Tagged Historical

Judy (Goold, 2019)

I find it difficult to be too hard on a film that is so irrevocably buoyed by its lead performance, and such is the case with Judy, a film which wouldn’t have passed muster without its star. For, admittedly, there is a lot here that I found lacking, all of which still bring down the film’s…

TIFF Review: Martin Eden (Marcello, 2019)

The newly-minted Platform Prize winner out of TIFF (which comes with a cool $20,000 payday) is Pietro Marcello’s stylish adaptation of Jack London’s 1909 novel Martin Eden, a work that has fallen into relative obscurity in North America but continues to be taught and read in Europe. For those unfamiliar with the book, it is…

TIFF Review: A Hidden Life (Malick, 2019)

When there is evil before our eyes, it is astonishing to witness firsthand how some people either ignore it or twist it into something beneficial to themselves. A character in Terrence Malick’s latest epic asks lamentably why it is no one sees this evil before them (i.e. the Nazis), but perhaps it’s not a question…

Vita & Virginia (Button, 2018)

Virginia Woolf is one of the greatest writers of all time, and certainly one of my favourite authors. It was, then, with much anticipation that I waited for news about Vita & Virginia to arrive out of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival—and I was disappointed when word of mouth wasn’t strong. But I had already made…

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…

Apollo 11 (Miller, 2019)

It’s so gratifying to go into a documentary and not have to be talked at for two hours. For those that feel differently, there are many other films you can watch about the Apollo 11 mission that have the traditional talking heads in place. They can give you better explanations and direct testimony about the…

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 #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.

Hotel Mumbai (Maras, 2018)

I don’t want to write too much about Hotel Mumbai because I got my fill of it in the theatre and thinking about it after the fact is like a PTSD trigger. On one hand, one can commend Anthony Maras for trying to render the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks as authentically as he could, doing extensive research…

At Eternity’s Gate (Schnabel, 2018)

Another year, another Vincent van Gogh film. Hot on the heels of last year’s Loving Vincent (a film animated in the style of van Gogh’s paintings), At Eternity’s Gate looks at the final years of the artist’s short life, when he moved to the small villages of Arles and Auvers sur-Oise to paint the natural landscapes. It was in…

Vice (McKay, 2018)

It’s been several hours now since I watched Vice, and my opinion of it has dropped as the time passed. In the moment, it is compulsively watchable. You see McKay hitting highs and lows (frequently from one scene to the next), and the kinesis of his style prevents one from drifting off into space. Even when…

The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018)

I can’t say I was absolutely loving Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest curio about twenty minutes in. A lot is established very quickly, and Lanthimos seems to jump right into his trademark weirdness rather than let it simmer over. For instance, I thought putting the duck race in the first act, when the tone hasn’t been quite set, was…

Green Book (Farrelly, 2018)

Before this film began, I sat in my seat terrified that I was going to like it. Though people whose opinions I follow have liked it, others have panned it for reasons that, to me, seemed sensible just by watching the trailer. I have been suspicious of this film since it won the People’s Choice…

The Disaster Artist (Franco, 2017)

I’m so glad I watched The Room before seeing this. The experience is ten times more riotous when you’re familiar with Tommy Wiseau’s peculiar tics and see them so brilliantly imitated by James Franco (in, without a doubt, his best performance since 127 Hours). The hulking gait! The heavy-lidded eyes! That pronounced European accent! That bizarre laugh! Oh what…

BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018)

Spike Lee’s passion is unmistakable. He knows just how to get at the heart of the issues and blaze them to the masses with ferocity, his films acting as missals for his faithful to fight for something better. The tactic isn’t subtle, but sometimes subtlety isn’t the best approach. Ending the film with footage from…