Suffering Your Art: ‘Whiplash’

Stories about artists struggling to reach success are often sympathetic to the artist. They’re usually focused completely on the false pretense that harsh challenges met on the road to being successful are acutely unfair and that they are comparable to simply standing up for oneself by telling the supposed enemy to back down. That’s the…

‘The Judge’: Fathers and Sons

“I saw him in you” “I saw you in him” The house of mirrors that is every story about fathers and sons in America grips American audiences like nothing else (for better or worse). ‘The Judge’ stars Robert Duvall as the well-respected judge in a small midwestern town and Robert Downey Jr. as his big…

‘Still Alice’ and the Empathetic Eye

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three seniors are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. There are currently 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and a new patient is diagnosed every 67 seconds. Given the striking number of families this disease affects, the discussion about a cure and preventative methods is…

A Debut: Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’

* Spoiler alert Awards season 2015 is brimming with brazenly self-aware stories. Well, no one can say such a thing about mediums on media with 100% certainty because filmmakers so often make the “it’s just a movie” claim like they had no intentions or responsibility about influencing public consciousness about social issues whatsoever, but I’d…

‘Foxcatcher’: Unforgiving Expectations

Foxcatcher is based on violent and disturbing real life events. The extent to which these events are portrayed truthfully is unknowable, but nonetheless there is an abundance of social truth in the performance of the three leading men in the film. The protagonist, Mark Schultz, is played with full belief in the body and mind…

The Tragedy of ‘Gone Girl’

If I knew how Nick and Amy’s relationship came together, I might feel like this movie came together with that grand twist at the end. I mean it- the structure of the story, all those vicious twists and drops off the beaten path were stellar. I just didn’t feel a thing for anybody by the…

‘St. Vincent’: Bright Spot of this Awards Season

A critic wrote not too long ago that Bill Murray needs to drop his 800-number and get an agent so he can snag that Oscar-winning role he so deserves. I think that review alone should’ve prepared the Academy to honor his next performance- it only seems fair. * Serious Man Voice: “Oh, reeeally? You think…

Sweet Liberation: ‘Cake’

I’ve become obsessed with freedom. What is it? Who has it? How can I tell? What does it look like? How can I get some? Questions. So many of them, and all elude me. When I get a glimpse, it’s often on screen, on a page, or in a fleeting moment. Well, that’s where I’m…

On ‘Boyhood’

From a technical standpoint, Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is absolutely beautiful. The film was made in pieces over a period of twelve years. The film grew with the cast. That’s what devotion looks like. That’s also what parenting is about, what growing up is like- waiting and wondering what the developed piece will really turn out…

‘Wild’ on the Path to Consciousness

Wild has been praised by critics and audiences alike mainly because people love seeing people make tons of mistakes and survive the journey. We love growth through hardship, even if (or maybe especially when) the protagonist is stepping on her own feet. It just makes for all the necessary pain and relief we need to…