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AFI Fest Film Review: ‘Moana’ Rides a Colorful Wave of Quintessential Disney Magic

Walt Disney Pictures’ “Moana” glistens with exuberance and heart, providing a cinematic vacation paradise of utmost necessity. Politics aside, the country needs the joyousness of “Moana” more than ever, and thankfully this heroine is bred to uplift. Riffing off the classic Chosen One narrative, “Moana” utilizes character reflection to subvert the arrogance that typifies this trope. Nailing her debut […]

(Image Courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

AFI Fest Film Review: Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Is an Emotionally Unnerving Yet Vital Morality Tale

2016 AFI FILM FEST: Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” is another turbulent familial drama that’s among the very best in the auteur’s oeuvre. Pushing viewers’ stress level to peak capacity, the film addresses the moral consequences of retaliating the cruelest form of dishonor. Issues of sexual assault, female agency, male entitlement and violence are meticulously probed. […]

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AFI Fest Film Review: ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Rebels Without Coherent Cause

2016 AFI FILM FESTIVAL: Warren Beatty‘s haphazard “Rules Don’t Apply” is a screwball dramedy that plays like a direct-to-video sequel to Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Where that film provides honest penetration into the depravity of wily tycoon Howard Hughes, this cinematic farce exploits for amusement. Beatty, doing double duty as writer-director, can’t decide whether the egomaniac […]

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Middleburg Film Review: ‘Lion’ Takes Tear-Jerker to a Whole New Level

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Harvey Weinstein sure knows how to pick out stories that tug at the heartstrings, as is demonstrated by his newest production “Lion.” In his feature film debut, director Garth Davis creates a formally riveting and emotionally shattering look into the complexities of family and the ache of separation. Based on the […]

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Middleburg Film Review: ‘Loving’ Values the Legacy of Its Timeless and Timely Story

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: “Loving,” Jeff Nichols’ passionate look at injustice in our nation’s history, can best be described with one word: understated. Always a straightforward filmmaker in the way he presents his material, Nichols’ choices in his newest film allow him to focus on the emotion and intricacies of his story. Richard and Mildred Loving […]

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Middleburg Film Review: ‘The Eagle Huntress’ Captures the Spirit and Wonder of Dreamers

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Films that showcase different cultures from around the world are sorely lacking in our filmmaking landscape. Good thing we have films like “The Eagle Huntress.” Director Otto Bell, in his impressive debut, is a natural of the lens. Bell captures some breathtaking images while harnessing the simplicity and magic of his […]

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Middleburg Film Festival Announces Audience Award Winners – ‘Lion’ and ‘The Eagle Huntress’ Come Out on Top

Read the Press Release: October 24, 2016, Middleburg, VA – Middleburg Film Festival announced today the 2016 Audience Award winners, concluding the four-day festival.  This year’s Audience Award for Best Narrative went to LION, Garth Davis’ feature film directorial debut.  This year’s Audience Award for Best Documentary went to THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, from first-time feature filmmaker […]

Austin Film Festival

Middleburg Film Review: ‘La La Land’ Examines the Dark, Unforgiving Nature of Hollywood

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: It is extremely difficult to live up to any expectations, especially when they’re set by yourself in your own psyche. It can sometimes be nearly impossible for one of the most anticipated films of the year to match those expectations. Damien Chazelle‘s highly anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-winning “Whiplash” was not just […]

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Middleburg Film Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Uses Words as Weapons and Images as Pure Power

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Following magnificent and sophisticated documentaries about the civil rights movement, “I Am Not Your Negro” from Raoul Peck had huge shoes to fill. Seemingly struggling to find its footing earlier on in the picture, by the mid-way point, the film finds its way to an ending that will leave you in tears. […]

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Middleburg Film Review: ‘Julieta’ Is Fierce and Rich With Colossal Performances From Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte

2016 MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL: Pedro Almodovar has been a filmmaker who has embraced the eccentric and often overlooked beauties of the world. He explores relationships of vast entities, many dealing with the intricacies of what it means to be truly “family.” In his newest film “Julieta,” he manages to blend his long-running theme with the […]

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Middleburg Film Festival: An Introduction to an Up and Comer in the Awards Season

While Telluride, TIFF and NYFF offer a detailed and enthusiastic landscape of the awards season, smaller, regional festivals are rising in the ranks. Scoring high-profile features, Virginia’s Middleburg Film Festival, taking place this weekend, is one of the most fruitful and dynamic destinations for a movie lover. Just a mere four years old, the festival […]