Film Review: The Mission (1986)

In attempting to sum up a film like 1986's religious epic The Mission, one word comes to mind: schism. Beautiful and ugly, complex and glaringly simplistic, The Mission is a big, powerful and, at times, amazing film. It is also, however, a film at war with itself, never gelling into a fully-realized masterwork. Perhaps it's…Read more Film Review: The Mission (1986)

Film Review: Ida (2014)

With its startling use of black and white and meticulous compositions, one can understand how Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida has distinguished itself and been tipped as Poland's Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Film. Underneath this veneer, however, is where the film's treasures truly exist. Focusing on a repressed, tight-lipped nun (who is on the verge of…Read more Film Review: Ida (2014)

Film Review: Ernest and Celestine (2013)

The Oscar nominated French animated film, Ernest and Celestine, gets major points for sweetness. This delicate, uniquely drawn work is endearing, yet its effect quickly dissipates. Functioning as a rather tired paean for tolerance, the story feels thinly sketched and unsubstantial, with critical components of the film’s world possessing an arbitrary quality. Additionally, the English…Read more Film Review: Ernest and Celestine (2013)

Film Review: The Human Resources Manager (2010)

Road movies are a tricky business. There are few things in life that are quite as invigorating as uprooting yourself from the banal circumstances of “everyday” life and heading out to unexplored territory. Unfortunately, the process of converting this experience to a cinematic format is rarely successful. The Human Resources Manager is no exception to this trend,…Read more Film Review: The Human Resources Manager (2010)

Really That Bad? – Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio

In cinematic history there are very few films that were more destructive to a career than Heaven’s Gate was to Michael Cimino. While perhaps not entirely on that epic level of failure, Roberto Benigni (remember him?) experienced a similarly dramatic fall from grace after the release of his adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s prolific tale of…Read more Really That Bad? – Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio