“Saint Frances” is a smart, funny, touching and stigma-busting comedy which shows that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Written by Kelly O’Sullivan (who also plays the lead), it’s unafraid to be bold but it’s also tender and has something important to say. Continue reading Review: “Saint Frances” #EdFilmFestAtHome
Following her groundbreaking comedy special “Nanette” (2018), Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a household name. Praised for her honesty and blend of drama and comedy, Gadsby garnered a lot of attention with “Nanette,” leaving audiences eagerly awaiting her next special. Her second Netflix special, “Douglas” (2020), named for her beloved dog, does not disappoint. Continue reading Review: Hannah Gadsby’s “Douglas” Comedy Special
Lynn Shelton was an exceptional filmmaker. Like many, I was devastated to learn about her sudden passing. Shelton was 54.
I remember watching her work for the first time. I saw “Your Sister’s Sister” (2011) at home, after renting it from Netflix. I wanted to see Emily Blunt’s latest film and I didn’t know much about it. Shelton brought to life an intimate story about three people struggling to find themselves, redefine themselves and their circumstances. It wasn’t a flashy or showy film. Yet, I was struck with every element of the film.
So, when her film “Touchy Feely” (2013) came out, I sought it out. The film stars Rosemarie DeWitt as a massage therapist who suddenly has an aversion to touch. It has to be one of the most intriguing plots I’ve ever seen on film, especially in an independent film. It was inventive and simply human. Continue reading Thank You, Lynn
Year: 2014 Runtime: 84 Minutes Director: Gillian Robespierre Writer: Gillian Robespierre (screenplay by), Karen Maine (story) Stars: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann By Morgan Roberts Is there such a thing as a perfect film? No. But there are many films that come close. Gillian Robespierre’s feature film debut, “Obvious Child” (2014), is one of those films. With a runtime of 84 minutes, Robespierre ensures … Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Obvious Child”
Before “Fleabag” was a television show, it was a one-woman stage play. Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones, the stage play gives us the first moments of Fleabag and her messy life and family.
Filmed by Tony Grech-Smith, the recorded live performance immerses you in Waller-Bridge’s story and characters. Some characters are merely pre-recorded voices. The feminist lecturer and the bank manager are ominious voices played overhead. Meanwhile, all the other characters brought to life by various actors in the show are portrayed by Waller-Bridge herself. Continue reading Review: “National Theatre Live: Fleabag”
This is a love story.
“Fleabag,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s award-winning series, is a masterpiece. I do not say that lightly. But it is true.
Fleabag (Waller-Bridge) is a quirky, sometimes crude woman attempting to live her life. Season 1 introduces us to her life, her family, her friends. She is a mess. Her life is a mess, Her mother has passed and now her father (Bill Paterson) is dating her Godmother (Olivia Colman). She has a strenuous relationship with her sister, Claire (Sian Clifford). And her best friend Boo (Jenny Rainsford) has died. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Fleabag”
“Buffaloed” (2020) is a tricky beast to categorize. It’s a dark comedy with some truly stark social commentary about debt in America and socioeconomics. Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) is a hustler. She always has some form of income stream to try to get her way out of poverty in Buffalo, NY. After her father’s death, her family are plagued by debt-collection calls. Her mother (Judy Greer) is resigned to this way of life, but Peg is not.
Peg is crass, determined, smart, cunning. She will rope her brother (Noah Reid) into her endeavours. But it is her hustle that gets her time behind bars. Once out of the clinker, Peg runs into the same issues as most re-entering: employment. Peg finds herself in debt thanks to legal fees and the scam she ran. She finds herself being called by a collector and smooth talks her way into becoming a debt collector herself for a local professional hustler, Wizz (Jai Courtney). Continue reading Review: Buffaloed
Earlier this year, “Miss Americana” (2020) was released on Netflix. The documentary delves into Taylor Swift’s status as “America’s sweetheart” and the pressures it puts on her. What it also shows is how this perception of her sometimes masks what a brilliant businesswoman she is and how she’s built her own empire from the ground up. But Swift isn’t the first curly-haired blonde to be called “America’s sweetheart” and whose impressive business acumen is often overlooked.
Mary Pickford might be best known as the original ingénue and the “girl with the curls,” but she was also a founder of the United Artists film studio and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was one of the most powerful figures in the early days of Hollywood and achieved so much in her eighty-seven years. Not only beautiful and talented, she learned to negotiate pay raises for herself to reflect her wild popularity and became a producer of both her own and other films. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Mary Pickford
For the last thirty or so years, stand-up comedy has been a massive part of popular culture in the West. On both sides of the Atlantic, comedians transcended their circuits’ clubs and stages and moved into screens both big and small, become household names on a par with the most successful movie stars and television personalities. In all that time though, the biggest names and faces in comedy were rarely women, and even fewer were women of colour; the latter being very much the case to this day, even when female comedians are beginning to get a bigger share of the stage.
Enter “All Joking Aside”, the directorial feature debut of Shannon Kohli, which tells the story of Charlene “Charlie” Murray (Raylene Harewood), a young woman with the ambition to become a professional stand-up comedian, a dream she shares with her late father. Continue reading Review: All Joking Aside
There are many forgotten faces in Hollywood who once captivated audiences. Few were more groundbreaking than Mabel Normand who starred, directed and produced silent films when the medium was still experimenting with what it could do. So much of what she and her professional, sometime private, partner Mack Sennett accomplished has now become standard, even cliché in film comedy. That she did so much in so few years is as dizzying as the breakneck chase scenes they would become recognized for in one of their more successful film series. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Marvelous Mabel Normand