Film Festival

ShowbuzzDaily Sundance Review: “Juliet, Naked”

Posted January 19, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  JULIET, NAKED (no distrib):  Every Sundance has a title or two that isn’t particularly “indie,” other than by the fact that its stars aren’t hugely bankable.  These aren’t the films that set critical hearts aflutter, but they can be worthwhile all the same.  That’s the case with the likable Juliet, Naked, which continues Nick […]

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Film Festival

ShowbuzzDaily Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Blindspotting” & “Monsters and Men”

Posted January 19, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  BLINDSPOTTING (no distrib):  At Sundance, often one doesn’t seek perfection so much as promise, and there’s plenty of the latter in Blindspotting, written by its stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.  They have a lot on their minds, from the gentrification of Oakland to police shootings of unarmed black men to the dynamics of […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Darkest Hour” & “Mudbound”

Posted September 14, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal – Nov. 22):  A shameless piece of rabble-rousing Hollywood biography, directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten, and served hot on a platter to Oscar voters.  The subject is Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), and the terrain is the first few weeks of his tenure as Prime Minister, doubted by […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women” & “In the Fade”

Posted September 13, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN (Annapurna – Oct. 13):  In the hothouse of a film festival, movies that are unrelated inevitably begin to collide with each other in the viewer’s mind.  So it’s difficult, in a festival that’s given us the extraordinary Disobedience, to give similar weight to Angela Robinson’s much frothier and thinner […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Breathe” & “3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Posted September 12, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  BREATHE (Bleecker Street – Oct 13):  BREATHE wasn’t the favored Triumph of the Human Spirit drama at Toronto this year; that title went to Stronger, with Jake Gyllanhaal as a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Not having seen Stronger, I can’t compare the two, but Breathe has plenty in it to please audiences […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Downsizing” & “The Shape of Water”

Posted September 12, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  DOWNSIZING (Paramount – Dec 22):  Alexander Payne’s latest film (written with his usual partner Jim Taylor) is a delight–and a bit of a mess.  On its face, Downsizing is a leap out of Payne and Taylor’s comfort zones, renowned as they are for small-scale character studies and social satires like Election, The Descendants, Sideways […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “mother!” & “Unicorn Store”

Posted September 11, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  mother! (Paramount – Sept 15):  It may come as a shock to people who have been following the marketing for Darren Aronofsky’s mother! to find out that it isn’t a horror movie at all.  It uses thriller grammar from time to time, and in the early going you might think you’re going to see […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Disobedience” & “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Posted September 11, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  DISOBEDIENCE (no distrib):  Sebastian Lelio’s adaptation (with Rebecca Landiewicz) of Naomi Alderman’s novel is one of the surprises of the festival.  It would be perfectly reasonable for the idea of Rachel McAdams as a Chassidic woman to bring back memories of Melanie Griffith in the camp classic A Stranger Among Us (and at least […]

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