Tagged Drama

The Lion King (Favreau, 2019)

I have criticized Disney remakes in the past for their pointlessness; I have also given some a pass for their ability to entertain. The Lion King is not only a black hole of entertainment, it even goes beyond the realm of pointlessness. It makes no logical sense. It wants these animals to be majestic and lifelike beings.…

The Souvenir (Hogg, 2019)

I have read criticisms of Joanna Hogg’s formal austerity, particularly as it pertains to audience connection. What good is it, they say, if the film purposely frustrates our ability to unlock these characters and their milieus? Why watch these lives if we are prevented from fully accessing them? And it’s true, Hogg is not keen…

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (Tarantino, 2019)

Please note that this review includes spoilers about the film’s conclusion. Fairy tales are the spaces in which our childhoods dream. Their worlds are enormous in their specificity, for the greater the specificity, the greater our imaginations roam free. They contain both the mystical and the practical. They use the lives of people far above…

Weekly Spotlight #13: On Dangerous Ground (Ray & Lupino, 1951)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. On tap for this week is another lesser-known noir from the 1950s, lushly directed by the great Nicholas Ray and with uncredited assistance from star Ida Lupino.

Knife+Heart (Gonzalez, 2018)

Yann Gonzalez wants the giallo to make a modern comeback, and honestly? I’m here for it. Knife+Heart revels in all the genre’s sleazy elements, including the impressionistic uses of vivid colour, ambient soundscapes (courtesy of synthpop band M83), and that irresistible slasher/stalker element that puts all the characters in vulnerable spots as a bloodthirsty killer lurks in…

Hotel by the River (Hong, 2018)

Hong Sang-soo continues to go from strength to strength as a filmmaker, with his latest offering, Hotel by the River, landing as one of his strongest achievements to date. It sees him testing the limits of his style and thematic proclivities in ways that still continually surprise. His camerawork, for instance, is more urgent and involved…

Weekly Spotlight #11: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Neame, 1969)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. For our eleventh recommendation, we dip back into academia once more as students everywhere begin their summer holidays, taking a look at an irresistible Muriel Spark story about idolization, predestination, and the crème de la crème: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Weekly Spotlight #10: Desert Hearts (Deitch, 1985)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. In honour of Pride Month, we turn our focus to the recently-restored lesbian romance Desert Hearts from director Donna Deitch.

Rocketman (Fletcher, 2019)

I’ll give Rocketman this much: it is a more credible endeavour than its closest antecedent, Bohemian Rhapsody. On the aesthetic front, Rocketman is not as visually shoddy or bogged down by competing artistic visions. Dexter Fletcher had a clear concept in mind and ran with it, whereas with Bohemian Rhapsody he was forced to paste together a film from scraps left behind…

Weekly Spotlight #9: The Browning Version (Asquith, 1951)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. As the current school year comes to a close, we examine the power and pathos of a lesser-known story about student-teacher relationships: Anthony Asquith’s excellent adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Version.

Weekly Spotlight #8: Ballad of a Soldier (Chukhray, 1959)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, we introduce you to the Soviet-era war classic Ballad of a Soldier in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Greta (Jordan, 2018)

Grande Dame Guignol lives on! Maybe not with the same panache as the films from the ‘60s, or the same level of insanity, but a film like Greta is worth it for the camp spectacle alone. Here it is provided to us by an extremely game Isabelle Huppert, playing a spidery widow who leaves expensive-looking purses lying…

Booksmart (Wilde, 2019)

Social media has been abuzz with debates about Olivia Wilde’s debut, from its marketing campaign to its struggle to make gains at the box office to questions about its diversity (or lack thereof). I want to review Booksmart on its own terms, so forgive me if what I write doesn’t substantially contribute to the current discourse. I’d…

Weekly Spotlight #7: Chronicle of a Disappearance (Suleiman, 1996)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, to mark the conclusion of the Cannes Film Festival, we put the spotlight on Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman, whose latest film received both a Special Mention and the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film In Competition.

Weekly Spotlight #6: I Killed My Mother (Dolan, 2009)

In this weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, as the Cannes Film Festival continues in France, we take a look at another filmmaker hoping to win the coveted Palme d’Or: French-Canadian provocateur Xavier Dolan, who started his polarizing career with an equally-polarizing film called I Killed My Mother.