his favourite performances by Portman over the last decade. Continue reading Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 2: Natalie Portman

Rey: The Force Will Be With You Always

2015. It had been 10 years since the Star Wars saga had wrapped up with 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith”. There I was standing in a massive line around noon waiting to get into a 7 pm showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The first outing post-Disney buy out. No one quite knew what to expect. Reviews hadn’t gone live, advance screenings started at 3pm, the script had been kept tightly under wraps, it was all up in the air.

The marketing at this point had all eyes on Finn as the supposed new Jedi of this trilogy, with Rey as the leia type character. Portrayed by Daisy Ridley, nothing was known about this character, other than she was a scavenger who played into the story somehow. Little did we know she would actually be the main character of this new trilogy. So it took everyone by surprise when at the end it was her wielding the lightsaber in the climactic battle against Kylo Ren play by Adam Driver. Continue reading Rey: The Force Will Be With You Always

Review: Lucy In the Sky

That’s what you’ll find in Noah Hawley’s new film “Lucy in the Sky” (2019), complete with a Beatles-inspired name and a star-studded cast. The film is loosely based on the life of naval flight officer and astronaut Lisa Nowak, renamed Lucy Cola for the screen. Nowak was at the center of an attempted murder scandal in 2007. “Lucy in the Sky” tells the story of how she got to that point; starting with her mission on the Discovery space shuttle. Continue reading Review: Lucy In the Sky

Review: This Changes Everything

The documentary “This Changes Everything” carries irony in its title and fire in its heart. Part history lesson, part call to action, the film packs enough statistics and anecdotes from top names in the industry about gender inequality in Hollywood to prove eye-opening, even to those who support women in film and television. Continue reading Review: This Changes Everything