As long as Rocketman is charting the jet-propelled rise of Elton John in the early 1970s, it is an absolute gas. As soon as it plunges into the burnout years — addictions, betrayals, diva fits — it plays like every other rags-to-rock-to-riches saga you’ve ever seen. Especially “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Booksmart registers as an instant classic that doesn’t reinvent the genre so much as refurbish it from within, and it matters very much that the writers, director, and stars are all women. Also that they’re having a hell of a good time.
All is True is expertly acted and handsomely filmed but suffers from an excess of sentimentality, a rash of revelations, and a surfeit of subtext, with characters blurting out the hidden motives for their behavior instead of simply behaving them. I imagine Shakespeare himself might be simultaneously tickled and appalled.
Here’s the thing about Disney’s “live-action” remakes of its animated classics: The new versions may be bigger, louder, and more lavish, but they’ll never be original. The thrill of first impact is gone.
The Souvenir demands to be seen. Hogg is a major filmmaker pointing herself in new directions -- the past and future simultaneously – and hashing out the places where memory tells the truth and where it only offers more romanticism, more lies.
Parts of the film aren’t pretty because people don’t always act in pretty ways, and the speculation that such an event might create its own hermetically sealed reality, one increasingly distorted to our eyes, is intriguing, if not especially deep. It all plays out like a “Big Brother” reality show with 5,000 participants and no Big Brother.
Without stooping to the uselessness of style, Working Woman makes its points simply by staying with Orna as she proceeds through stages of shock, humiliation, self-loathing, self-censorship, all emotions her husband finds difficult to understand and which the Bennys of the world rely on.
Very like a gummy bear, Teen Spirit gives you a nice little sugar rush until the lights come up and you realize you’re still hungry. Part of the problem is the script, which includes lines of dialogue so generic it’s as if Minghella is daring himself to squeeze a drop more juice out of them.
Under DaCosta’s sure, steady direction, Little Woods belongs with movies like “Frozen River” (2008), “Winter’s Bone” (2010), “Wind River” (2017), and last year’s “Leave No Trace” — dramas about overlooked communities that ache with empathetic detail. The movie steers clear of polemics, though, and puts its faith in its characters, specifically the exhausted, unbreakable bond of sisterhood that unites these siblings.
The echoes of Chekhov are earned, the strains of Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor don’t feel at all out of place. The final sequence leaves Sinan and the audience at a crossroads between giving up and carrying on, as absurd as the latter is and always will be. That choice haunts everyone: The hero, his creator, and all of us watching in the dark.