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Showing posts from March, 2019

Horror to Hummingbirds, Greta, Gloria, Canadian Screen Awards

Horror to Hummingbirds, Greta, Gloria and Canadian Screen Awards 
I haven’t much to say about the Canadian Screen Awards to be announced this Sunday night on CBC (see the list of nominations: https://www.academy.ca/nominees/), not having seen any of the five “best picture” nominees (none of which has yet played theatrically in Canada’s capital), and precious few of the films nominated for anything.There is a best actor nomination for Brandon Oakes in Don McKellar’s Through Black Spruce now arriving in select theatres.An adaptation of the acclaimed Joseph Boyden novel, it’s about the search by a young Cree woman from Northern Ontario for her twin sister who has disappeared in Toronto. I was able to see it at last year’s Toronto film festival. Definitely worth a look. At New York’s Tribeca film festival a year ago I caught Robert Budreau’s Stockholm, nominated for “best adapted screenplay”. It stars the reliably excellent Ethan Hawke. Several of the documentary features—Anote’s Ark, Anth…

Women and Girls on Screen

Women and Girls on Screen
Captain Marvel (U.S./Australia https://www.marvel.com/movies/captain-marvel) Written and directed by the duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, this female-led superhero blockbuster is approaching a billion-dollar worldwide box-office, on track to surpass last year’s Wonder Woman, so it must be doing something right.Credit Brie Larson in the title role as “Vers”, being trained as an extra-terrestrial “Kree” warrior, up against shape-shifting “Skrulls”, and in thrall to a Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening).After crashing back to a retro 1990s planet C-53 (aka Earth), and discovering her origins as fighter pilot Carol “Avenger” Danvers, our superheroine learns the truth about the Kree and its “supreme intelligence”.The Skrulls sure are ugly but maybe not the bad-guy invaders.If not totally marvelous, there’s more than enough diverting action-hero effects and story twists to keep one engaged.B Woman at War(Iceland/Ukraine/France https://www.womanatwarfilm.com/) This delig…

Some March Movie Picks

Best of March Movies
I missed going to summery Austin, Texas this March for the South By Southwest Festival. But I did get a preview screener for an outstanding documentary feature The River and the Wall which played to standing ovations and was awarded the fest’s Louis Black “Lone Star” award. An intrepid crew navigates the full 1,200-mile length of the Texas-Mexico border along the Rio Grande from El Paso to the Gulf coast using bicycles, on horseback, and by canoe.The rugged environmentally sensitive locations are awe-inspiring and the film includes bipartisan commentary (from both Democratic presidential aspirant Beto O’Rourke and Republican Congressman Will Hurd) showing how senseless is Donald Trump’s blowhard “build the wall” approach to border security. See and read more at: http://theriverandthewall.com/. Below I briefly review the Netflix South American action-thriller Triple Frontier.Also now streaming on Netflix is the British production The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind about …

Oscar Hangover and Current Releases: Kids Stuff, Liam, Madsx2

Oscar Hangover?
I was less dismayed than some at Green Book taking best picture. Notwithstanding the controversies, the movie is quite good, and Mahershala Ali deserved his second Oscar for his role as the African-American pianist Don Shirley. Still Roma was in a class above, a masterwork by every measure. In 91 years the big Oscar has never gone to a non-English language film and here was a golden chance to end that. (Compare Roma’s 96% rating on metacritic.com to the reverse numbers of 69% for Green Book; the critical consensus is clear.) Was it the fact that Netflix produced Roma? A black-and-white movie with no big-name stars? (Netflix also produced and is streaming the winning documentary short Period. End of Sentence.  Then again theatrical distribution is not an issue for shorts.) Bohemian Rhapsody was another Oscar-favoured film dogged by controversy and hated by some critics with a passion.   But there were also the Spike Lee and Olivia Colman moments.  And Roma’s Mexican write…