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Frameline 40: 5 Films You Must Watch

Frameline 40 is about to kick off and here are five movies that well represent this year’s festival. From coming of age stories, great docs, emerging sexualities and comedy-dramas there is something for everyone at this year’s fest. Here are five great choices. Closet Monster Like a gay Donnie Darko with a Disney sidekick and an Xavier Dolan sensibility, Oscar (played ...

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SFIFF59 Preview: Maggie’s Plan (Rebecca Miller)

In Maggie’s Plan, Greta Gerwig plays the titular character, a woman on the verge of artificially inseminating herself with the DNA of a former college acquaintance-turned-pickle-entrepreneur named Guy (played by Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel). Gerwig is someone who I always feel would make a great muse for Woody Allen. She was indeed in a Woody Allen film, To Rome with Love, before ...

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I Saw the Light (★★)

  Tackling a biopic of arguably the most popular and influential country music artist of all time certainly must have been a daunting task. For writer/director Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius) it’s a task that’s just out of reach as his adaptation of “Hank Williams: A Biography” by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwan consistently fails to compel and ...

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Worst Picture/Best Picture Series: Shining Through and Unforgiven (1992)

In 1992, Liam Neeson starred in two WWII films, in one he played a Nazi villain, and in the other he played a Nazi with a heart of gold. Shining Through and Schindler’s List are both… Wait, Schindler’s List won Best Picture in 1993? So what movie do I have to compare Shining Through to? Unforgiven? Goddammit. Okay, one movie’s ...

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REVIEW: ‘The Big Short’ (★★★)

  Breaking down the billionaire boys club that broke America In The Big Short, the surprisingly irreverent new film from Adam McKay (Step Brothers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), we’re told, “you might think you know what happened, but you don’t.” Now, that’s not the most original phrasing for a story like this but it is truthful. Most Americans ...

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REVIEW: ‘Joy’ (★★★½)

  There’s something truly fantastic about the opening scene of Joy. It’s a black and white television soap opera starring none other than All My Children’s Susan Lucci. Stiff acting, Bob Mackie-type gowns and Dynasty hair, elaborate names like Bartholomew, Clarinda and Danica pepper this sequence and although we don’t know what it means in context it sets us up ...

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REVIEW: ‘The Revenant’ (★★★★)

“You breathe…keep breathing.” One part tale of bloodthirsty revenge, one part tale of undying love, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant is a film of extremes. Extremes of blisteringly cold weather, of violently bloody massacres but also of paternal devotion and tenderness that is almost shocking in its thoughtfulness. Following up after the fanciful fantasy of his Oscar-winning Birdman, Iñárritu goes back ...

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REVIEW: ‘Creed’ (★★★★)

  In a year that has been filled with remakes, sequels and reboots it’s hard to imagine that what seems like another attempt to reboot the Rocky franchise (most recently was 2006’s Rocky Balboa) wouldn’t have a need to even exist. But make no mistake, this isn’t a seventh Rocky film, it’s the first Creed and it stands on its own. Not ...

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AFI Review: Angelina Jolie Pitt’s ‘By the Sea’ (★★)

  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s By The Sea attempts to break down and humanize two of the most alien and illustrious faces in Hollywood in an intimate setting. Angelina Jolie Pitt’s third directorial project breaks away from the prestige of her last film, Unbroken, but the vanity project she offers is glossy, artificial and incoherent. Throughout all of By ...

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REVIEW: Foreign Language Film Oscar Winners 1952-1957

After the first five foreign film winners coming from Italy, France, and Japan, the Academy decided to change it up a bit with their next five and gave them to France, Japan, and Italy. I guess I’m getting a big lucky finding some similarities in these batches of winners, I’m sure that won’t always be the case with the future ...

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