“The Spectacular Now,” based on the novel by Tim Tharp, does us the unusual favor of depicting teenage relationships without any romanticism or moral agendas. It’s a little surprising that it was adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, writers of “(500) Days of Summer,” because that film definitely exaggerated its core romantic relationship, […]
Category: "Independent Drama"
Tales of 20-somethings in New York City epitomize the independent film scene, as does the star and co-writer of “Frances Ha,” Greta Gerwig, the indisputable indie queen. Together with writer and director Noah Baumbach, “Frances” is practically the comfort food of independent film, a genre label usually reserved for something edgy and different. However, despite […]
“Hyde Park on Hudson” might forever be known as that other film in 2012 featuring a U.S. president — if anyone remembers it at all. Both films are entirely different portrayals, namely in the scope of both the stories they tell and the span of time in which they take place, but only one of […]
William Friedkin is a name you know, but not one you hear much about these days. The “French Connection” and “The Exorcist” director hasn’t delivered anything of that quality since those days in the ’70s, but he shows he’s still a skilled and relevant filmmaker with his film version of the Tracy Letts play “Killer […]
Disabled people having sex isn’t a topic so much tiptoed around as completely ignored by — well, pretty much everyone. So at the very least, Ben Lewin’s “The Sessions” has to be applauded for shattering taboos. With an outstanding performance from John Hawkes and a script that takes a brazen (i.e. open) approach to sex, […]
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” will be a relevant book for a long time, and consequently there’s nothing dated about Stephen Chbosky’s unique coming-of-age story now that it has finally hit the big screen so many years later. Anchored by strong performances from its leads and a powerful sense of poignancy, “Wallflower” is a […]
It’s hard — impossible really — to understand why a person would commit an atrocity like a mass killing. We understand loneliness, anger, desperation — but what pushes someone that far over the edge? So often we chalk it up to mental illness, often to avoid the discomfort of attempting to fathom that kind of […]
This is a clip of a review first published on We Got This Covered. Who knew that social issues such as poverty and flooding could be explored in film with such — magic. Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” gives a folk tale quality to what is essentially post-Katrina New Orleans.
After vampires, movie studios these days love the apocalypse (or at least an alien invasion that could bring it about), so it was a matter of time before we started to get different riffs on Armageddon. “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” brings doomsday into romantic comedy territory and the resulting story […]
Sex addiction has yet to get a serious film treatment until “Shame,” the sophomore feature from filmmaker Steve McQueen. Generally we feel inclined to put a comic spin on anything that taboo (see the adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s sex-addiction novel “Choke”), but here we see how it ruins lives and relationships.
So often the most powerful card in a brooding character study ends up the one never played. The mystery lying behind the on-screen display of social perversion, which in the case of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” comes as a manipulative cult, can drive intense interest just through sheer curiosity as to what possible force in […]
Terrence Malick can’t count himself among the most popular directors working today, but he can certainly count himself among the most respected. His work tends to follow suit, and “The Tree of Life” is no exception. This meditation on life, death, God and the origin of the universe can be described as nothing short of […]
We are most often drawn to two types of great performances: the believable expression of extreme emotions in powerful circumstances and the impersonation. When an actor playing a person for which we have a point of reference convinces our imaginations so completely that this is in fact what the real-life figure was like, we are […]
Actor-turned-director Thomas McCarthy came off as a natural in his first two features as a director: 2003’s “The Station Agent” and 2007’s “The Visitor.” That put a fat old earmark on latest effort “Win Win.” All three films demonstrate an understanding of human motivation and how more often than not, things do not turn out […]
When Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody struck gold with “Juno” in 2007, they did so with a rare combination of contemporary wit, quirkiness and heart. Their four-year reunion in “Young Adult” won’t be nearly as heralded, but it might arguably be a better film.