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'Mr. Turner' Creates impressive impressionism

"Mr. Turner" is beautiful -- no doubt about it. Against that beauty, director Mike Leigh fashions a biograp...

'Paddington' bears watching, over and over

See, there's this bear, and he lives with his aunt and uncle in darkest Peru, but he loves London, where this Per...

2012 Film Challenge Awards Announced

Judges have spoken and the results are in! Announcing the winners of the 2012 National Film Challenge.

Doc Challenge returns in 2013

International Documentary Challenge is back for another year of fast filmmaking in 2013, February 28-March 4, 2013.

Not enough good can be said about "Enough Said." It is, in many ways, a perfect romantic comedy, well written, expertly directed and edited, finely cast and admirably played by the actors in the ensemble.

Published in Film Reviews

For years, French films have carved out a niche in presenting very personal stories about the ups and downs of intimate relationships. "Populaire" falls into that category with the added quirk of central character, secretary Rose Pamphyle, training for the 1959 high-speed international typing competition. The romance with her boss Louis Échard is as thoroughly old-fashioned as the manual typewriters.

Published in Film Reviews

Director Joe Swanberg's "Drinking Buddies" hinges its story on Kate. She works at a Chicago microbrewery, hangs out with her fellow male workers and settles in comfortably off hours with her boyfriend. She's attractive and personable but also needy and dependent. As she ricochets from one relationship to grasp at another, Kate reveals a touching, suppressed vulnerability.

Published in Film Reviews

"Prisoners" is a challenging film with so many twists and turns that director Denis Villeneuve told the audience at the Telluride Film Festival, where "Prisoners" premiered, that no one should leave for the film's two and a half hours or they'd risk missing crucial details. He wasn't kidding, and no, I won't give anything away here.

Published in Film Reviews

At a critical juncture in "Thanks for Sharing," the central character Adam asserts, "Cancer gets you sympathy. My addiction gets you judgment." He refers to his sex addiction, a subject seriously and intelligently explored in its multifaceted, complex expression. Adam has earned his five-year sobriety award, Neil can't make it one day, and Mike proudly sponsors others.

Published in Film Reviews

After a summer of good movies about boys, the autumn offers a fine film about girls and women. "Short Term 12" is a serious movie, blessedly unsentimental and not fodder for an "Afternoon Special" on television. 

Published in Film Reviews

Nine years in the making, Shane Salerno's documentary "Salinger" tackles that resolutely reclusive, famous writer. Roughly chronological in its exploration of J.D.'s life, "Salinger" uses archival photographs, repeating a couple from WWII, plus the few photos captured by stalkers before Salinger's 2010 death. To this, it adds interviews with two significant women in his life, testimonials, and hokey reenactments.

Published in Film Reviews

Firm in the conviction that "No revenge, no anger, no hate will move us forward," Israeli mother Robi Damelin anchors the documentary "One Day after Peace." Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Robi lived in Israeli in March 2002 when a lone Palestinian sniper killed ten Israelis, seven soldiers, among them her son David.

Published in Film Reviews

Maybe, somewhere back in the early phases of Shannon Hale's writing, "Austenland" had the promise of tweaking all those readers crazy for the days of Jane Austen. They were lazy days without television but larded with gossip and morals, of pride and prejudice, sense and sensibility.

Published in Film Reviews

A delightful trip down memory lane, "In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey" loosely chronicles Fahey's career, with the added joy of listening to his music. The Who's Pete Townshend begins with a definitive observation, saying Fahey "created a new language, modally speaking, harmonically speaking, and if that's not an iconoclast, I don't know what is."

Published in Film Reviews

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