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: Birdman (2014)

Is Birdman the best film of the year? Well, that is always a tricky question. In a certain sense one would have to say yes; it's hard to imagine another film coming out that will be its equal in energy or aesthetic bravado. From its masterfully executed cinematography, to the cache of brilliantly delivered performances,…Read more Film Review: Birdman (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: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Almost nine years have come and gone since that fateful Oscar night, when a craggy, faded movie star named Jack Nicholson cracked open one of those inimitable envelopes and fell back, shocked, gasping with disbelief that a movie nobody really liked had won the biggest prize in movies. “CRASH!” the man gasped, much to the jubilation of…Read more Film Review: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Alright, Alright, Alright: Matthew McConaughey and the Inescapable Fusion of Player and Part

After a lost decade of rom-coms Matthew McConaughey roared back to life with a trio of indies in 2012. In each film he created lively even somewhat audacious performances. While all of these characters were embraced with  acclaim – particularly his turn as the chiseled strip-club owner Dallas from Magic Mike – dissenters began to rear their ugly…Read more Alright, Alright, Alright: Matthew McConaughey and the Inescapable Fusion of Player and Part