There is a timeless quality to "Martin Eden," a film shot and produced in modern times but with a look and feel as if it might have been made several decades ago. The young actor at its center, Luca Marinelli, gives an amazing, lived-in performance that deserves all the praise it's been getting...its no wonder that Marinelli won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, and that his name might be one that Americans will need to learn come Oscar season.
Earning the acclaim of being the very first movies shot in LA during the pandemic, "Songbird" already feels like a fossil of a film. This muddled, mess of a horror-thriller seems to be cashing in on COVID-19, as surely its big draw is its apparent "relevance" to the moment.
There may not be a more irrelevant film this year.
Aye, aye, aye. From John Patrick Shanley - the man who wrote "Moonstruck" and directed films like "Doubt" and "Joe Versus the Volcano" - wait until you get a whiff of "Wild Mountain Thyme," a movie so bad that I could easily see it becoming a cult-classic for all the wrong reasons.
One of the greatest things about film is the ability to learn and grow through the experiences of others not like yourself...stories told by people or points of view that you might not have otherwise experienced. In the mainstream, for example, we have rarely seen REAL stories about LGBTQ love and family life, let alone in a Christmas movie. Several minorities and groups - like the LGBTQ community - haven't had fair representation on film, to put things mildly.
With "Happiest Season," we get a bona fide lesbian Christmas comedy, one that is really funny, super-relatable to all and also full of heart. Maybe one future Christmas years from now, "Happiest Season" will be known as one of the better Christmas movies period, and not just that it's an LGBTQ Christmas movie.
Two remarkable performances make "Ammonite" worth discovering, but this film crumbles under its own weight.
Not technically a re-make of Alfred Hitchcock's first American film in 1940, "Rebecca" is based on the same 1938 Gothic novel by Dame Daphne du Maurier. Fans of the Hitchcock movie will quickly realize that A) Director Ben Wheatley is no Alfred Hitchcock, B) Lily James is good, but is no Joan Fontaine, and C) Armie Hammer is definitely no Laurence Olivier.
So if you're familiar with the film, it will fall short as an unworthy copy of the movie you know...and for everyone else who just learned a paragraph ago about Hitchcock's version, this "Rebecca" won't register as more than an empty drama.
"The Broken Hearts Gallery" is sticking to its guns and will be hitting theaters - not streaming - when it is released on September 11th. Because of that, this Selena Gomez-produced romantic-comedy is really one of the first comedic films aimed at this audience to hit the big-screen all year...and despite thinking that it was a contrived, mostly unfunny mess of a movie...I have a feeling that the target-aged audience might strongly disagree with my assessment.
Wait...haven't we seen this before? It's deja vu all over again in "Palm Springs," but that's sort of the point in this bizarre-yet-compelling "Groundhog's Day"-style rom-com.
It's another light drama set in the world of music, but "The High Note" doesn't do much to add to a genre that has been totally played out.
France's entry into this year's Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film, "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" burns with desire, sparked by two stunningly raw performances.
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