Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) – dir. Céline Sciamma

“Do all lovers feel like they’re inventing something?” If Portrait of a Lady on Fire were to have any quote linger, maybe to the point of parody, one would be hard-pressed to find a sentiment as instantaneous as the one above. Take a look at Letterboxd right now; several user reviews bring up that line. But I'd … Continue reading Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) – dir. Céline Sciamma

Margaret (2011) – dir. Kenneth Lonergan

(Note: "Extended Edition" watched for review.) When I include a prefacing paragraph in a film piece, I do so in an attempt to connect with whatever I'm reviewing. That's fairly self-evident, but I like to remind myself and others about the joy of art and criticism, which is that we each bring our own lives … Continue reading Margaret (2011) – dir. Kenneth Lonergan

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – dir. Hayao Miyazaki

There's this one truism about adulthood that I regularly struggle with, and that's the notion that everyone, on some level, is "faking it 'til they make it." Intellectually, I get this. No one has all the answers, and most people are making the best decisions they can, while hoping against hope that they don't ruin … Continue reading Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – dir. Hayao Miyazaki

The Insider (1999) – dir. Michael Mann

As The Insider comes to an end, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) confesses to his longtime colleague and friend, the venerable Mike Wallace (Christopher Plummer), 'What got broken here doesn't go back together." And this is probably the ethos for most Michael Mann films. Where most stories try to find a new status quo, or return to the … Continue reading The Insider (1999) – dir. Michael Mann

Legally Blonde (2001) – dir. Robert Luketic

I have a difficult time discussing women's issues. Oh sure, I like to think I have a grasp on what good female representation looks like in media. And disseminating my thoughts on characterization or portrayals of women is often much simpler, especially when I'm typing out into this here void of endless content. But even … Continue reading Legally Blonde (2001) – dir. Robert Luketic

Chasing Amy (1997) – dir. Kevin Smith

I don’t think we’ll ever have films like the first three that Kevin Smith made in the 90’s. While John Hughes tried to articulate fringe suburban outcasts in the 80’s, and while mumblecore and Apatow lent a voice to post-slacker twentysomethings, none have felt as realized and honest as Smith’s. The aging Gen-X’ers of Kevin … Continue reading Chasing Amy (1997) – dir. Kevin Smith