Tag: Drama

2017, Movies

Gifted (2017, Marc Webb)

This is a film about one of those precocious child geniuses that only exist in Hollywood movies (and independent movies that wish they were Hollywood movies – I’m looking at your Good Will Hunting) and how such geniuses should be nurtured. In real life, nobody is quite as smart (or quite as high functioning if they …

2005, Movies

Brokeback Mountain (2005, Ang Lee)

I think it’s probably hard to discuss Brokeback Mountain without talking about the hype: this film is considered by many to be a landmark either in Hollywood with regard to LGBTQ topics, or in LGBTQ cinema in general. Now, I don’t know much about the history of LGBTQ cinema – just what I got from a …

2013, Movies

Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)

This is one of those super talky, high concept science fiction films which feels like it was written for the stage. (Many of these have been written for the stage, but this one apparently was not.) There are a lot of these by this point and it’s sort of become its own sub genre. I’m …

2008, Movies

Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn)

There are probably two types of people: people who think Winding Refn is a genius and people who think he is ponderous, boring and way too interested in style over substance. You can count me among the latter. Despite all the praise over Valhalla Rising and Drive, I found both movies to be flawed. I …

2009, Movies

The Boys Are Back (2009, Scott Hicks)

For much of its run, this feels like a much more authentic version of the ‘widowed single-parent struggling to raise children’ sub-genre. It has a location and a concept that are not typical of the genre and the whole thing feels more naturalistic (despite talking to dead people). However… (spoilers, if this type of film …

2013, Movies

Charlie’s Country (2013, Rolf de Heer)

This is an affecting portrait of what life is like for an Aboriginal elder living life on a reserve in the Norther Territory. It is extremely well done and it makes me think that we need its equivalent in Canada. (Excuse my ignorance: if such a movie does exist, please do let me know and …

2006, Movies

Bonneville (2006, Christopher N. Rowley)

This film is absolutely not for me but I’m glad that such movies exist. This film takes the evil step mother of so many Hollywood films and imagines the loss of the father from her perspective instead, and it feels like that’s been a long time coming. Combine that with a road movie and you …

2014, Movies

Calvary (2014, John Michael McDonagh)

This is a strange film about the priesthood in Ireland, which starts with an extremely (basically ridiculous) high concept plot, spends most of its time in dark (very dark) comedy and then veers into deep pathos. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and does well.

2008, Movies

Body of Lies (2008 Ridley Scott)

I have no idea whether or not this film is accurate as to the day to day actions of CIA operatives in the Middle East – I doubt it, but it is a fictional film – but, for much of its run, it is an effective political thriller with a strong sense of place and …

2012, Movies

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012, Felix van Groeningen)

This is a well-meaning, and well-acted film ostensibly about the breakdown of a relationship but equally about the clash of science and faith in the 21st century. It is, in my opinion, too ambitious, as well as too arty, for its own good. There’s plenty of good stuff, but the whole is less than the …

2013, Movies

Broken (2013, Bright Wonder Obasi)

Had I not seen other Nollywood movies, I might have been shocked by how awful this film’s production values are. But having seen a number of Nollywood movies now, I know that this is actually above average when it comes to those production values. It’s only the sound that’s really, really awful (and only at …

2010, Movies

Blue Valentine (2010, Derek Cianfrance)

This is a devastating portrait of a relationship that rings true with both the excitement of love and the heartbreak of the end of a relationship. It’s a remarkable achievement even if Cianfrance didn’t get to do what he wanted to, which is to film the two time periods years apart, kind of like a …