Film Reviews

Below are reviews of films that strike me as noteworthy or engaging, either in their subject matter or the technical execution. I tend to seek films that are being shown at festivals or other special screenings, since I feel these titles are easily lost in the stream of new releases.

This is an ongoing series, born purely out of my interest in film and my desire to talk about them.

My Friend Dahmer: AN EARNEST, UNEASY ORIGIN STORY OF AN
AMERICAN NIGHTMARE

My Friend Dahmer paints a sympathetic portrait of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, but doesn’t shy away from the macabre. It's an engrossing examination of Jeffrey Dahmer’s early life and the years leading up to his first murder.

Beach Rats: ROUGH AND RAW COMING-OF-AGE TALE HIGHLIGHTS QUEER SEXUALITY IN LIMBO

Set in south Brooklyn, Beach Rats centers on a young man who spends his days roaming the beaches with friends, and spends nights scouring online gay chat rooms and meeting men for anonymous sex. Featuring stellar debut performances, Beach Rats is a timely story about connection and sexuality in the digital age.

20th Century Women: LIFE IMITATES LIFE IN THIS SENTIMENTAL, VIBRANT REFLECTION ON 1970S CALIFORNIA

Mike Mills' fourth feature boasts a chorus of characters navigating the murky world of 1979, from feminism to first love. 20th Century Women is an enthusiastic salute to life, death, fulfillment, and the important distinctions between punk bands.

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Jackie: A Bold, Barefaced Retelling Of the Great American Fairytale

Pablo Larrain's Jackie is an intensely delicate look inside one of the most unforgettable moments in American history. A beautiful blend of fact and suspicion, it depicts a life that is both highly recognizable and wholly unknowable, with Portman delivering one of her most breathtaking performances to date.

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Deux jours, une nuit: COTILLARD SHINES IN WEARY, WONDERFUL UNEMPLOYMENT CATCH-22

The Dardennes' weave another poignant tale of blue-collar trials and tribulations in Deux jours, une nuit, featuring an impeccable performance by Marion Cotillard as a woman struggling to win her job back at the risk of jeopardizing her coworkers' income. Blunt and brutal, Deux jours, une nuit is a breathless testament to patience and perseverance.