Even though one mistake can change us forever, there is always a new day to heal, “Waves” tells us. That is an extraordinary miracle worth celebrating. And, in its own small ways, “Waves” feels pretty miraculous too.
“Just Mercy” reminds us of the inherent worth of all human beings and that we are all more than our worst misdeed. It pleads for justice but also for mercy and unmerited grace. And if you’re going to pour the moralizing on a little thick, that seems like a pretty good lesson to double down on.
You’d be advised to cancel your reservation with “The Night Clerk” or at least check out early. God knows everybody involved did.
If you’re going to make a “Chinatown”-aping film noir in 2019, these are the folks to make it with. They devour the dialogue like they haven’t eaten in weeks.
Even without a beating human heart, there is still some joy in the mechanics. And if Annan isn’t rewriting the prison break genre, “Pretoria” proves that he doesn’t really need to.
“Abe” is as light and wispy as a good souffle, but just as delicious, and it manages to be surprisingly nourishing for the soul as well. It’s the sort of recipe that I wish more family filmmakers would follow.
The whole enterprise is frustratingly shoddy, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that “The Islands” exists less as art or a compelling self-contained story than a feeble half-hearted evangelism attempt. But it’s equally hard to believe that anybody could find themselves moved by a story so poorly told.
It is not a revolution in faith-based filmmaking by any means, but it is certainly an evolution – both for the industry and the Erwin brothers themselves.
Just keep your expectations as low as when you first saw that original now-jettisoned design of the hedgehog, and you’ll be just fine.
If the others interviewed fall into the too-easy documentary trap of endless praise for their subject, that seems warranted for once. It is impossible to come away from “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” without an appreciation for what the author has done for the English language and those marginalized in American society – accomplishments that are unquestionably worth celebrating.
When the National Center for Sexual Exploitation calls out your film as being “harmful to women and to society at large,” that shows that something about your female empowerment messaging may have gotten lost in translation.
There’s some truth in the old joke that a good actor can read the phone book and still find meaning in it. Thankfully, Stewart is one of our best living actors, and the script for “Coda” is at least a couple notches above the yellow pages.
You can’t blame director/star/writer John Tuturro for wanting some of that “Lebowski” money again, but you’d think he could at least give us a plot. Or a joke. Or emotion. Or something. Anything.
“Wendy” is idiosyncratic, messy and, best of all, incredibly human. Not everyone will love it – most won’t, I imagine- but I don’t think anyone will argue that it isn’t a distinctively original piece derived from a filmmaker’s singular vision. And, in a blockbuster culture where every film looks and feels the same, that kind of singularity feels like a minor miracle.
If the sum is less than its parts, many of those parts are indisputably great. An actor or two give what may be the best performances of their careers, and there are moments of great emotion and power. “Pain and Glory” is not a gripping film, but it is also not without its own small glories.
It never talks down to children and never assumes that a good story well told needs to be embellished upon to get their attention.