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 […]

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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Elle’ Tantalizes Its Viewer With Difficult Material and Isabelle Huppert’s Striking Portrayal

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Paul Verhoeven has established himself as one of the most controversial directors working today. Constantly pushing the boundaries, and hitting contentious and often heavily questionable beats and choices, the “Showgirls” director has seemed to hone in most of that and put it to good use in his provocative thriller “Elle.” […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Things to Come’ Is Straightforward but Not Particularly Compelling

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Honest and real, Mia Hansen-Løve‘s look into the life of a woman whose world comes crashing down is at times compelling and provocative. Anchored by a strong leading turn from Isabelle Huppert, “Things to Come” is an ultimately satisfying examination, even if it slugs through its own narrative. Hansen-Løve focuses […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Focuses on Technology and Nothing Else

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: With a luxurious resume that includes timeless films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Brokeback Mountain,” there has been an expectation that there isn’t anything that director Ang Lee can’t accomplish. His last venture “Life of Pi,” which also premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2013, pushed the […]


Oscar Circuit: Wrapping Up the New York Film Festival and Looking Ahead to Precursors

The festival doors at the Film Society at Lincoln Center have closed. The 2016 New York Film Festival is officially in the books with a few answers coming for questions on the Oscar race. The biggest thing to come out of the festival was surely Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women.” Boasting some beautiful notices for […]


Film Review: ‘Jackie’ Commands the Screen With Natalie Portman Heading the Charge

A biopic that breaks the barriers and conventions of the genre, Pablo Larrain‘s “Jackie” layers itself as a deeply felt drama masquerading as a new form horror venture. Exulting an adept and dexterous performance from Natalie Portman, “Jackie” transcends the ideas and imagery of the former first lady, and thrusts her into the spotlight of […]


NYFF Film Review: ’20th Century Women’ Redefines Family and Relationships

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Clever and beautifully endearing, Mike Mills‘ beautiful portrait of five people in the late 1970s is one of the year’s most glamorous efforts. Vaunting an exceptional ensemble, Mills’ wistful and ingenious script stands tall above the competition. Sweet-minded and shimmering in its comedic beats and even more irresistible in its […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Toni Erdmann’ Is Ambitious but Ultimately Flawed

2016 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Maren Ade‘s touching, and often funny “Toni Erdmann” finds the nuance in many family relationships. Its look into the lives of a father and daughter struggling to take the serious out of their life, and vice versa, is quite charming. It is weirdly neurotic and reckless, but by credits end, […]


Film Review: ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Is a Vanity Project Sending a Terrible Message to its Target Community

The importance of minority filmmaking is at an all-time high. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag provided a spotlight onto a dark matter into an industry we love. It’s with movements like this that co-writer and director Nate Parker is afforded the opportunity to make “The Birth of a Nation.” He also gets to lend his tremendous acting […]

(ctr l-r.) Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon star as Tony Hastings and Bobby Andes in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Focus Features

Film Review: ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Is a Sultry Treat From Tom Ford

Tom Ford‘s seductive thriller “Nocturnal Animals” is hypnotic in every sense of the word. Exhibiting an all-star cast where everyone brings their A-game, this feature was even more compelling and infectious than his previously beloved, “A Single Man.” It’s a slick and sexy endeavor, assembling veteran craftsmen from all over the industry. Ford is a technical […]

The Girl on the Train

Film Review: ‘The Girl on the Train’ Shows Off Emily Blunt’s Powerhouse Abilities but Little Else

The reviews are flooding in for Tate Taylor‘s latest, “The Girl on the Train.” The film boasts an all-out amazing performance from Emily Blunt, but that’s about the only major highlight from this frustrating and very predictable thriller. Co-stars Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson also manage to shine in a script that’s written by Erin Cressida […]


NYFF Film Review: ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Delivers Masterful Performances for a Cold Resolution

In typical Kenneth Lonergan fashion, his sensibilities and his abilities to build rich and dynamic characters are evident in his newest feature “Manchester by the Sea” from Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions. Putting together an intimate and dynamite ensemble that includes the talents of Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler is his crowning […]