Your Guide to the Female Directors of 2013

Ah, the critic who cried woman…Anytime there’s discourse about female directors in film, there’s the frustratingly inevitable bombardment of outcry about the gross discrepancy between the number of male-directed films and those of their female counterparts.  Studies are conducted by reputable institutions, statistics are brandished like badges of injustice, and the hearth of discontent is […]

The Next Great Actors-Turned-Directors

I believe Ben Affleck is slowly becoming the next Clint Eastwood, as I’ve written about many times before. He’s on a path to be better known as a filmmaker than as an actor, which I’m sure almost no one could have anticipated earlier on in his career. I’ve long admired Affleck’s work behind the camera, […]

Film Review: Stories We Tell (***½)

MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL: Sarah Polley continues to become one of the most innovative and inventive directors working today and its proved by what she spills out on the silver screen in her newest endeavor Stories We Tell. A compelling and personal documentary about her own life, Stories We Tell blends and fuses the magic of […]

Top 10 Anticipated Films from 2013 Montclair Film Festival!

Today kicks off the second annual Montclair Film Festival in Montclair, New Jersey.  Located about twenty miles outside of Manhattan, this quiet yet very compelling festival has quite a few highlights that will be showcased at this year’s festivities.  In its second year, the impressive slate will have lots of films getting some extra press […]

First Quarter Round-Up – Are There Any Oscar Contenders?

As April has completely come out of nowhere and become fully present, I’ve updated the new Oscar Tracker to keep in mind everything that has already been released this year so far or have screened at major festivals like Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca. There’s no super-duper “out there” contender that looks like it can go […]

Trailer and Poster for Sarah Polley’s ‘Stories We Tell’

Sarah Polley’s new documentary, Stories We Tell, explores her family’s history, unveiling secrets as she interrogates her colorful family members while she tries to discover the truth behind who her biological father is. The film received raves at the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, and will be released in New York on May 10th, and go […]

SUNDANCE: Stories We Tell (***½)

Stories We Tell, the sterling documentary from Sarah Polley, is a delicately assembled exploration of a family and how the stories they tell weave together a complicated tapestry. Sarah Polley starts the film nimbly enough presenting  all of the subjects, her family members and close family friends. But what starts out as a simple exploration […]

Ten Films by Ten Women Directors

With the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release of Sarah Polley’s second directorial feature, Take This Waltz, the Canadian-born writer/director builds upon the promising foundation of her filmmaking career. Polley follows up her acclaimed and Oscar-nominated debut, Away from Her (2006), with a simply honest portrayal of a woman’s struggle to fill the gaps in her seemingly happy […]

TIFF: All Good Things Come to an End…

Only a handful of press screenings today, nothing for me.  Of all the festivals I have attended this one ranks with one of the very best, better than most, though nothing will ever beat 1997. That was very special, loaded with great films. This year the best film I saw was Amour, which impacted me […]

TIFF: Haneke Speaks Volumes, Polley’s Third is a Home Run

Toronto Film Festival: Something extraordinary happened while screening Amour, the new film from Michael Haneke, something that has never happened to me before in a theater. Partway through this deeply emotional film, by far the most gut wrenching of the directors career, I could my eyes filling with tears. Memory merged with the images I […]

Take this Waltz (**)

Sarah Polley’s first feature film as a director, Away from Her (2007) was an extraordinary work, a startling love story but also a brilliant character study about a couple over sixty dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Julie Christie gave the performance of her career as Fiona, a proud woman descending into the nightmare of the disease, […]

Weekend Openings (June 29-July 1)

Looks like this weekend will go down in the books as one of pleasant surprises, both financially and quality-wise.  Whether that will translate into Oscar nominations may happen for at least one of them… Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum take us into the world of male strippers in Magic Mike, about a seasoned dancer who […]

Take This Waltz (***½)

Actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley continues to explore love in a very unique way with the romantic drama ‘Take This Waltz’, a tremendously acted and emotionally wrenching film that’s about much more than initially meets the eye. Michelle Williams again is doing excellent work in the lead role, and Seth Rogen is as good as he’s ever […]

Take This Waltz gets a new Trailer!

One of last year’s potential Oscar contenders that got pushed out of the race to this year was Sarah Polley’s film ‘Take This Waltz’. It had solid reviews from festivals, but just never really got going in 2011. Could this be the year that it gets some recognition? Well, it opens this June, and there’s […]

John’s TIFF Diary: Day Four

Sunday was a day of disappointments at the festival.  I mean serious letdowns, folks: one from a promising young lady experiencing a sophomore slump, the other a former world-class director who gave us something downright juvenile. Take This Waltz (**) is the second feature from gifted actress/director/writer Sarah Polley and though she swears it is […]